Garlic is a popular plant for many gardeners, both for its flavor to foods and its ornamental value. Garlic is poetically described as “the stinking rose” because of its rich flavor, and it has been used throughout history as a medicinal plant.
Garlic is a fairly easy plant for gardeners to grow, but the soil must be prepared accurately if a healthy garlic crop is desired. The center of discussion in this article will be: how to grow Garlic in Texas.
Garlic is propagated by planting the cloves, little bulblets or segments that make up the entire garlic bulb. Garlic is a perennial plant in Texas. Late autumn is the best time to sow garlic.
It is exceptionally frost-hardy, and if planted in October, the tips of the plants may be visible above the earth and well-rooted by November. In June, the crop will be ready to harvest. The growing period preceding bulbing might be brief for acceptable yields if planted in the spring.
Garlic is an aromatic herb that has been used for centuries to flavor food and treats illness. The garlic plant is a member of the lily family and has purple flowers that bloom during the summer.
Garlic is divided into two categories: hard neck garlic, which produces a clove around the center of the bulb that is often easier to peel, and softneck garlic, which produces cloves around the outside of the bulb that is difficult to peel.
Texas gardeners can grow either variety, but softneck garlic is less likely to produce a flower. In Texas, garlic is typically planted from September through February to harvest before the hot summer months.
- The first step on how to grow garlic in Texas is to prepare the planting area in advance by removing any grass or weeds that are growing in the area. This can be accomplished by thorough cultivation of the soil or by using a pre-emergent herbicide to kill existing vegetation before planting garlic.
- Aged manure or compost should then be worked into the soil until roughly three to five inches deep.
- Two inches of loose peat moss might also be worked into the soil in some areas.
- There are around ten cloves in each huge garlic bulb. Except for the long, slender cloves in the bulb’s center and those weighing less than one gram, all cloves are planted.
- Side growths on bulbs should be discarded.
- Garlic yields tend to rise as the mother bulbs grow in size. This appears to be a result of the size of the mother bulb, as larger mother bulbs produce larger cloves.
- Scuff up the soil to a depth of around 3-5 inches by tilling it with a garden rake or rototiller.
- Add aged manure or compost until the soil is loose and black.
- Garlic should be planted in October. If planted earlier, there will have been enough time for growth to come before winter sets in, but planting too early can also cause garlic to grow very scantily.
- Plant individual cloves about three inches apart with their basal ends up, burying them only halfway to the flat end of the clove.
- The depth at which each clove is planted will affect bulb size, so different techniques might be used in successive plantings for trial purposes.
- Garlic can also be planted by digging a furrow, laying the cloves aside, and closing the hole to within an inch of the surface.
- Garlic is normally planted in rows 18 to 24 inches apart; cloves are usually three to six inches apart.
- Cloves planted as close as two inches apart and in rows as wide as 12 inches apart can provide higher yields. However, as the planting density rises, the size of the individual bulbs shrinks.
- Planting depth varies from one to two inches depending on soil conditions.
- The cloves must neither be too deep in the soil to prevent the bulbs from swelling nor too shallow to be washed away by rain.
- Hand-planting cloves vertically in planting furrows ensures the establishment of straight-necked, high-yielding plants.
- Garlic needs about five hours of sunlight per day during the growing period.
- It is important that it receive adequate water; if rainfall is insufficient, supplemental irrigation may be required for garlic to grow properly.
- Feed every 14-21 days at a rate of about one cup per ten linear row feet using high delayed-release nitrogen fertilizer, such as a 19-5-9 analysis.
- The majority of garlic roots grow in the first two feet of soil, and the soil should be saturated to this depth during each watering throughout the growing season to ensure that the roots have a constant supply of moisture.
- As the crop reaches maturity, watering should be stopped, allowing the soil to dry out before harvesting.
- Mulch around the plants with straw or leaves to retain moisture and protect the garlic from strong sunlight.
- Because of the abundance of wild animals in Texas, it is important for gardeners who wish to grow garlic to take extra precautions when preventing animal damage.
- Fences might need to be erected around fields, and small-gauge wire mesh can also be used successfully instead of a fence.
- Individual cloves might prove more difficult to protect than a whole field of garlic.
- Garlic is harvested when most of the leaves have turned brown and died back, usually after four months.
- During harvesting, it is important that gardeners avoid disturbing or damaging the bulbs as much as possible. When digging up garlic, it is best to dig around each plant, loosen the soil, and carefully pull it up without pulling too hard or damaging the bulbs.
- Garlic can also be pulled out individually, but this is a more time-consuming method of harvesting garlic.
- After harvest, mulch mullein leaves over the bedded-out plants to minimize moisture loss from the garlic.
- Garlic can be stored for one or two months and should be hung and placed in a dry, dark place to prevent sprouting and rotting during storage.
- Suppose the garlic is stored longer than this. In that case, it must be placed in a high-humidity environment such as an unheated building where the temperature will not drop below fifty degrees Fahrenheit.
- Garlic can also be stored in a dry basement or root cellar where the temperature is kept between thirty and forty degrees Fahrenheit, though it should be checked during storage. If garlic is stored properly, it will remain fresh for about eight months.
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In conclusion, garlic is a plant that can be grown in many parts of Texas year-round and yields a quick harvest after four months of growing. It needs a sunny location, well-drained soil, and regular irrigation during dry periods.
It can be planted with other plants or fenced in to prevent animal damage, and garlic can be stored for eight months if kept in a high-humidity environment with temperatures below fifty degrees Fahrenheit.
Garlic breeds true from its parent bulbs because the cloves divide naturally when it is grown. It does not require replanting for new bulbs to grow.
Garlic propagates quickly and needs little care to produce a profitable crop, making it an easy plant for home gardeners in Texas. Garlic can be planted in a raised bed with three to four inches of soil at the bottom to allow for watering.
Garlic needs full sun, warm weather, well-drained soil, and plenty of water. It is also recommended that Texas gardeners add compost to the beds the first year before planting garlic to add nutrients to the soil.
Garlic can be quite inexpensive because of its fast yield time, making it one of the easiest plants for Texas gardeners to grow. Now that you’ve read a step-by-step guide on how to grow Garlic in Texas, you can easily grow it and enjoy its many benefits.