Common Names: Stinkweed, Stinking Rose, Poor Man's Treacle, Ajo
Garlic is best planted in the fall, but it can be planted in the spring depending on your location. At the end of the growing season garlic produces a profusion of lovely bulbs that can be used for medicinal, culinary, and metaphysical purposes it has even been used as an insect repellent.
Garlic is best planted in the fall as it needs a longer growing season. It gets an early start if planted in the fall and will produce larger and more profuse bulbs with better flavor. If planting the fall, plant 6 to 8 weeks before the first hard frost of the season. Garlic can be planted in spring, and in southern states it is best to plant in the early spring. If you do happen to wish a spring planting in the north garlic can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked. Break the cloves apart, leaving the husk intact, and plant each clove 4" apart and approximately 2" deep.
Garlic should be heavily mulched with straw for the winter and removed in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. If yellow leaves emerge it is likely due to a nitrogen deficiency so be sure and fertilize adequately. Water often 3 to 5 times per week.
Garlic is relatively pest free, but to prevent white rot fungus rotate planting areas every few years.
Harvesting garlic is simple, when the tops turn brown in the fall turn the soil with a long spade and search the soil for the bulbs. Brush of the excess dirt and store at about 40 degrees in a cool and very dry place. The tops can be braided together and the bulbs hung until they are needed for use.
Garlic has been used medicinally since at least ancient Greece. It contains allicin which is the primary medicinal component. It has been proven to reduce the number of colds, if taken regularly, by as much as 63%. It also has antibiotic properties that can ward off bacterial infections. Garlic, again if taken regularly, can reduce hypertension in certain individuals. It is also good for reducing cholesterol and is loaded with antioxidants.
Garlic is said to act as an aphrodisiac, and is believed to ward off evil if hung above the front door it is said to repel individuals who are envious, thieves, and bring good luck to the home. It is said to repel vampires both physical and psychic.
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