Sauteeing garlic is of the first steps to some of Australians favourite meals. Think bolognaise, creamy potatoes and any good stir fry. But in Australia, it is actually quite hard to get your hands on a handful of true blue garlic cloves, our solution? Grow your own at home. They’ll be fresh, chemical free, organic and will taste delicious.
How to plant garlic from a clove
What you’ll need
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 x 15cm wide pot
1. Growing garlic is a simple as separating your cloves from one another.
2. Keeping the pointy end of the clove upwards, push into the soil until just below the surface or around 1.5-2cm deep.
3. Cover with soil and leave in a sunny spot.
Note: do not water until shoots appear
(after 1-2 weeks), the whole process will take anywhere between seven and nine months.
Garlic needs very little attention, give it a water if the soil appears overly dry and feed with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser. Don’t be afraid to cut back the green shoots every now and again to encourage new growth and keep the soil free of weeds.
How and when to harvest
During the growth process, you can trim the green shoots and add these garlic chives to your meals for extra flavour. You will know that your garlic bulbs are ready to harvest when the leaves turn yellow and brown in the warmer months.
To harvest simply pull the bulb by the shoot to remove. Hang upside down until dry and then store in a well-ventilated area in your home, use each clove as you desire!
Where to purchase
Whilst in theory grabbing a bunch of garlic from your local supermarket to grow your own is easy it won’t produce the best crop. Most of the garlic in stores are heavily sprayed with chemicals, go to your organic grocer to find a spray-free bulb. The best option is going to your local garden centre to get your bulbs as you’ll be able to choose the variety best suited for your climate and have an increased success rate.
Australian white garlic
is from the artichoke family and thrives in the cooler climates of South Australia. Its small white cloves pack a punch making it great for most recipes.
Purple striped garlic
Like the name suggests, this hardneck garlic variety can be identified by its bright purple stripes on the outer layer. Purple garlic will usually last for six months.
Also known as Elephant garlic, Russian garlic can be identified by its large cloves and bulb which can sometimes be the size of your hand. Its mild flavour makes it ideal for roasting.
Here is a comprehensive list
of the different garlic varieties in Australia and when to plant and harvest them.
Here’s one of our favourite garlic recipes