Garlic is loaded with anti-toxins and essential nutrients that can help to promote health, especially when the body is stressed. It is also very easy to plant, grow and harvest indoors as well as outside. This makes for an ideal crop for the survival garden, and you should consider planting your own batch today. Garlic does take a few months to grow, so it is important to plan ahead to offset any supply shortages you may encounter in the future.
Garlic likes to germinate in cool soil, and most people recommend that you plant it in the fall, just before the first frost sets in. The crops will be ready for harvest the following summer. You can use indoor or outdoor gardens, as long as they are in areas that will receive at least seven hours of sunlight per day.
Take a bulb of garlic, and remove the cloves one by one. Each clove is a seed. You don’t need to do anything other than plant the clove vertically into the trenches. Space them about a minimum of one inch apart and about one to two inches deep. Lightly pack the soil on top of the garlic and water gently.
Growing the Garlic
Water the garlic periodically to ensure that the soil remains moist, but it doesn’t need to be wet. There are no set rules for how often you should do this because the water requirements will vary from location to location. The good news is that garlic doesn’t need a lot of water to thrive, rather just a climate of general moisture, which means you won’t need a lot of resources to harvest a good crop.
After a few months, you will notice that the garlic will produce sprouts that resemble chive or green onion shoots. Take some popsicle sticks, stakes or even twigs and place them next to each shoot as a way to support them as they continue to grow. Sooner or later, you will notice flowers begin to grow on the shoots. Wait until they are fully developed and blossoming, then snip them at them at their base and discard.
This isn’t absolutely necessary, and you can leave them on. But, the flowers will rob the garlic bulbs of energy as they grow, making them grow slower and smaller. Clipping the flowers will ensure that you are harvesting the largest and most productive crop possible.
After about eight to 10 months, the leaves on the garlic plants will begin to turn brown and die off. This is the sign that the garlic is ready to be harvested. Gently jiggle the garlic by pulling on the lower end of the shoots until the bulbs come out of the soil. Dust them off and place them on a flat surface, in one layer, in a cool and dry place with their shoots still attached. Allow the bulbs to dry for about a week before storing or using in meals. Each clove of garlic should yield one bulb.