As summer is starting to wind down and fall is approaching my mind is on what I want to plant next year. I’m definitely going to be planting garlic and onions after this years experiment. Along with Spinach and lettuce.
Last summer I was strolling through a store where they were selling planting garlic. I had been reading about how garlic naturally repels pests such as aphids and I was game to try it. Now, I did not plan this very well. My garlic planting was done erratically often planting some bulbs weeks before the others only to want to try a new experiment and plant some more elsewhere.
Now, later in the fall I also had bought some seeds for Walla Walla onions. I had grown scallions or green onion in the past and they were quite handy to have around. However, my gardening books discouraged people from growing onions because in their opinion it wasn’t cost effective and they tasted the same. My experience growing garlic and onions enabled me to debunk some common misconceptions and theories.
Myths and Facts About Garlic Based on My Experince
1. Typical Garlic from a Grocery store can be used for gardening.
I planted a bulb from the grocery store, from a nursery, and from the farmers market. All the bulbs developed tall leaves however the grocery store garlic failed to develop a bulb. The garlic and the nursery bulbs both produced nice delicious garlic. Garlic from grocery stores are typically treated so that they will not grow a garlic bulb. You also don’t know where it’s from unlike a local garlic from a farmers market. Since the farmers market bulbs are grown locally they are more than likely to produce in your own garden.
2. Garlic Repels Aphids
Every year our rose bushes become infested with aphids. I planted bulbs around all of my six roses bushes and when spring came they still became infested with aphids.
3. Don’t bother growing garlic and onions as they taste the same.
The onions especially had a better flavor profile than the store bought varieties. It’s just like tomatoes were you don’t want to go back to eating store bought when your home grown ones are gone.
1. Use local sources for Garlic bulbs, while California land is pretty versatile it is possible that the garlic that grows in China might not be suitable for your backyard.
2. It’s best to plant garlic in the fall and 6-9 months later harvest the garlic.
3. Garlic can sprout flowers but it isn’t ready until the tall leaves fall and go limp.
4. Both onions and garlic prefer sunny areas with well drained soil if possible used raised beds.
5. Make sure to weed the area throughly as they are both intolerant to weeds.
6. If onions start to flower it’s sign that you will get little or no bulb.
7. Onions are ready to be harvested when the foliage yellows and shrivels.
8. Store in a dry place until they are dry and ready for eating.