Someone once told me that you plant garlic on the shortest day and harvest it on the longest. For those of us here in Oz, this weekend is garlic planting time (Saturday is the best day as it is in a fertile time) and for our friends in the Northern hemisphere, it is time to harvest yours.
Garlic is a fantabulous herb. It is used both herbally and homeopathically to treat a variety of ailments. It helps to lower blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, it boosts the immune system and is anti-microbial. It is fantastic for colds and flus.
In the garden, garlic can be planted in among roses to help keep down aphids, under apple trees to help reduce apple scab and around peach trees to assist in the prevention of curly leaf. Garlic also assists tomatoes and potatoes. But don't grow garlic near your peas, beans, cabbages or strawberries as it will inhibit their growth.
Many people get concerned about garlic breath. One way to reduce this is to add the garlic at the end of your cooking, rather than the beginning - just stir it into your meal a couple of minutes before you turn off the heat. Also, parsley can assist in neutralising the odour.
So go and get some garlic (I bought about a kilo of cloves today) and put it in the ground this weekend. Yes, you can use the garlic found in your greengrocer's store (or supermarket), but I always try to get Australian grown garlic. Apart from my views on imported food (that's another post!), the imported garlic may be irradiated and therefore not viable for food production.
Plant the individual garlic cloves about 5cm deep, 10cm or so apart, with the round part to the bottom of the hole or trench and the pointy bit to the top. Cover it over and let it go. You'll have lovely garlic for Christmas.
love and light