In The Autumn Vegie Patch

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Grow your own garlic

If you’ve ever wondered where store bought minced garlic comes from or exactly how cloves of garlic have been grown, then you’ll be pleased to know that growing your own garlic at home can be very easy (and then you’ll know all about where it’s come from!).

Garlic is such a delicious ingredient in so many recipes and autumn is the time to get bulbs into the ground.

Here are the easy steps to grow your own garlic:

Step 1: Find a sunny spot in a garden bed that you can dedicate to growing garlic for around 8 months. It does take a while to grow and mature. Ideally the soil should be well drained and on the slightly acidic side (pH of around 6). Raised garden beds are ideal for growing garlic. If you have alkaline soil (pH above 7), then applying some Yates® Soil Acidifier Liquid Sulfur can help reduce the soil pH. You can also grow garlic in a pot – the bigger the pot the easier it will be to maintain (and the more garlic you can grow), so choose a pot that’s at least 30 cm in diameter.

Step 2: Mix some Yates Thrive® Natural Blood & Bone into the garden soil or potting mix. This helps increase the amount of organic matter in the soil which attracts earthworms and soil microbes, helps retain moisture and nutrients in the soil and promotes better soil structure. Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone will also provide the garlic with slow release organic nutrients as it establishes.

Step 3: It’s best to buy fresh garlic cloves from a garden centre as garlic purchased in a supermarket may have been sprayed with a sprouting inhibitor and may not grow.

Step 4: Plant the garlic cloves around 4 cm deep with the pointy end facing up, leaving around 10 cm between each clove.

Step 5: After planting, water the garden bed or pot well and apply a 5 cm layer of mulch like sugar cane or pea straw. This will help keep the soil moist.

Step 6: When the first garlic shoots emerge through the mulch, start feeding every fortnight with Yates Thrive® All Purpose Soluble Plant Food. It’s a complete plant food that’s high in nitrogen to promote healthy leaf growth as well as phosphorus and potassium to encourage development of good sized garlic bulbs. Keep feeding and watering regularly.

After around 8 months, or when a few of the leaves start to die back, it’s time to harvest. Hang harvested plants (with the leaves still attached) in an airy sheltered spot for about a month to dry and cure, then it’s ready to use.
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Leafy goodness
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Whether you whizz it up in a green smoothie, use in a stir fry, bake into chips, add to a frittata or mix in with pasta or rice dishes, kale is a healthy and versatile vegie that’s become increasingly popular over recent years.

Kale is rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, as well as having the health benefits of other plants in the brassica family. Yates® Kale Tuscan is a mild flavoured variety that can be cut from around 7 weeks.

Kale Growing Guide:

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