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Garlic

 Latin Name : Allium sativum L
 Family : Liliaceae (Alliaceae)
 Genus : Allium
 Common names : Garlic, Softneck garlic, harneck garlic, rocambole
 
Garlic flower

Garlic, native to central Asia and a member of the lily family, is a hardy bulbous perennial widely cultivated in most parts of the world for its edible bulb. The bulb which is used mainly as a flavouring in foods grows beneath the ground. Garlic, one of the oldest vegetable crop contains compounds that are antibacterial, antifungal and reduce blood clotting. It helps to lower blood pressure and is considered as a cure for heart ailments. It contains vitamins A and C, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, and a number of amino acids.

The leaves of garlic are erect, narrow, flat and bladelike, with a crease down the middle. Most varieties will reach 12 to 18 inches tall at maturity. The underground compound bulb consists of groups of white or purplish scales that is usually divisible into 6-20 segments. Each group is referred to as a clove, and the individual cloves form in a round bulb that varies slightly in shape, colour and flavour depending on the variety and on growing conditions. There are more than two dozen varieties of garlic.

Propagation, Planting and Harvesting :

Garlic never produces fertile seeds and must be propagated by dividing the bulbs into individual cloves carefully and planting each clove as a set. It is  grown as an annual and planted from September through February.

Garlic

Garlic prefers a sunny position in a moist, light, well-drained soil with a pH of 4.5 to 8.3. It can tolerate periods without rain, but best results come from plants that receive regular watering. The site selected for planting garlic must have excellent drainage and adequate sunlight. Condition the soil with lots of organic matter, bone meal etc one or two weeks before planting. Add more sand if the soil is clayish. Individual Cloves can be planted 2-3 inches deep with their noses just below the soil surface and 4-6 inches apart. amaged cloves should not be planted to avoid diseases or pests.

Harvest is usually sometime from mid-July through August, about nine months after planting depending upon conditions and the type of garlic. Bulbs should be dug-up when 2-3 leaves turn brown.  Be careful not to bruise or injure the bulbs, dig carefully beside the plant and then underneath it with a spading fork to loosen the plant, lift the bulb up and gently remove excess dirt.

Garlic with the entire bulb and stalk, must be well dried and cured after harvest, before being stored. Tie the garlic stalks together about a dozen in a bundle, and hang them up to be dried for two to three weeks in an airy well-ventilated location not under direct sunlight. Once dry, the roots should be trimmed off and the stalk removed about an inch from the head. Bulbs store best with good air circulation on all sides. Bulbs to be saved for later planting can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 8 months. Fresh garlic is best stored in an open container in a cool, dark place. Bulbs should be able to keep for eight weeks at a time - whereas if you break the cloves off individually, they will begin to dry after about three days.

Problems and Care :

Weeds and drought are two major enemies of garlic. It is important to keep your garlic weeded. Weeds use up moisture needed by your garlic plants and also can harbor molds. Ideally, the plant should receive an inch of water -rain and irrigation per week during leaf development and 1-1/2 inches of water a week after bulbs begin to form in June. The need for water decreases when nearing harvest. Stop irrigation a couple of weeks before the crop is harvested in late July or early August.

They will need a little fertilizer say when the plant has grown to about 6 inches tall to keep them going. Provide well-drained soil to prevent bulb rot and other diseases. Mulch with partially decomposed compost after planting, to prevent weeds, keep soil evenly moist, and provide disease protection.


Questions of
 Questions & Answers
 1.  Posted on : 26.4.2012  By  :  Geetha , Coimbatore View Answer (0) Post Answer
 

Sir, I would like to grow cardamom in my home garden. Is it possible to grow in this place? Where can i get the seeds or sapling?

 
 2.  Posted on : 4.9.2010  By  :  Radhika , Pune, Pune View Answer (1) Post Answer
 

What are Burdock seeds called in India and where can i get them here in India?

 
A1: 

In marathi it is called ghagra. Burdock is a plant that is related to the daisy family. It is also closely related to Echinacea, Dandelion, and Feverfew. Burdock is an herb but it is one that has been much neglected when it comes to getting attention. Back in ancient times the Greeks used the roots, the seeds, and the greens and used them for healing purposes. Throughout the Middle Ages Burdock was used for both food and medicine. Today, Burdock is still used for such things as easing liver problems and digestive disorders. It was also found to be very effective for cleansing the skin for problems such as acne and also to assist in digestive problems. To this day throughout Europe the stalk and the greens are still eaten because they hold such valuable nutrition and vitamin values. As more and more research is being done on Burdock many new and interesting discoveries are cropping up. A relationship is being examined between Burdock and its anti fungal and anti bacterial properties, and even more important it is showing signs of possibly being able to fight against tumors and could be a cancer fighting agent as well. Research has shown that since many of the cancer causing compounds are in almost all foods which are then eaten and stored in the human fat tissues that Burdock might very well be of help in fighting cancer because of the role that it can play in depleting these mutagens. Burdock is also very helpful in strengthening the immune system when it has become weakened by environmental factors. When mixed with other herbs such as Dandelion and Ginger it can be a very powerful blood purifier. The most unique fact about Burdock is that it has a very high amount of inulin which is a natural occurring chemical within the body that mimics actions of insulin. Because of this, Burdock has been successful in helping combat hypoglycemia and pre diabetes conditions. If you look for Burdock in the market you may find it called gobo instead as that is what some refer to it as. It is often combined with other vegetables or added to Tofu. Some boil Burdock while others sautי or deep fry it. Many have said it might not be such a good idea to look at Burdock before you eat it because you might change your mind about taking a bite. It looks thick, dark, and woody but indeed the opposite is true when it comes to the taste. Burdock is well recognized as a health food because it has low calorie content and a high fiber intake. It is also loaded with potassium, iron, and calcium. People claim that Burdock tastes like nothing else. In other words it has a taste all of its own. The best description that people can agree on when it comes to the flavor of Burdock is that it is sweet yet earthy, with a tender and crisp texture. It is often added to stews, soups, and stir fries. In the form of food, Burdock is highly nutritional and full of vitamins but in retrospect Burdock is also an effective herb for bringing the body back into balance.

  Posted By :Yashashri Joshi , Thane | On 14.3.2012
 3.  Posted on : 28.3.2010  By  :  Linda , Michigan View Answer (1) Post Answer
 

Can a Clove tree be bonsai or grow as house plants like bay leaf or allspice?

 
A1: 

Yes, Clove is a nice tree to plant in a house, Also you can maintain as a bonsai.

  Posted By :Rynco Orchids , trivandrum | On 17.4.2010
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