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Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Grow Garlic, how to grow your own garlic at home

Growing Garlic,  ways to grow garlic
Garlic  is not difficult to grow, but I have discovered that the weather conditions of the growing season do affect the crop that you will produce. 

In a good year you will get lots of garlic to harvest enough to store in a cool and airy shed or garage to use in your cooking in the future. In a poor year I have struggled to get a crop, but I have learned to accept that this as part of the luck involved in growing your own food. I think the good and average years make up for the less good years.  In a way  I believe that it makes you value the gluts and good harvests that you get and encourages you not to waste any of them.

Growing Garlic a simple guide to planting.
 Garlic can be planted in the following months of the year - October, November,December, January, February and March ( but I have planted garlic in March and thought it did not grow as well as the garlic planted in earlier months). 

Garlic needs cold weather in order for the individual cloves that you plant to split to form the new bulb with lots of cloves inside it. 

Planting Garlic.
 To plant the garlic you need to split open the bulb, as you will be planting the individual cloves inside it - separately, gently ease the cloves apart, you can remove the papery outer layer, you are now ready to plant them in the prepared area of soil.  

The bottom part of the garlic is called the basal plate (you keep that attached), the pointy bit of the garlic clove faces upwards.

Now plant each garlic clove in the ground - 10cm deep / 18cm apart 
and leave 30 cm between the rows. If the soil your planting them in is heavy then do not plant them as deeply. 

You can plant garlic in container or raised beds if you wish there is no reason why they will not grow in these containers. 

Garlic is Useful for Cooking and Health.
Garlic is used in recipes to add flavour to many of the foods we eat and is more popular then ever as par of our daily diets as it is said to be good for our health. Garlic is such a useful plant, good for the health as it is said to help to reduce cholesterol.  garlic has benefits of being antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities too. 

How garlic is used in recipes - pasta sauces, casseroles, soups etc, it can be roasted,fried or sauteed before being used.

Growing garlic is similar to growing onions from sets, but there are some differences in how you plant them and the conditions that they prefer. 

When is home grown garlic harvested - harvest your garlic in June, July, August or September.

a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote