6 Reasons to Grow Your Own Garlic - Backyard Boss
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6 Reasons to Grow Your Own Garlic

Garlic is highly versatile. From cooking in the kitchen to making anecdotes to thwart colds and flu, it does so much for so many. What’s not to love? People have been using it for millennia — Sanskrit record showing medicinal use 5,000 years ago! Talk about making history!

Local stores or farmer’s markets carry garlic for purchase. However, it’s simple and worthwhile to grow your own. These are the top six reasons why.

Freshness and Flavor

hands harvesting garlic
Image credits: Andrew Pustiakin via Shutterstock

As with any food, the closer you get to the source, the better preserved its flavor and freshness will be. Garlic is no exception! The United States is the world’s largest garlic importer. Suppliers need to account for shipping times to import food, which means they often harvest your food before its peak ripeness.

With fresh homegrown food, you pick it when it’s ripe for optimal flavor. As a bonus, nutrient levels are higher the closer the consumption is to the harvest.

Another benefit of homegrown food is the ability to control the safety and handling, reducing the risk of contamination. Homegrown food also keeps greenspace in the community! Fresh foods can take your cooking to a whole new level! Planting your own crop is an excellent idea if you live far from a local source.

Pro Tip: Some types of garlic produce scapes that must be pruned from the plant. Save these scapes to use in the kitchen for mild garlic flavor!

Health Benefits

garlic beside a mortar and pestle
Image credits: Jonathan Rubio via Creative Commons

This root vegetable has been a staple to many cultures and civilizations throughout the years. For centuries, people have used garlic for medicinal purposes. Its benefits include anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Garlic may reduce blood pressure, improve gut health, brain function, and more!

Phytonutrients, such as allicin, are the plant compounds that protect garlic — and you — from disease and infection. Aside from these nutrients, garlic contains beneficial amounts of antioxidants, minerals, and fiber. Since nutrients decrease the longer the food sits and travels, fresh is best if you want to tap into its health benefits. Your garlic garden is the gift that keeps on giving!

Off-Season Crop

Snow covered garlic sprouts in garden
Image credits: Stephen D. Melkisethian via Creative Commons

Do you have empty garden space after cleaning up your garden in the fall? Garlic is the perfect way to keep your garden working for you throughout the cold months of the year! It is relatively hardy in cold temperatures, and with some surface-level protection such as mulch, your cloves will stay cozy all winter long.

Fill the space by planting cloves about three weeks before the ground freezes. Doing this allows for a good root system to develop before the freeze. Your garlic will be ready in late spring to early summer, allowing you to plant other vegetables in time for a fall harvest.

Money Savings

Bunch of harvested garlic bunch
Image credits: Shelley Pauls via Unsplash

Homegrown food can save you money in the long term. The initial cost of planting is relatively low, and you can use your cloves each year for replanting the following fall. Just choose your best and biggest cloves to improve your yields each season!

Not only can you enjoy the money savings of having your own, but you can also pass on the love. Regift fresh homegrown garlic to family and friends!

Easy to Grow

Hand planting in soil
Image credits: cogdogblog via Creative Commons

Have you ever planted onions in your home garden? Growing garlic is a similar process. Planting the cloves in spring may yield some garlic; however, fall planting is optimal.

To do so, wait for a hard frost before planting the individual cloves. After a few weeks, a root system develops, allowing the vegetable to survive the winter. Cover with a protective layer, such as 3 to 4 inches of mulch, and wait! In spring, applying fertilizer and trimming the scapes will help your plants thrive.

Overall, garlic is a relatively easy and low-maintenance plant to have at home.

Great Garden Companion

Garden filled with garlic plants with mulch covering the garden beds
Image credits: Paul Neumann via Pixabay

Like humans, some plants get along better with some more than others! From enhancing flavors or growth to repelling insects, companion planting can boost productivity in your garden.

Some gardeners say garlic helps enhance the aroma and flavor of plants such as roses, beets, and cabbage. As a member of the onion family, it pairs well with other members of its family, strawberries, and tomatoes. Not just an enhancer, garlic repels pests such as aphids, cabbage maggots, codling moths, peach borers, and rabbits, amongst others.

You’ll Clove It!

Garlic provides so many benefits in the kitchen and for your health. Since fresh is best, having your own source only improves the benefits more — and perhaps saves you money, too! With little effort and maximum yield, let garlic fill up your empty garden space this winter and be rewarded in the spring!

Do you plant garlic in your garden in the fall? Comment below and share this post with other garlic lovers!