Growing Garlic in Canberra

What a treat ... fresh, flavour-packed garlic from your own garden or pot! And the good news is that the Canberra area has a great climate for easy-to-grow garlic.

What do i need?

A sunny spot

Good drainage - no wet feet

Well prepared soil or premium potting mix.

Certified disease free garlic bulbs to start with! (Imported bulbs from the supermarket will disappoint)

How do i grow Garlic? 

Plant garlic from mid March-June.

Prepare the planting bed in advance with well-rotted cow manure, compost and a complete plant food - we recommend Healthy Earth Fertiliser. Aim for a light fluffy soil; or you can mound the soil if is too heavy and less well drained. Canberra soils will usually need some garden lime added too, and you might need Healthy Earth Instant Clay Breaker to deal with heavy soils.

If you don’t have space for a bed, tuck them in between other plants or try growing them in a large pot (go for a deep one 30-40cms wide). It’s best to grow garlic in a new location each year over a 3-year cycle, to prevent disease build-up.

Break the bulb up into separate cloves and plant them with the pointy end up, at roughly 20cm spacing and at a depth of 3-5 cms (the tips will be just below the soil surface) - and rows about 30-40cms apart, to allow access for weeding. Water in well but not again until shoots appear.

Mulch generously (garlic does not like weed competition). Water regularly during the growing season and fertilise every 4-6 weeks with Healthy Earth Fertiliser.

Aphids can be a pest - just squash with fingers or use one of the many spray alternatives available from us.

Harvesting Your Garlic

Stop watering when the tops of the plants start to brown and the stems start to soften, around November or December (about 8-9 months later). Harvest promptly or else the cloves in the new bulb can start to separate.

Dig up carefully with a garden fork - no bruising! Allow to cure in a dry shady place for 2-3 weeks (hang them or spread on an airy rack). Then either plait and hang them, or store loose (with leaves and roots removed) in a dry airy place. In good conditions bulbs can be stored for up to 8 or 9 months - depending upon variety.

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