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Garlic is a herbaceous, perennial, bulbous plant cultivated for bulbs widely used in cooking and for antiseptic and refreshing properties. Its botanical name is allium.
It can be grown throughout Italy. It grows well in fertile and well-drained soils. It does not tolerate wet soils in which, in fact, it is more likely to be affected by fungal diseases.
Garlic is one of the most used aromas in the kitchen, essential to give liveliness to dishes. It has always been considered a cure-all thanks to its numerous medicinal virtues.
We add that its cultivation is rather simple, in addition to needing very little care and its maturation (especially of the early varieties) takes place in a period in which the garden is rather bare (and will not steal space for more profitable products): we will deduce it which is certainly worth adding to our crops.
History and characteristics of garlic
Allium sativum is a herbaceous plant cultivated as an annual belonging to the Liliaceae family. It has basal leaves up to 50 cm long. At maturity it produces an umbrella-shaped inflorescence up to 80 cm high, whose petals can go from white to pink to deep purple. From these develop fruits that contain seeds, which are rarely able to germinate. The propagation occurs mostly through division of the cloves (commonly called segments). These, after a period of dormancy, emit a bud and are therefore ready to be inserted into the ground. In the kitchen it has always been used to flavor raw vegetables, salads and sauces. It also goes very well with meat, soups, fish, mushrooms and stuffing.
Allium has antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive and even aphrodisiac properties. It has a good content of vitamins as well as minerals such as manganese and iodine.
It seems to have originated in Central Asia, but it was certainly known by the Egyptians. In Europe it was introduced and spread by the Romans, whose less well-off classes made a really massive use of them. Its popularity has always been increasing in the Middle Ages to the present day.
In many areas he has also been given the gift of removing evil creatures such as witches and vampires.
GARLIC IN BRIEF
|Height||From 30 cm to 1 m|
|Type of crop||easy|
|Need water||very light|
|Growth||From fast to slow, depending on the species and the period of planting|
|Multiplication||Division of bulbils|
|Rusticitа||Rustic up to -15 ° C|
|usages||Vegetable garden also possible in pot|
|soil||Very adaptable. No soils too compact and moist|
|Soil moisture||Always well drained|
How to grow garlic
The best times for cultivation are two: the month of November-the first days of December and February-March. They are sown in rows (about 50 cm apart) leaving about 15 cm between each plant. They must be fertilized in the spring period with trivalent slow-release fertilizers (with high potassium percentages).
Allium can be easily reproduced using cloves (bulbils). They must be planted at a depth of about 6-8 cm, remembering to point the tip upwards. Also in this case the best period is the winter one.
As we have said, the cultivation of garlic is not at all difficult, especially if the need to rotate the land is respected. This is essential to avoid the onset of diseases.
Exposure and climate
Garlic is a plant that is particularly resistant to cold (even down to -15 ° C). The best results, however, are obtained in rather mild areas or in any case by beginning the cultivation when the temperatures and the hours of light are increasing.
The essential conditions for the differentiation of bulbils are temperatures not lower than 10-15 ° and at least 11 hours of light a day. To obtain the best results it is therefore strongly recommended to insert the plants with southern exposure and when the temperatures never drop below 15 ° C, on the contrary it is between 18 ° and 23 °.
However, there are some varieties (especially of white and purple garlic) that are very resistant to cold (and less sensitive to humidity and rot) and allow early harvesting to be obtained, already in March. For these you can proceed with the planting also in autumn, generally in October.
Garlic is a very resistant plant and can be successfully cultivated in a large number of different soils, from the most sandy and siliceous to the clayey and rather compact ... However, there is a need for good drainage of water because these bulbs are particularly subject to to rot.
To improve the softness of the soil, and thus facilitate the growth of the bulb and its collection, it is good to devote oneself in time to a profound processing of the area by incorporating at least 300-400 q per hectare of mature manure or compost. To have the best results the ideal is to do this operation the year before the implant. Before implanting, the surface is refined and all the weeds are removed. In small soils (for example in a vegetable garden) if the soil is still too compact, it is possible to create ditches about 20 cm high and as wide, then sowing at the top. In this way the water drainage will be facilitated.
|February-March / October November||October-November; February March||September October||From April|
|June-July / May||April / June-July||October-November|