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Posted on: September 8, 2019 at 8:40 am

Garlic is one of those spices that can bring an entire dish together. Roasted, toasted, sautéed, pureed, fried, baked… however you choose to incorporate garlic into a dish, the flavor is all yours to savor. Garlic is strongly aromatic, and it’s been recognized for ages for its culinary and medicinal uses. 

Growing garlic is one of the easiest gardening ventures you can undertake. Garlic is easy to plant and it can grow almost anywhere. It does well in cold climates and areas where water does not collect at the bottom of the soil, to prevent rot and disease infestation. Since they are small plants, they require very little space in your garden and little stress on your part. Garlic can either be planted in the fall or spring [1]

For a well-nourished yield, choose a fertile, well-drained, and moist soil with a pH of 6.5-7. You can either set out a bed or plant directly in your garden. Spinach, potatoes, carrots, and eggplants are great companion plants for garlic. However, keep garlic away from asparagus, peas, parsley, and sage. These plants tend to compete with garlic for nutrients, usually stunting the growth.

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Homegrown Garlic in a Few Easy Steps:

  • Choose a sunny spot in your garden.
  • Remove stones and dirt from the topsoil of your planting space. This is to prevent any deformation when the plants start to sprout.
  • Make a compost tea mixed with a few tablespoons of 5-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Work it nicely into the soil for an increased yield. 
  • Raised beds are best for growing bulbous plants. Break a matured garlic up into cloves, and with the pointed end facing upward, bury it 1-2 inches into the ground. 
  • The cloves should be spaced by 4-6 inches, and the rows of beds can be spaced by 2-3 inches. 
  • Cover with about 1-2 inches of clear soil and put down 5-6 inches of mulch materials to protect the soil from overheating or over-drying.
  • Carefully water the soil at intervals, making sure not to let any water pool at the bottom. Garlic doesn’t require a lot of water and it tends to rot easily when the moisture content is too high. Water only when the topsoil is completely dry.
  • Add a teaspoon of low-decomposing compost every two weeks and a high-nitrogen fertilizer every month.
  • Cut off any flowers or weed stalks that bloom with your plants. They could mess up the flavor and delay growth.
  • In about 90 days, you should have 5 to 6 leaves sprouted already. Your plants are now ready to be harvested. [2] 

Health benefits of garlic

Garlic helps to combat cough and common cold

Garlic is rich in antibacterial and antiviral compounds that help to ward off common colds and flu. If you’re not allergic to garlic, you can chew it, use it in your meals, or just inhale the aroma regularly. It helps to reduce discomforting symptoms from colds.

When it comes to colds and flu, garlic is royalty when it comes to prevention. Studies have shown that garlic can reduce the rate of sickness to be reduced by those who regularly consume garlic supplements [3][4]. Researchers found that garlic reduced the frequency of the common cold by 60-70%. While supplements are not the same as whole food, consuming garlic daily in your foods will at the very least offer some protection. 

Combats High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Garlic is a popular “good for the heart” food. High blood pressure, low blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels are the major driving forces of heart diseases. Heart attacks are usually caused by a condition known as atherosclerosis, the hardening or clogging of the arteries by plaque build-up. Regular consumption of garlic is believed to help in cleaning out the arteries and keeping them unclogged. 

In a 2013 study, 300-1500mg of garlic extract tablets were administered to hypertensive patients [5]. After 6 months, it was discovered that the doses were just as effective as Atenolol, a common beta-blocker, in reducing symptoms of high blood pressure.

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Garlic May Help with Your Blood Sugar 

Is there anything garlic can’t do? Yes, plenty, but helping with your blood sugar is on its list of benefits. There is evidence that shows that garlic intake helps to lower fasting blood glucose [6]. This is good news for those with pre- or  type II diabetes.  

Again, while many of the studies seem to focus on supplemental extracts of garlic, it’s important to consume this as whole food as well. Including whole cloves of garlic in your diet is an excellent habit to have!

Garlic is a wonderful spice that should never be absent from your kitchen, and now, your garden as well! It’s easy to grow, nurture, nourish, and preserve. Follow this link for a full supply of the most amazing garlic-dominant recipes you just have to try.

  1. Emma Smizer. How to Grow Garlic At Home. Shareably. https://shareably.net/grow-garlic-at-home/. Retrieved 05-09-19
  2. Admin. GROWING GARLIC. Alamanac. https://www.almanac.com/plant/garlic. Retrieved 05-09-19
  3. Gosling P. Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Pub Med. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11697022. Retrieved 05-09-19
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22280901
  5. Ashraf et al. Effects of Allium sativum (garlic) on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. Pub Med. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24035939. Retrieved 05-09-19
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26693740
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