Garlic, a small but powerful member of the onion tribe, resembles the shallot in growth, but the bulbs, or cloves, are white or silvery. It is for its bulbs that the plant is grown. It gives no trouble in light or sandy soil but is not so happy in ground of a heavy nature. It is propagated by means of bulbs, and 1] lb. will plant a 30-ft. row.
Ready for Use.
Bulbs are ready for lifting in July or August and can be stored under cover for use until spring.
A deep root is appreciated, with rotted greenstuff or manure worked in. Plenty of wood ash, or soot, should be raked in before planting; or i1 ounce sulphate of potash to the square yard.
Heavy soil should be lightened and made more porous by digging in sharp grit or sifted fire ashes throughout the top foot.
How and When to Plant.
Bulbs of garlic should be separated and planted 9 in. apart, in March or April. Drills are made with a corner of the hoe and the bulbs buried 2 in. deep, in light soil. If the ground is heavy it will be sufficient if the tops are just covered.
Unless the weather is unduly dry watering is not necessary. But frequent hoeing assists growth, and plants may be fed occasionally with 1 ounce of superphosphate per yard of row, or 1 ounce nitrate of soda, the fertilizer to be hoed in, and then watered in unless the soil is moist.
Storing for Winter.
Yellowing of the tops indicates ripening of the bulbs. The clusters should then be forked up and laid out on dry ground in the sun for a few days; or the tops bunched together and hung in a shed. Shelter from frost and damp is required for winter storage.
Preparing for Table.
Remove tops, roots, and outer skin. Taste and aroma are both powerful. Garlic should therefore be used with caution. To impart the flavour to food a cut bulb is rubbed on the warm dish in which the food is to be served up.