When you learn how much garlic benefits you, you’ll want to learn how to grow garlic at home so you can keep it around! Not only does it taste delightful, it’s been used for thousands of years for its abundant health benefits! Garlic is one of the most valuable foods in the world!
Garlic Benefits & How To Grow Garlic at Home
Yes, garlic adds wonderful flavor to recipes, but it’s also extremely beneficial to your health! In fact, garlic is probably the most popular medicinal herb in history. For example, Greek physician Hippocrates, 460-370 BC “The Father of Western Medicine”, used garlic to treat a large range of illnesses. Hippocrates prescribed garlic to treat: respiratory problems, fatigue, parasites and indigestion, for instance. (Source: Journal of Nutrition,)
I worked at a health food store for years, and always noticed something about the older ladies. We had several elderly ladies that were regulars at the Health Food store, and they all had one thing in common… They all had garlic breath. These ladies were in their 90’s and still fully functional on their own, and an inspiration.
Garlic is good for your heart and helps prevent heart attacks. But it also is a strong immune system booster, circulation booster, and a natural antibiotic. Include garlic in your daily diet for your health!
Garlic has an amino acid called allin. When you eat garlic, the alliinase enzyme converts to alliin into allicin. Allicin has the antibiotic effect and an antibiotic effect equal to 1% of penicillin.
During World War 1, garlic was used to treat infections and to prevent gangrene because of it’s antibiotic effects! (Prescription for Nutritional Healing Dr. Balch)
Garlic is also antifungal and works to get rid of athletes foot, candidiasis, yeast infections and viruses.
Garlic, taken in concentrated form or extracts, is good for the respiratory system. That’s because , Garlic has natural antibiotic properties, and prevents or improves respiratory illnesses like: colds and bronchitis. AND Garlic consumption also reduces the risk of Lung Cancer!
- In PLOS One, Public Library of Sciences, a study was published about ‘allicin’ which is produced by garlic to ward off plant pathogens. ‘Allicin’ is extracted from raw garlic and also inhibits the growth of bacteria in humans. It kills the bacteria Burkholderia Cepacia Complex which causes severe lung infections in those with Cystic Fibrosis.
- Studies also show that regular garlic supplementation may also reduce the risk of lung cancer by almost half! Sources: American Association for Cancer Research. “Raw Garlic Consumption as a Protective Factor for Lung Cancer, a population-based, case-control study in a Chinese population.” AND Dr. Lina Mu, associate professor at UB with Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, professor at UCLA. Dr. Gary Giovino, professor at UB, and Dr. Shen-Chih Chang @ UCLA, contributed to this research.
Garlic is very good for your cardiovascular system too! Properties in Garlic thin the blood so platelets don’t stick together. It also lowers blood pressure and helps prevent hardening of the arteries.
- Diallyl trisulfide, a component in garlic oil, helps protect the heart after heart attacks, researchers @ Emory University School of Medicine documented. Those researchers believe diallyl trisulfide can be used for treatment of heart failure too.
- In lab experiments using mice, scientists found that after a heart attack mice that received diallyl sulfide had less than half the heart damage, compared to untreated mice.
- In Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, scientists discovered that garlic oil can help protect people with diabetes from cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is a disease that makes it hard for Your heart to pump blood sufficiently to the rest of your body, and it’s a main cause of death in diabetics.
Garlic Lowers High Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
- A team of researchers at Ankara University studied the effects of Garlic Extract on blood lipid levels in people with high cholesterol.
- The study took 23 volunteers with high cholesterol. Thirteen of those volunteers also had high blood pressure.
- Researchers divided those volunteers into 2 groups: Those with high blood pressure, and those with normal blood pressure.
- These volunteers took garlic extract for four months, and had their blood checked regularly.
- After that 4 month trial, researchers said, “garlic extract supplementation improves blood lipid profile, strengthens blood antioxidant potential, and causes significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures. It also leads to a decrease in the level of oxidation product (MDA) in the blood samples, which demonstrates reduced oxidation reactions in the body.”
- To put it plainly, garlic extract supplementation lowered high cholesterol and blood pressure. The study is published in Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
BUT the list doesn’t end there… Garlic also helps prevent certain cancers too!
How To Grow Garlic
Garlic is an herb that always make it on the grocery list, but you can easily grow plenty in your garden too! Whether you use it cooked or raw, garlic provides a wonderful flavor to all sorts of food.
Where To Plant Garlic
Plant garlic in a well draining new area, that was not previously used to grow garlic. Garlic will det diseased, or rot in the ground if it gets soaked in water, so make sure it is a well draining area.
How To Plant Garlic
First, separate the garlic cloves. Then, plant cloves 4 to 6 inches apart. Make sure that each row of garlic is one foot away from the other. Place garlic cloves in the soil with pointed end facing up, and the blunt end facing down. Then, push each clove one to two inches into the soil. Pat soil firm around each clove. Water beds when dry, do not over water.
When Should I Plant Garlic?
You can plant garlic in the spring and fall. Before you plant, check out this resource! Just enter your zip code and it will give you the best time to plant in your area!
Fall Garlic Planting
In mid-fall, plant garlic in a sunny spot with well-drained fertile soil. Plant garlic cloves blunt or root side down four to six inches apart. Make garlic rows at least 1 feet apart, then cover with a couple inches dirt. In Northern areas, cover beds with six inches of mulch for cold weather protection. Your mulch will help prevent garlic roots from being damaged from freezing & thawing.
Garlic that is planted in the fall will begin growing in late fall – early spring.
Spring Garlic Planting
In the spring, plant garlic cloves as early as your can work the soil. This should be about the same time period as onion sets. When planting garlic in the spring, plant garlic cloves blunt or root side down four to six inches apart. Make your garlic rows at least 1 feet apart, and then cover with a couple inches dirt.
How to Care For Garlic Plants
After garlic leaves start growing, you should add fertilizer, or nutrition, to feed garlic plants and help them grow. 1-2 teaspoons of high-nitrogen fertilizer, like blood meal or Osmocote, that decomposes slowly, can be gently worked into the dirt by each garlic plant. After that, add another layer of mulch to keep moisture in and weeds out!
Later in the spring, some types of garlic grow a flower stalk with small bulbils. However, you’ll want to cut the stalk off. Cutting off the flower stalk makes sure that the garlic bulb itself grows big and not the flowers.
Around June your garlic plants will stop growing new leaves, and they’ll and start to grow bulbs. This is when you remove mulch, and stop watering! You want to stop watering because garlic will store much better when you let the dirt around garlic bulbs dry out!
When To Harvest Garlic
Usually you harvest garlic from the middle of July through August, but it differs for each climate. However, You know it’s time when the garlic plant leaves turn brown! Don’t leave garlic bulbs in the ground too long after leaves turn brown! If your garlic bulbs are left in the soil too long, they will separate and won’t store good.
Carefully dig garlic bulbs out of soil, and lay them out in a shady area for two to three weeks to dry. Don’t let your garlic get wet after this point, because they won’t store well if they do. If it’s going to rain, bring them in!
Once roots on your bulbs are dry, you can rub them, and extra soil, off.
How To Store Garlic Bulbs
Once your garlic is dry, you can store them beautifully by braiding the leaves. You can also store them un bunches or cut off the stems. You can hang bunched or braided garlic in a cool dry area, or store bulbs with stems removed in a tub. Garlic should be stored in a cool, dry area with good airflow… And, ENJOY!
Learn More about garlic benefits & how to grow at home garlic at home in how to start a garden!