Garlic is a nutritional powerhouse, and has been used for centuries to treat ailments. Garlic contains an enzyme, that when it is cut or crushed converts into allicin, which is responsible for the aroma of fresh garlic. Allicin is believed to be the compound in garlic with health benefits.
Benefits of Garlic
- Low in calories and very rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese.
- Helps boost immune system, which helps fend off the common cold or shorten length of cold symptoms.
- May reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure, which can lower risk of heart disease.
- Garlic contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging, which may reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimers.
- May reduce heavy metals and toxins in our body.
See full article about health benefits of garlic from Authority Nutrition here.
Fall is the BEST time to plant garlic, plant now and harvest next summer. Our garlic is all Canadian-grown and our gourmet selection is the best in Niagara. Here are the varieties we have brought in this year, 2016:
Bogatyr – Hard Neck variety. A strong fiery long-lasting heat, known as one of the spiciest hard neck varieties. Very assertive when used raw, excellent complex flavor when roasted
Metechi – One of the best! Spicy hot flavor, said to “grow like a weed and store like a rock”
Siberian- Spicy hot flavor becomes milder when stored, great grower and excellent storage
Russian Red Garlic – Hard Neck Type, spicy cloves
German White – Hard Neck variety, medium spiciness-great for roasting
Duganski- A fiery flavor that mellows out to a rich garlic aftertaste. Stores well
Elephant Garlic-Huge cloves, mild taste
Mexican Purple-Very spicy but becomes milder when baked
Legacy Garlic-Hard Neck ( Rocambole) type. Moderately spicy when first harvested and mellows with time. Rich flavor, great for roasting
Music-Hard Neck (Porcelain) type. A heritage variety- sweet, hot and pungent
Tips on Growing Garlic
- When you purchase garlic bulbs from us, you need to ‘crack’ the bulbs before planting–you will be planting a clove of garlic. It is preferable to do right before planting, but you can do it up to 24 hours before planting. At the bottom of a garlic bulb is the basal plate, you need to crack each clove from this plate cleanly. It is from this bottom of the clove that roots will grow.
- Check on the package of the garlic variety you are planting for planting depth. As a rule of thumb, hardneck varieties need to be planted 2″ deep.
- Fall is the best time to plant garlic. Planting should start as early as the middle of September, and as late as the full moon in November. Jerry experimented with planting garlic in December last year, since it was so mild, and found that planting so late resulted in small garlic.
- Garlic does not do well in wet soil. Make sure your location is not a low spot or a naturally wet area of your yard. Garlic will begin to rot if kept too wet.
- Mulch garlic beds heavily before the ground freezes with either straw or mulch. 4″ is a good starting depth, the colder the winter, the more protection they will require. If you mulch more than 4″, remember to rake out some mulch in spring. You only need about 2-3″ mulch for the spring/summer months.
- Next spring, keep watering consistent. Too little water during growing season produces tiny bulbs, too much water can create mold and rot. Mulch will help keep beds moist, but not too wet.
- Most garlic can be harvested in late summer. A few weeks before harvest stop watering garlic. When leaves begin to die and brown, it is a good indicator to start harvesting. Too make sure they are ready, inspect a few bulbs. Pull away dirt and see if you can feel the bumps of the cloves. Lift the garlic from the ground before wrappers begin to deteriorate or split.
Ontario is beginning to be known as a great place for growing garlic. Toronto even holds a garlic festival in September. Join this tradition of garlic growing in Ontario by trying some yourself.