Garlic extracts are known as natural antiseptics and are therefore present in many cough and cold remedies. During the First World War garlic juice was used in field dressings to prevent gangrene. It has been shown to have a positive effect in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, thus slowing arterial plaque formation. Garlic is also thought to be beneficial in reducing the incidence of stomach, colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.
Garlic requires free draining soil and prefers a sunny position. Garlic can be planted in spring and autumn. We have opted to plant our garlic in between our onions as we planted them quite far apart. Individual cloves were planted 3cms deep and 10cms apart. There is no need to peel the cloves before planting. Previously I have planted garlic straight from a supermarket which grew very successfully. The problem with doing this is that you cannot guarantee a disease free variety and most supermarket produce is from overseas which may be suited to warmer climates. This time we have purchased garlic from the local garden centre.
The garlic will be ready for harvesting in late summer/early autumn when the leaves start to die down. Garlic can be stored in a frost free environment; I am still using last year’s produce.
Glossary ~ Plaque is the fatty deposits in the blood leading to heart disease and raised blood pressure.