Did you know that growing garlic in Southern California is relatively easy? The key is to plant them in the right growth environment during the recommended growing season so that you can have the kind of harvest that you’ve always hoped for. Failing to meet the needs of your growing garlic plants would stunt their growth, cause them to bulb poorly, and become more vulnerable to pests, as well as diseases.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is grown underground and it takes on the form of a bulb with green shoots and edible flower stalks. About 10 to 20 cloves make up the garlic’s bulb or head. When you’re trying to cook garlic, you’ll need to remove the inedible paper-like skin that covers the head in order to reveal the yellowish flesh that adds flavor to your food.
If you think that garlic is a vegetable, think again. It happens to be a member of the lily family where the leeks, shallots, and onions belong to. In the world of culinary arts, garlic is known to be one of the most important flavoring ingredients in various cuisines around the world.
Knowing How To Plant And Grow The Two Main Types Of Garlic
There are two main types of garlic – the softneck garlic or artichoke garlic, and the hardneck garlic or top-setting garlic. You have to find out which garlic varieties thrive in the southern half of California, and which ones match your cooking purposes and your taste buds. It’s important to note that growing garlic isn’t the same for each variety.
Although softneck varieties don’t usually produce a flower scape, they tend to mature earlier and produce more cloves than the hardneck types. Furthermore, they tend to grow best in areas that experience mild winters and hot summers.
If you’re planning to make beautiful and long-lasting braids of garlic heads, it’s best to grow softneck types such as Silver Rose and Siciliano. You’ll know that it’s time to plant your softneck garlic when you’re planting your spring-flowering bulbs.
You can reap a harvest the following spring, summer, or early fall if you plant your garlic in the fall. Be sure to plant the cloves with their pointed ends facing upward. While you’re at it, keep in mind that you’ll need to plant them at least 6 inches apart and about 4 inches deep.
Hardneck garlic varieties are known to be very hardy. Whether you plant them in areas with warm climates or cold winters, you can still expect them to provide you with a bountiful harvest. However, when you grow them in places where the climate is warmer, they tend to produce smaller heads than hardneck garlic that are planted in much colder areas.
A great way to improve the yield is to make sure that the flower scapes are cut off as soon as you notice them curling around on themselves. By getting rid of the flower scapes, you’ll cause the plant to direct all of its energy toward the production of garlic cloves.
When Is The Best Time To Plant Garlic In California?
As previously mentioned, the best time to plant garlic in Southern California is in the fall. Even if you accidentally left some garlic cloves in the ground during the summer season, these won’t begin to show signs of growth until the fall. In other words, you shouldn’t expect garlic to sprout right away if you plant them in the summer because they tend to wait for fall conditions before they do so.
Make sure that you plant your garlic cloves in a sunny area. They also grow best when you plant them in well-drained soil.
Where Does Garlic Grow In California?
Gilroy’s Christopher Ranch and San Joaquin Valley’s Garlic Company, which are the biggest garlic producers in the country, are both located in the Golden State. In fact, more than 90% of our country’s commercial garlic is grown in California.
Christopher Ranch happens to be the biggest garlic grower in the U.S. with over 50% of the nation’s garlic crops grown in it. Furthermore, the Garlic Company is strategically located in an area where the climate and the quality of the soil are ideal for growing these crops.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Garlic?
It usually takes about nine months for garlic plants to mature if they’re grown under ideal conditions.
Does Garlic Multiply?
Yes, it does! Aside from the fact that garlic plants don’t require much space in your garden, they’re also extremely easy to grow.
The individual cloves that are broken off from the whole garlic head will multiply once they’re planted in the ground. To give you an idea, each of these cloves will potentially produce a bulb that’s made up of about 5 to 10 cloves.
When Is Garlic Ready For Harvest?
Your garlic crops will be ready for harvest when it’s late spring or summer. Keep an eye out for green leaves that are starting to turn brown, and green flower scapes that are starting to soften.
Top Reasons Why Growing Garlic In Southern California Greenhouses Is The Right Choice
Growing garlic in Southern California is made easier with an enclosure called a greenhouse that’s specifically designed to cultivate your plants. Check out the top reasons why this could be the right choice for you.
You can control your plant’s growth environment
Did you know that greenhouse growing means having greater control over your plants’ growing environment? For instance, you’ll be able to change the direction of the sun’s rays in order to evenly distribute the heat, light, and humidity inside the enclosure.
You can extend the growing season
Since having your own greenhouse will allow you to control your plants’ growth environment, you can choose to plant garlic whenever you want to.
You can keep the pests and predators out
A greenhouse can protect your plants from persistent pests and predators. These pests could be any of those pesky bugs and predators could be a mole, rabbit, deer, or raccoon.
When it comes to growing garlic in Southern California, you could never go wrong with greenhouse gardening. If you’re looking to find a strong and durable greenhouse that’s specifically designed to stand the test of time, check out Krostrade’s products today.