Fruit and Vegetables

Garlic - Allium sativum


Garlic is one of the most cultivated aromatic plants in the world, there are traces of it even in the times of the ancient Egyptians, and its cultivation is so widespread that it is difficult to find the original areas. It is a bulbous, of the alliaacee family; It is a perennial plant, but it is grown as an annual, since the bulbs are consumed by removing them from the ground. It produces the corms we know well, divided into comma-shaped bulbils, and a thin stem that bears some long arched leaves; in spring it produces a long stem that carries numerous small white or pinkish flowers.

How to grow it

To produce heads of garlic, place the bulbils directly in the ground, grounding them lightly in a good, loose and very well drained soil, fertilized with slow-release granular fertilizer. Planting takes place in autumn, in areas with not too cold winters, or in late winter; the cloves are planted in rows, at least 25-30 cm apart. Generally they do not need watering, since the growing season is sufficiently humid; it may happen that you have to water them at the time of planting in the case of a particularly dry autumn. After planting the bulbils, the work to do is scarce, apart from the continuous removal of weeds, taking care not to disturb the root system of the allium sativum, which remains very superficial; generally the new heads develop as soon as they are buried, or even above the ground, and are clearly visible.
As soon as you begin to develop the floral buds, remove the stem that carries them, otherwise the plant would use the nutrients contained in the bulbs to produce the flowers, leaving us without harvest. If you want to accelerate the maturation of the garlic heads you can knot the stems with the leaves.
Once the heads have swollen, the garlic plants are uprooted and left to dry in the sun for a few days, at the end of which the bulbs of the outer leaves are cleaned and intertwined, to keep them longer.

The uses of garlic

Allium sativum is commonly used in the kitchen, to take advantage of its aromatic properties, in fact the cloves contain many sulfur compounds, which give the plant a pungent aroma, appreciated both raw and cooked; it is used for a thousand recipes, typically together with tomatoes, raw or in various types of sauces, and also with other vegetables. It is also used in roasts, sausages, or other meat dishes.
Allium sativum has a great use also in herbal medicine and in the pharmaceutical industry, in fact the small bulbs have a strong antibacterial effect, against intestinal parasites and also as regulators of arterial pressure.

Garlic - Allium sativum: Decorative garlic

In addition to allium sativum there are other varieties and species of garlic, which are generally used as decorative plants; in fact the large inflorescences can also be colored, and many species have very particular inflorescences. These are perennial bulbous plants, which from year to year give us new summer flowers; most of the decorative elements are large, and produce a large head of leaves from which long thin stems lead, which bear the large inflorescences. Like edible garlic, decorative decorations also give off an intense aroma, both from flowers and foliage; therefore it is often avoided to place them near the houses, as over time the pungent and intense aroma can become troublesome.