How to grow garlic in Perth

How to grow garlic in Perth Western Australia

Garlic is one of the most famous of all the herbs and a good starting point if you want to experiment with growing herbs. Growing garlic in Perth is easy, like many other herbs. Garlic is a member of the allium family which also includes leeks, shallots and onions. Plant some garlic in your backyard and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time at all.

Garlic is a simple herb to grow, but there are still a few tricks to successfully growing garlic in Perth, Western Australia. Get these right and you will be laughing.

Types of Garlic varieties:
There are two common types of garlic softneck garlic and hardneck garlic. Softnecks are the most commonly grown and easiest to grow. Softnecks generally don’t have a flowerhead and have a longer shelf life. Hardnecks do have flowerheads like onions, and generally have fewer but bigger cloves. They will not have as good a shelf life as the softnecks and prefer cooler winters.

Purple-stripe garlic and Australian White garlic are available at most good nurseries and you may even find some more exotic varieties to try at your local nursery.

When to plant garlic in Perth:
The best time to plant garlic in Perth is March through April as some growth can occur before winter giving energy to the developing bulb. Garlic needs free-draining soil and won’t tolerate wet feet. Add compost and turn it into the soil a few weeks before planting your garlic bulbs.

Planting garlic in Perth:
Separate the individual cloves from the bulb and plant them so the pointy tip of the clove is about 2cm below the ground.

Plant garlic in any sunny, well-drained spot in the garden or a pot. Plant your garlic in a sunny spot. Come spring, they should be getting 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. If you want to grow a crop of garlic plant rows, spacing each clove about 15cm apart.

Weed around your garlic every couple of weeks as they don’t like competition, water regularly and fertilise through their growing season using a slow-release fertiliser. Adding a layer of mulch around each plant keeps weeds down and moisture in your soil is also a good idea. The first shoots should start to appear in as little as 2 weeks.

How to grow garlic in a pot:
Growing garlic in pots is a great idea if you are short of space.

  1. Choose a pot that is at least 30-40cm in diameter. Position your pot in a sunny spot and fill with potting mix which has been enriched with dynamic lifter.
  2. Separate the individual cloves of garlic and push these into holes 2cm to 5cm deep and 10-20cm apart, ensuring the garlic clove is pointy end up. Water in well.
  3. Water regularly throughout the garlic growing season to keep soil moist, but not wet – you don’t want the bulbs to rot!
  4. Feed twice in winter with dynamic lifter soil improver and plant fertiliser. Once spring hits and the weather warms, feed weekly with liquid plant food.
  5. To harvest garlic, wait until the flower has browned and died, then using a small trowel, gently lift from underneath and pull on the stem.

When to harvest garlic in Perth:
September – December is the typical harvest period for WA garlic.

Crops take many months to grow and are harvested when the foliage starts to die back usually in late spring or early summer. You can leave a few bulbs in the ground for a second season. Store your garlic bulbs in a cool, dry place and they will last up to 9 months.

How to store garlic at home:
Light and moisture are garlic’s worst enemies, as they cause mold to grow. Store your home-grown garlic at room temperature in a dry, dark place that has plenty of air circulation, like in an open paper bag in a cupboard or pantry.

Garlic care and common mistakes:
Do not plant supermarket-bought or imported garlic cloves. They are full of pests and disgusting chemicals. These chemicals are often designed to stop the garlic from sprouting on the supermarket shelves.

If your crop has mites, definitely don’t replant that crop next season. Just eat it all. You know your plant has mites if young shoots emerge streaky and twisted, but then develop normally after that.

If you have any tips and tricks on how to grow garlic then feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Check out our other how to grow in Perth guides:

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