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  • Writer's pictureJere Folgert

Seven (7) Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Hardneck Garlic!

Updated: May 1

Garlic: The Rockstar of Your Garden (That's Easy to Grow.) 7 Reasons Why Garlic Should Be Your Garden's MVP (Most Valuable Plant)

Ever wondered how to add a little magic to your meals? Look no further than the humble hardneck garlic.  But forget the dried-up stuff at the store. Growing your own garlic is like having a tiny flavor factory in your backyard, and the best part? It's surprisingly easy. Ditch the flavorless store-bought stuff and embrace the garlicky goodness! With its ease of care, amazing taste, and unique planting time, garlic is the perfect addition to any garden, big or small. Get ready to add a little rockstar flavor to your meals, and maybe even spark a love for gardening along the way. Garlic. It's the kitchen hero that elevates everything from pasta dishes to roasted veggies. But have you ever considered giving store-bought garlic the boot and growing your own? Here are seven (7) reasons why garlic is the MVP (Most Valuable Plant) your garden needs.

1. Low Maintenance. Effortlessly Earning Garlic Glory:

Unlike some high-maintenance veggies that require green thumbs and daily pampering, garlic is the ultimate low-key champion. Just pop a clove in the ground in the autumn (pointy end up!), give it a drink every now and then, and watch it sprout like a tiny green champion. Forget fancy fertilizers and constant attention; even forgetful gardeners (we've all been there) can reap a delicious reward.

2. Flavor So Good, It's Criminal:

Homegrown garlic is a flavor revelation. Freshly harvested cloves are bursting with a robust, complex taste that will make your taste buds do a happy dance. Sauces sing, stir-fries sizzle, and even a simple slice of toast becomes an experience. Get ready to transform your cooking into a symphony of deliciousness.

3. Nature's Built-in Bodyguard:

Garlic isn't just delicious, it's a natural pest repellent! Unlike many veggies that attract hungry critters like moths to a flame, garlic's strong scent is a major turn-off for many garden foes. Aphids, beetles, and even some furry nibblers find the aroma downright offensive. So, while your other crops might be under siege, your garlic patch will be a peaceful, pest-free zone. You can practically hear the creepy crawlies whispering, "Nope, not today!" as they hightail it out of your garden.

4. Fall is Planting Time (Say What?!):

Garlic is the ultimate rule breaker in the garden. Most veggies crave sunshine and warm soil. Garlic, however, prefers to be planted in the fall, long before the first frost arrives. So, while you're cleaning up your summer garden, tuck some garlic cloves in for a cozy winter nap. Come spring, they'll wake up ready to grow into a bountiful harvest!

5. A Frost Fighter You Can Count On:

Forget worrying about surprise chills! Garlic is a frost-fighting ninja. Unlike most veggies that wilt at the first sign of cold, garlic actually thrives in cool weather. It needs a good winter chill to develop those plump, flavorful cloves. So, while your summer tomatoes are hiding indoors, your garlic will be out there, braving the elements like a tiny green warrior.

6. A Learning Lab in Your Backyard:

Growing garlic is a fantastic educational project for the whole family. Kids can witness the magic of nature firsthand, from planting a tiny clove to seeing a whole head of garlic emerge. It's a fun way to learn about plant growth cycles and the importance of healthy soil. Plus, there's nothing quite like the satisfaction of enjoying food you helped grow!

7. Garlic You Can Brag About:

There's a certain satisfaction that comes with harvesting your own garlic. Not only will you be rewarded with delicious cloves, but you can also boast to your friends and family about your garden prowess. Imagine the look on their faces when you tell them you single-handedly cultivated this culinary powerhouse!

So, what are you waiting for? Ditch the store-bought garlic and embrace the garlicky goodness! With its ease of care, amazing taste, and unique planting time, garlic is a shoo-in for your garden. Get ready to add a little flavor and a whole lot of fun to your gardening adventures!

Conclusion: If you live in a region with crisp winters, consider taking your garlic game to the next level with hardneck varieties. These gourmet garlicky wonders boast even bolder flavors and come in a wider range of colors and textures. Plus, they treat you to a bonus springtime treat – edible flower stalks called scapes! But remember, these superstars need that cold winter slumber to thrive. So, if frosty mornings are your norm during the winter, then hardneck garlic is the perfect way to transform your plot into a haven for this flavorful favorite. Happy garlic, happy life! To help your hardneck garlic thrive, imagine its ideal vacation spot: loose, fluffy soil with excellent drainage. This allows for good air circulation and prevents water from pooling around the cloves, which can lead to rot. Here's the science bit: aim for a soil pH around 6, which is kind of like the Goldilocks zone for garlic. Not too acidic, not too basic – just right for happy roots and the juiciest, most flavorful cloves you've ever experienced. So, a little pre-planting prep work goes a long way in creating a soil paradise for your garlicky gladiators.

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