Garlic crop sheet

Activity

Garlic can be a rewarding crop to grow in the school garden. This bulb is planted in late autumn around the time of Halloween. Individual pieces or sections of the garlic bulb are called cloves.

  • Estimated time: 15 minutes
  • Location: Outoors
  • School term: Late Autumn
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science

Learning objectives

  • Learn about parts of a plant (bulb)
  • Learn to plant at a specified distance
  • Learn what plants need to grow

Preparation

The soil, raised bed or planter should have already been cultivated, weed free with a fine, crumbly texture ready for planting.

Equipment needed

  • Rake or hand cultivator
  • Garlic bulbs for planting, available from garden centres
  • Label and pencil 
  • Measuring stick
  • Dibber

Step by step

  1. Take your garlic bulb apart to discover the individual cloves; you can see the flat, basal plate at the bottom.
  2. Use the measuring stick to make sure the row is straight and mark out with the dibber small holes 15cm apart. 
  3. Push the cloves into the holes to a depth of 3-5cm. Remember to have the flat part at the bottom.
  4. Make another row 30cm away and do the same again. Label the rows with the name of the plant and the date.
  5. Garlic requires little water as it grows over the winter. Rust may be a problem in the spring. This looks like orange rust on the leaves and stem. Remove infected parts of the plant.
  6. Your garlic will be ready to harvest when the leaves die back. Lift the bulbs and leave them to dry out on the surface of the soil.

Hints & tips

  • Garlic can also be planted in early spring. It does however require a cold period of two months between 0-10 Celsius for the best bulbs.
  • Plant garlic in raised beds as it enjoys well drained soil.

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