Garlic is an easy to grow, versatile and delicious plant, with many great health benefits.
Garlic does best in light, well-drained soil and likes full sun. Improve the soil by adding compost such as Plants Plus Groganic before planting. Regular watering is important, do not allow the soil to completely dry out while new garlic bulbs are forming. This bulb growth occurs between March and September in Melbourne and ususally takes around 8 months to form harvest-sized bulbs.
While your garlic is actively growing, make sure it doesn't dry out. For a really heavy crop you can feed with a liquid fertilizer such as Maxicrop. Garlic can be grown either in the ground, or in suitibly large pots (250mm+). When growing in pots, use a premium potting mix like Terracotta & Tub and ensure to keep well watered.
As the leaves on your garlic plants start to brown at the tips and die down, gently lift the whole plant out of the ground with a garden fork. Be careful not to damage bulbs doing this, as damaged bulbs will not store very well. Don't wait until the tops have completely died back or the bulbs will be much less suitable for drying.
Hang the whole plant in bunches, or spread on racks, and allow to dry undercover for 2 to 3 weeks. The skins will then become papery and dry. Either plait the garlic or remove the leaves and roots, to store on racks or in net bags. Good air circulation is essential.
Bulbs store better stored whole, not separated into cloves.
If you are looking for the perfect gift for Mother's Day, a living bunch of flowers or something pretty for the garden, you can't go past a Cyclamen.
With a stunning array of colour, ranging from white, lilac, soft and bright pink, purple and even scarlet red, Cyclamen have become a household favourite. Not to mention that there are even some varieties that carries a sweet perfume.
Widely used as an indoor plant, Cyclamen will need the occasional break outside. This gives them a chance to recover from our heating systems that can weaken a Cyclamen, leaving it pale and unwell.
Cyclamen grow naturally in both hot and cold extremes, originating from areas of Europe and the Mediterranean.
Planting & Care
When growing Cyclamen in the garden, you should find a nice, protected, shady position.
Cyclamen will flower from February through to late August and move into a dormancy period through summer.