Growing garlic in Brisbane, knowing that garlic is a cool-season crop. It is a cool crop in general. In Brisbane, autumn or winter is the best time to plant, from late March to mid-June. Based on the moon calendar, I planted some garlic, but now I am worried about the heat wave.
Generally, the idea is to plant early so that the cloves to establish roots before the hot summer months. Garlic prefers well-draining soil rich in organic matter; normally, I mix horse manure with the soil, but my main provider decided to put a stop to that. We will see how that goes without. I will cover them with sugar cane.
Before planting, I separate the cloves from the bulb and spread them out, so it gives me a bit of an idea of how much space I need. Then I push them into the soil with the pointed end up, about 2-3 cm deep and 10-15 cm apart. But growing garlic in Brisbane is not that easy, there are several things you need to watch out for.
Common Garlic Diseases in Brisbane
When you grow garlic in Brisbane, or anywhere really, you know that garlic is susceptible to several diseases, including white rot, rust, and purple blotch. Because of the hot and humid climate, Brisbane grown garlic might be a bit more open to the following issues.
- White rot is a fungal disease that causes the roots to rot and the leaves to turn yellow.
- Rust is a fungal disease that causes orange pustules on the leaves.
- Purple blotch is a bacterial disease that causes purple spots on the leaves.
To prevent these diseases, plant disease-resistant varieties, avoid planting garlic in the same spot for over two years, and make sure the soil is well-draining and not too wet. If you notice any signs of disease, remove and destroy the affected plants immediately to prevent the disease from spreading. This is important. Last year, my patches got hammered by leaf rot and brown spot, so I am planting the veggies a bit wider to allow for ventilation. Hopefully, that will fix most of the issues.
Care for Growing Garlic
Garlic needs regular watering and fertilisation to grow well. For that reason, we fertilise with Comfry juice, either fermented or pressed, I also mix up worm castings, but this year the worms got competition from larvae who eat more than the worms. I have to fix up the worm farms to be larva-proof. Growing garlic in Brisbane is not like you put garlic in the ground and hoping for the best. We get the odd rain storm which can waterlog the veggie patch. So watering is tricky at times, winter can be wet but the westerlies that come through in August can dry out a veggie patch in a day. Water the plants deeply once a week, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Fertilise the plants with a balanced fertiliser that’s high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Potassium is good for most veggies hence we dry and sprinkle a lot of banana leaves and peals around the veggies. Mulching around the plants to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
Harvesting and Storing Garlic
Garlic is ready to harvest when the leaves start to yellow and fall over. Carefully dig up the bulbs, being careful not to damage them. Let them dry in a well-ventilated place for a few weeks until the skins are dry and papery. Plat the leaves in a long garlic string and hang them in a dark and cool place. They last a long time. You must check the bulbs before using them in your meal, as they can be a source of nastiness.
Nutritional Value of Garlic
Garlic is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here’s a table that shows the nutritional value of garlic per 100 grams:
|Vitamin C||31.2 mg|
In conclusion, growing garlic in Brisbane is easy if you know the best time to plant, common diseases to watch out for, and proper care, harvesting, and storage. Following these guidelines, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of flavorful and nutritious garlic.
It does not matter if you use it in soups, stews, marinades, or roasted dishes. Garlic is a versatile herb that adds a delicious kick to any meal. So go ahead and start planting your garlic in Brisbane today! If you live in Victoria, the best place to get your garlic is at Weyhill Farm.
So there you have it growing garlic in Brisbane. Below are two videos of people I recommend you keep an eye on. Mark is just “up the road”, and lives on a suburban block of about 1.5 acres I think, and Beck is on a normal urban block. Both have good ideas and suggestions for growing food that suits your situation.