Garlic, like many crops, likes rich, well drained, friable soil with plenty of organic matter and a ph between 6.5 and 7. Soil content can greatly affect garlic; for example, sulfur rich soil will produce more pungent garlic, while iron levels will influence coloration—Read more.
Garlic growers sometimes refer to garlic cloves that are reserved for planting as “garlic seed,” but what we want to talk about here is garlic from true seed—the product of sexual reproduction. Garlic seed is a bit smaller than onion seed, but otherwise resembles it. In the first generations of garlic seed production, growing garlic from seed is not particularly easy, but neither is it out of the scope of the average grower—Read more.
Diseases & Pests
Garlic growers will inevitably encounter diseases and pests. The most effective way to diagnose problems is to send a sample to a plant pathology lab. Even proper diagnosis can fall short of root cause.
There is one excellent, albeit expensive, book which every garlic farmer should have on the shelf: The Compendium of Onion and Garlic Diseases and Pests. Updated for publication in 2013 this covers most problems encountered by growers and is filled with pictures and valuable diagnostic information.
While the book is of enormous value, its price tag may discourage gardeners. Fortunately there are two excellent websites for disease diagnostics:
Oregon State University: http://plant-clinic.bpp.oregonstate.edu/garlic
UC Davis: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/selectnewpest.onion-and-garlic.html
These are some of the better articles in English regarding the history of garlic on the internet. If you have suggestions, particularly translated articles, please relay these to Garlicana.
“Historical Perspectives on the Use of Garlic” by Richard S. Rivlin
“Extracts from the History and Medical Properties of Garlic” by Biljana Bauer Petrovska and Svetlana Cekovska
“Seldom Just Food: Garlic in Magic and Medicine in European and Mediterranean Traditions” by Frank M Dugan
“Garlic Domestication – Where Did it Come from and When?” by K. Kris Hirst
The Complete Book of Garlic: A Guide for Gardeners, Growers, and Serious Cooks by Ted Jordan Meredith is the best comprehensive book on garlic to date. Ted is able to put into lay terms esoteric works of research into various garlic related subject matter including taxonomy, chemistry, medicinal properties as well as covering history, culinary usage, cultivation and storage. The book is well illustrated with a multitude of photographs. It’s a must have for all garlic enthusiasts.