Elephant garlic plants are a popular choice among home gardeners. They offer many benefits including medicinal properties, ease of care, and aesthetic appeal. There are several varieties available such as African Elephant Garlic (Allium tricoccum), Asian Elephant Garlic (Allium sativum) and European Elephant Garlic (Allium trichotomum).
The most common uses of elephant garlic include its use as a spice, flavoring, and medicine. Elephants have been used for centuries to treat various ailments. For example, elephants were used to help heal wounds during times of war. Today, they are still being used for healing purposes due to their natural ability to regenerate cells and organs. They are also known for their excellent sense of smell which allows them to locate food sources with great precision.
Elephant garlic is considered one of the healthiest types of garlic because it contains high levels of alliin, a compound found in onions and leeks. Alliin helps prevent cancer, aids digestion, lowers cholesterol and improves blood sugar control. It also reduces inflammation and relieves pain from arthritis, headaches, backaches and other conditions.
In addition to its medicinal qualities, elephant garlic is commonly used as a culinary herb due to its flavor. It’s sweeter than common garlic and resembles the taste of onions. The flavor is milder than that of common garlic, and its cloves are much larger in size. This makes it a great option for those who want to enjoy the benefits of garlic without having a strong flavor.
How to Plant Elephant Garlic
When growing elephant garlic plants, it’s important to start from organic materials and healthy corms. This will ensure proper rooting and will lead to a better overall harvest. It is also important to use organic materials when planting your bulbs in the fall.
Prepare fertile soil in an area that receives full sun exposure and is protected from strong winds. Work the soil until it’s soft and loose. Add manure or compost to enhance the soil’s fertility.
Place the corms around 8 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Cover them with soil and tamp it down lightly.
Water the soil until it’s moist, but not saturated, and then water it once more after a few days. Keep the soil consistently moist throughout the fall until you see green shoots in the spring. After this point, maintain the soil’s moisture and keep weeds away.
How to Care for Elephant Garlic
Elephant garlic requires little maintenance once it’s been planted, but you will need to keep up on weeding and watering the plants. It also helps to add some mulch around the base of the plants to prevent weeds from growing and to retain moisture in the soil.
Elephant garlic is a low-maintenance plant that will provide you with years of fresh garlic. You can divide the bulbs after their second year of growth or leave them in the ground. New bulbs will grow and these can be replanted the following fall.
Sources & references used in this article:
Antimicrobial effects of Allium sativum L. (garlic), Allium ampeloprasum L. (elephant garlic), and Allium cepa L. (onion), garlic compounds and commercial garlic … by BG Hughes, LD Lawson – Phytotherapy Research, 1991 – Wiley Online Library
Antibacterial activity of elephant garlic and its effect against U2OS human osteosarcoma cells by Z Huang, J Ren – Iranian journal of basic medical sciences, 2013 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Effects of elephant garlic volatile oil (Allium ampeloprasum) and T-2 toxin on murine skin by S Nguansangiam, S Angsubhakorn… – … Asian journal of …, 2003 – researchgate.net
Comparative studies of bioactive organosulphur compounds and antioxidant activities in garlic (Allium sativum L.), elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum L.) and … by S Kim, DB Kim, W Jin, J Park, W Yoon, Y Lee… – Natural product …, 2018 – Taylor & Francis