Garlic Vine Care: Tips For Growing Garlic Vines

What Are Garlic Vines?

Garlic vines are a perennial herbaceous plant native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. They grow up to 10 feet tall with narrow leaves that turn yellow or brown when they dry out. Their flowers bloom from May through August.

The plants produce their seeds in clusters called cloves. These clippings are used for food and medicine. Some people use them to make vinegar, while others eat the seeds raw as a delicacy.

How To Grow Garlic Vines?

Growing garlic vines requires good soil conditions and regular watering. The best time to start growing garlic vines is in spring. You will need to provide your own light source, fertilizer and water.

You can purchase organic garlic clippings at any nursery or garden center. Organic clippings tend to have higher concentrations of nutrients than non-organic ones. If you do not want to buy the clippings, you can also grow your own from cuttings.

Your container should have at least one bottom “drip edge.” This creates a small reservoir that will catch any water that drains out the bottom. The container should have several holes in the bottom for proper drainage.

Fill your container with a mixture of organic potting soil and sand. It should be well-draining and lightweight enough for the roots to push through. Aim for a 50-50 ratio.

Insert your garlic clippings into the container 2-3 inches below the top. Make sure the tips of the cloves are not buried under soil or they may rot.

Water your container thoroughly, making sure to saturate all the soil. Put your container in a warm location that receives at least five hours of direct sunlight everyday. Keep your container out of strong winds and freezing temperatures.

Use a water meter to determine when and how much to water your garlic vines. Food that is not sufficiently hydrated is prone to disease and damage.

Garlic clippings prefer a pH between 6.0-6.5. If the levels are off, you can purchase an excess of aluminum sulfate or sulfur to make the adjustment. Avoid making the solution too strong; this could damage the plants.

Add a low level of phosphorus-containing fertilizer three times a week when the garlic is still in its infancy. This will ensure that it grows large and strong.

Mulch around your plant to prevent weeds from stealing its nutrients. Weeds also compete with garlic vines for sunlight, which can affect the size and taste of your cloves.

How To Propagate Garlic Vines?

The best way to grow garlic vines is from already-grown plants. You can purchase these in the spring from most nurseries and garden centers. They are relatively cheap, because the plants already have their “cloves,” or seeds, formed. If you grow them yourself, you may have to wait a year before they’re ready to harvest.

You can also grow them from cloves that are purchased online or from a store. You’ll have to plant these cloves and water them every day for a year before you see any results.

To plant the cloves, dig a small hole in good, fertile soil. The hole should be about twice the size of the clove. Drop the clove into the hole and cover it with soil; make sure the tip is slightly exposed so it’s easy to spot when you’re harvesting.

Keep the area around your plants well-watered. You’ll need to water them daily until they start growing, which could take up to two months. Be careful not to over-water the plants or their roots could rot.

Garlic Vine Care: Tips For Growing Garlic Vine Plants - Image

Harvesting Your Garlic Vines

Garlic should be harvested when the bottom several leaves begin to turn brown and die. When this happens, dig around the base of the plant with a shovel. You’ll be able to easily pull up the entire plant, including the bulbs.

You can let the bulbs sit out in the sun for several days to dry out before storing them in mesh bags. If you’re planning on eating them right away, you can leave them out on your counter until you’re ready. If you want to save them for later, keep them in mesh bags in a cool, dry place.

Common Problems And Cures

Unfortunately garlic doesn’t grow well everywhere, so no matter how much you try to water and feed your plants, they may not thrive. The following are common problems that garlic plants can develop and ways to prevent or fix them.

Pests And Diseases

Root Rot – Roots infected with rot will be brown rather than white or gray. The leaves will turn yellow and begin to die, often the entire plant will die. This is caused by poor drainage and can be fixed by planting in a new location with better drainage or by adding gypsum to improve the soil’s drainage.

Bulb Ejection – If your plant begins to eject bulbs, it’s a sign that you’re likely over-watering it. Allow the soil to become almost dry before watering again.

Flecktoring – If your plant begins to produce small, white spots on its leaves and stems, it’s a sign of flecktoring. This means that your plant has been infected with a virus. There is no cure for this. Destroy the entire plant so that the virus doesn’t spread to other plants.

Cabbage Loopers – These green caterpillars have a white stripe running down their backs and grow to be over an inch long. They feed on the leaves of your plants, which will eventually die. You can pick the caterpillars off by hand or use a spray of water to wash them off.

Garden Slugs – These shiny, dark slugs eat holes in your plants’ leaves. They’re difficult to get rid of and often come back after you think you’ve gotten them all. The best way to combat them is to set up a salt-water trap. Get a can or bucket and fill it about halfway with water. Add as much table salt as you can until the water won’t take any more.

dissolved. Set this next to your plants. Slugs are attracted to the salt, so they’ll be drawn to it and fall in, never to return.

Harvesting Your Garlic

Garlic Vine Care: Tips For Growing Garlic Vine Plants - Image

Once your garlic has fully grown and the leaves have died, you’re ready to harvest it. This process is simple but labor intensive.

Sources & references used in this article:

Budbreak with garlic preparations: Effects of garlic preparations and of calcium and hydrogen cyanamides on budbreak of grapevines grown in greenhouses by N Kubota, MA Matthews, T Takahagi… – American Journal of …, 2000 – Am Soc Enol Viticulture

Alternatives to synthetic fungicides for Botrytis cinerea management in vineyards by MA Jacometti, SD Wratten… – Australian Journal of …, 2010 – Wiley Online Library

Growth and physiological changes in continuously cropped eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) upon relay intercropping with garlic (Allium sativum L.) by M Wang, C Wu, Z Cheng, H Meng – Frontiers in plant science, 2015 – frontiersin.org

Flowering Vines for Florida1 by SP Brown, GW Knox – EDIS, 2007 – growables.org

Roses Love Garlic: Companion Planting and Other Secrets of Flowers by L Riotte – 2012 – books.google.com

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