Guide to the Preparation of Garlic Ready for Planting:
.....as a means of preventing disease in the garden
We're always on the lookout for rare and heirloom varieties of garlic and other edible bulbs especially at farmers markets and online. While it's tempting to plant them as soon as we get back to the garden, it's worth taking the time to give them a special treatment before planting - a practice which we do without fail. It's an assurance that you're not introducing disease into your garden.
The process involves soaking the garlic (or whatever bulb) in a bi-carb soda and liquid fertiliser solution, followed by a nice bath in vodka! The Bi-Carb Soda Mix works by killing any fungal diseases which may be present on the garlic and also gives the cloves an energy boost (with the fertiliser). The Vodka Finish will sterilise the cloves and ensure that any mites or other insects and their eggs are killed.
The process is simple and will only take a minimum of 30 to 40 minutes. It is important that the garden beds are ready for planting before doing the treatment!
STEP 1: SEPARATE THE BULB INTO CLOVES
Break the garlic bulb up into individual cloves being sure to keep the skin on each clove. This is important as the full surface of each clove is able to be treated. Keep only the best looking and largest cloves being sure to remove any sub-standard, or off-looking cloves. Place cloves into a 2 litre jar.
STEP 2: Add the BI-CARB SODA MIX
In a separate jar, mix together the following:
8 cups Water
2 teaspoons Organic Fish Fertiliser, or
1/4 teaspoon Eco-Seaweed Powder
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
Mix well and then add to jar containing the prepared cloves. If you find that the cloves rise to the top of the jar you can use a re-sealable zip-lock bag with water in it to hold the cloves under. Allow to stand for at least 15 minutes. It is possible to leave it longer than this, but certainly no more than 16 hours.
STEP 3: DRAIN and add VODKA FINISH
Drain the garlic using a sieve. Place garlic cloves in a separate, clean jar and cover with vodka. Allow to stand for 20 minutes. Drain - we use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic from the Vodka Finish. It is important to plant the garlic within 1 hour of draining. Water in well.
Keep in mind - if you are planting out more than one variety of garlic be careful to label them well during the soaking process so they don't get mixed up!
That's it - job done - and no worries!