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Best Plant to Sow this October

Beginner to vegetable gardening? No problem! Ellis Wakefield from RedShed is here to help! Below Ellis tells you all about the top plant to sow in October! 

October may not be the best month to sow container-grown plants or those that do not have high tolerance to the cold season. The autumn begins at the last week of September and ends in December. During this season, several plants are not recommended to be sown because most of them are already starting to be on their dormancy period where most of their development, growth processes, and activities are temporarily stopped.

When the autumn season is just around the corner, some plants may not have the luxury of time to fully develop and prepare themselves for the onset of the frost period. But there are several other plants you may sow during this season without having to stress over getting the seeds to shoot up. These types of plants are those that have the ability to withstand the biting cold season. One great example of these is garlic.

Garlic is everyone’s go-to kitchen staple when it comes to preparing sauces, savoury meals, and sautéed dishes. If there’s any vegetable (yes, it’s a vegetable) that everyone uses in most of the dishes they prepare, then it has got to be garlic, alongside its perpetual culinary companion, the onion.


                              









 

 








Scientific name: Allium sativum

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Species: A. sativum

Genus: Allium

Order: ‎Asparagales

 

Garlic is best grown in mid-October. Unlike many other plants, this bulbous vegetable can survive a cold environment as long as it doesn’t get saturated with water or waterlogged. In warmer areas, planting garlic during the spring season is viable but if you’d prefer to have better sizes, then sowing in autumn is highly recommended. At the start of its growth cycle, garlic requires a considerably cold environment, but not freezing. The longer it stays in the ground, the bigger yield you’ll have.

 

Planting


If your area gets a hard frost during the winter season, plant it 6 to 8 weeks prior to the frost. This will give it the chance to grow to a level where it can withstand the cooler climate.


Break the cloves from the bulb, keeping the skin still in place.


For a better yield, ensure that the soil is enriched with organic matter and is well-drained. 


Plant the cloves at least one month before the start of the winter season. You can plant them in pots or trays set out in a sunny area or in a greenhouse. It is also advisable to have a well-maintained vegetable garden where you can get your cloves to fully grow. 


Evenly place the cloves at least 4 inches apart and plant them 2 inches deep. The most recommended way is to plant them with the pointed side facing up. 


Care

As with any other plants, taking good care of your garlic plant will surely give you better-sized bulbs perfect for any dishes and sauces you’d like to whip up. It is recommended to keep your plant well-watered from spring through summer. Constantly remove any weeds from the surrounding area. If you see that the flowers start to shoot up, you may cut them off so the bulb won’t have any competition in terms of the nourishments. If maintained properly, you’ll be able to harvest bigger bulbs during the summer. Your go-ahead is when the tops start to yellow and eventually fall off.

 

Garlic uses and health benefits

Used primarily for sauces, pastes, and a wide range of meals, garlic has a variety of many other uses. Garlic has been proven to have properties that prevent cancer. Garlic is a good source of manganese, vitamins B6, C, and copper. However, it is to be noted that to strengthen the nutrients, it is recommended to let the garlic sit after being chopped or crushed. Preparing it over fire or in a microwave may increase the chances of lessening its nutritional value.


By Ellis Wakefield

Ready to get going? Don't forget to enter our 'Grow Your Own' competition! You could win your own Plant & Grow Set! 


To see more articles like this, and to learn more about vegetable planting, have a look at http://redshed.co.uk/blog/vegetable-gardening/.