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Allium sativum ‘Echo’

Garlic 'Echo'

Garden

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Features

  • BloomsJune to August
  • Height0.4m to 1m
  • Growth HabitUpright rosette
  • Flower ColourWhite
  • Leaf ColourGrey green

Description

Allium sativum ‘Echo’ (Garlic 'Echo'). This is a late, 'hard neck' variety. Uniform heads of fat purple-skinned cloves with a milder flavour are produced in high yields.

Characteristics

Perennial, Deciduous, Bulb, Herbaceous

Origin

C. Asia

Interest and use

Culinary, medicinal, companion planting.

Garlic has been used by humans for over 7000 years.

As a flavouring it is used in raw or cooked form. Crushing or chopping the cloves gives a stronger taste. For a milder taste, raw cloves can be either cooked whole, for example in a roasting tin, or a cut, raw clove can be wiped onto the pan, prior to cooking. Garlic can also be used to flavour oil, as well as being salted and pickled.

In traditional medicine, garlic has been used as an antibacterial, an antifungal and an antiviral earning it the nickname 'poor man's penicillin'.

In modern medicine, some studies show that garlic may be helpful in reducing blood pressure and atherosclerosis, however care needs to be taken in researching how garlic interacts with other medicines.

As a companion plant, garlic may be used to help keep aphids away from roses growing nearby, as well as a deterrent to rose black spot. A spray can be made with oil, water, garlic and chili to remove aphids from indoor plants. Add lavender or lemon oil to improve the scent!

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Needs

  • LightFull sun
  • HardinessHardy (min -10°C)
  • SoilWell drained, Fertile, Light, Medium, Low salinity
  • Soil pH5.5 to 8.0
  • WaterSemi-moist

Cultivation

Grow garlic in an open, sunny spot, with well-drained soil. In areas with heavier soils, a raised bed is ideal. Garlic does not appreciate acid soils, so you might want to apply lime in the autumn before a spring planting, as well as avoiding fresh manure. Leaf mold or mushroom compost are ideal ways to improve humus levels without raising acidity.

The individual cloves can be planted 5cm deep in the autumn in warmer areas, or in spring. Bulbs can be potted up indoors for later planting (if one is liming the plot over winter).

Garlic will take up to 5 or 6 months to mature and can be harvested in the summer when the leaves have turned yellow.

This crop has an minimum optimum growing temperature of 18C and a maximum optimum growing temperature of 30C.

Propagation

By bulblet (clove). Seeds have been produced in laboratory conditions but are rarely produced in the wild.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Leek rust, onion white rot, allium leaf-mining fly and leek moth.

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