- July 5, 2015
- Posted by: Melissa Albers
- Category: Articles, Fruit and Vegetables, Herbs and Spices, Nutricion and Diseases
Garlic has lots of potential, but next to health benefits and a great taste, it unfortunately also gives you a bad breath. How to get rid of garlic breath? What has pressed garlic to do with a bad breath and what you need to know about growing garlic from cloves.
Growing garlic from cloves
Garlic is very easy to grow and requires very little space in your garden. It grows from individual cloves broken off from a whole garlic bulb. Each single clove will multiply in the ground, forming new bulbs that can consist of 5-10 cloves. Garlic cloves should be planted in a spot where you no garlic or onion-related plants have grown recently. Also don’t plant garlic cloves where water can collect around the roots, because this causes them to rot or become diseased.
Use fertile, well-drained soil and remove stones. Work several inches of compost (or well-rotted manure) into the bed. Separate the garlic cloves and space the cloves 4-6″ apart. The rows should be spaced one foot apart and the cloves should be planted with the pointed end up. Push garlic each clove 1-2″ into the ground and firm the soil around it. After that, water the bed if it is dry.
After planting, lay down protective mulch (e.g. straw, chopped leaves or grass clippings). In cold-winter regions, use mulch that is 4 inches thick. This will help to prevent the garlic roots from being heaved out of the ground by alternate freezing and thawing. If you live in a milder climate less mulch is needed.
When the leaves begin to grow, it is very important that you feed the garlic plants. Use only natural substances such as compost or manure. If the mulch has decomposed, just add a new layer. This helps to retain moisture and keeps weeds under control. Some garlic varieties may produce flower stalks. Make sure that you cut these stalks off. In June the garlic plants stop producing new leaves. That is the moment when they begin to form bulbs. You can then remove any remaining mulch and stop watering, because the garlic will store better if you let the bulbs to dry out.
You can harvest your garlic when most of its leaves have turned brown. This may take 6-8 weeks, depending on your climate. Then you may dig the bulbs up, but be careful not to bruise them. The next step is to lay the garlic plants out to dry for 2-3 weeks. Choose a shady area with good air circulation. Do not get the bulbs wet, neither break them apart!
Just tie the garlic in bunches and hang in a cool, airy location. You may want to set aside some of the largest bulbs for replanting in the fall
Pressed garlic and bad breath
After eating garlic you can suffer from bad breath. This process is caused by the sulfur compounds that in garlic. The finer garlic is cut or chopped, the stronger the taste (and smell afterwards). Pressing a clove of garlic provides the most intensive (after) taste while using whole cloves or chunks often hardly causes problems. This has to do with the amount of sulfur that is extracted during the pressing or cutting.
How to get rid of garlic breath?
To neutralize the unpleasant smell of garlic, you can drink some milk, eat some leaves of fresh parsley or chew on a coffee bean. Also eating a bit of (milk) chocolate seems to help to reduce the worst garlic smell. It also helps to remove the green inside part of the garlic clove before using it. This green part is visible when you cut the clove in half. Also the way of preparation plays a role; raw garlic tastes and smells strongest, soft stewed or roasted garlic is mild and has almost sweet flavor. The last type of preparation hardly causes an unpleasant aftertaste or bad breath.
Health benefits of garlic
Next to antioxidants and sulfur compounds, garlic also contains a large dose of vitamins (B1, B6, folic acid, and C) and minerals (such as potassium and phosphorus). A few cloves of garlic in your food is not only tasty, but also a healthy choice, because other of the above-mentioned compounds in garlic, appear to have different positive characteristics such as bacterial and antifungal effects and cell protection abilities.
Several studies show that garlic can lower your cholesterol level. Also, garlic can have blood-thinning effect, which prevent blood clotting. Other studies suggest that eating garlic can potentially have a protective effect against various types of cancers. Although there is still little evidence about this, it seems that garlic really has a serious anti-cancer potential.