Organic Spanish Roja Garlic Cloves

Our organic Spanish Roja garlic is heirloom garlic that produces an early-season harvest. This variety is the best-selling easy to grow gourmet garlic for the urban home gardens with an excellent classic subtly sweet, hot, and robust flavor that lingers for a long time. When cooked Spanish Roj... show more

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Our organic Spanish Roja garlic is heirloom garlic that produces an early-season harvest. This variety is the best-selling easy to grow gourmet garlic for the urban home gardens with an excellent classic subtly sweet, hot, and robust flavor that lingers for a long time. When cooked Spanish Roja has a deep, rich, and sophisticated flavor. The exterior covering of Spanish garlic varies in color, ranging from rich ivory to deep purple lines. The cloves are large and easy to peel with a brownish-red color. Each bulb has approximately 8-12 cloves.

Garlic (Allium sativum) is an onion-type plant from the Allium family. Its close relatives include Chinese onion, shallot, leek, chive, and onion. Garlic is indigenous to Central Asia and northeastern Iran and has long been a popular worldwide seasoning with a history of human consumption and use for several thousand of years. It was known to ancient Egyptians and was used as both food and traditional medicine. In Ancient Rome, it was popular food among the poor and the soldiers. It was also grown in England by the mid-16th century. Nowadays, China produces around 80% of the world's garlic production, where over 12 million tons are produced each year.

Allium sativum is a bulbous plant growing up to 1 m (39 inch) in height. When garlic is planted at the right time and depth, it can be grown as far north as Alaska. Bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects pollinate it. The garlic bulb (or "head") is an organ that the plant uses when the leaves cannot photosynthesize to store food during adverse weather or during winter. It is divided into many fleshy cloves, each wrapped in a paper-like husk that should be removed before eating. Each clove will produce a new head if it is planted in early spring or autumn.

Apart from its various uses in the kitchen, garlic has long been cherished as a medicine. It is widely known for its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Garlic is commonly used for a variety of blood-related conditions including atherosclerosis (hardness of the arteries), high cholesterol, heart attack, heart disease, and hypertension. Garlic supplements help in the prevention and elimination of common diseases such as flu and the common cold. In addition to all health benefits, garlic is high in protein, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.

Preparation for planning Spanish garlic

Garlic should be planted in most cases right before your first fall frost date – between September and the end of November. For warmer climates, in the Southern state’s zones 8-10, planting should happen in early December. There is a short window in early March if you want a fall harvest, but usually, garlic performs better if overwintered.

Prepare the garlic for planting by separating all the garlic cloves, but keep the papery husk on each individual clove. Soak the cloves 2 hours before planting in a jar of water.

Make sure to find a sunny spot and use rich well-drained soil. Dig well, apply a lot of compost (when your soil is heavy) and do not compact it by standing on it. If the pH is below 6.0, lime the soil several weeks before planting. Do not plant garlic in places where water can accumulate around the roots, causing them to rot or get sick.

How to grow Spanish garlic

Separate the cloves and set each one, pointed end up, 10-15 cm (4-6 inch) apart and with the tip of the clove 2-5 cm (1-2 inch) deep. Use deeper planting if rain or frost may expose the cloves, and shallower planting if using mulch or planting into heavy soil. After that cover with soil and add an organic fertilizer on top. It is important not to skin the cloves as the skin protects them from damage. And of course, the largest cloves will make the largest bulbs.

You will see shoots poking through in a few months. Growth will stop in the winter months and will resume when spring comes.

Place a protective mulch of straw, chopped leaves or clippings of grass after planting. The mulch should be about 10 cm (4 inch) thick in cold-winter areas. Through alternating freezing and thawing, mulch can help prevent the garlic roots from being heaved off the ground. A light mulch application is useful to control the growth of winter weeds in milder climates.

Caring for Spanish Roja garlic

If your garlic was covered with mulch during the winter season, remove it in the spring after the threat of frost has passed. Young shoots cannot withhold temperatures below -6 °C (20 °F) on their own so keep them undercover. In the spring, shoots will emerge through the ground as warmer temperatures arrive. Cut off any spring flower shoots that emerge as they may reduce the size of your bulbs.

Garlic requires lots of nitrogen, so fertilize accordingly. A blood meal is a good source of fertilizer with high nitrogen. Once you start to fertilize the garlic every 3 weeks.

Weeds are not expected to be a concern until summer. Keep the planting site weeded well though. Garlic does not perform well as it needs all the nutrients available.

Water during bulb development in mind-May to June every 3 to 5 days.

How to harvest garlic

From late June to August, harvest from fall plantings will be ready. The clue is to look for foliage that is yellowing. Harvest when the tops start to yellow and fall over, but before they are dry.

Be sure to dig deep not to break or damage your own garlic. Lift the plants, brush the soil carefully, and let them heal for two weeks in an airy, shady, dry spot.

How to harvest green garlic

Once the leaves are lush and full, green garlic (also called spring garlic or baby garlic) can be pulled at any stage. Keep in mind that the longer you wait for harvest, the more pronounced the bulb will be. It is meant to eat fresh in a salad or as a part of your garnish.

Spanish garlic with braided leaves and hanging

How to store garlic

Once your Spanish garlic is harvested it can be eaten raw, cooked, preserved in oil, wine, or vinegar, and it forms a base for countless sauces and dips (hummus, pesto, aioli, vinaigrette, to name a few) which can then be kept fresh for days if refrigerated. Usually, it is will best be preserved with braided leaves and hanging in a deep, cool cellar 4 °C (40 °F), and can be kept in the same way for several months. Check your stored Spanish Roja garlic bulbs periodically during the winter months and use anyone that shows signs of sprouting promptly. Remember that moisture and heat will result in sprouting.

Dried garlic can also be powdered and kept for up to one year or more in an airtight container. When fresh garlic is substituted with powder garlic, 1/8 teaspoon of the powder is equivalent to 1 fresh clove.

Spanish garlic companion plants

Plant your Spanish Roja next to roses as this will help to repel aphids. It can also help to repel whiteflies, Japanese beetles, root maggots, carrot rust fly, and other pests due to its sulfur compounds. Garlic, which is made into a tea or spray, will act as a systemic pesticide, growing in the plant cells. This plant is also a perfect companion for beets, Brassicas, celery, broccoli, lattice, strawberries, and tomatoes.

We strongly advise you to avoid planting garlic near peas or beans of any kind.

Planting guide

  • Planting seasondirect sow September to November
  • Number of seeds1 clove in each spot
  • Depth2-5 cm (1-2 inch)
  • Days to maturity90 to 240 days from planting
  • Row spacing45 cm (18 inch) apart
  • In-row spacing10-15 cm (4-6 inch) apart
  • Sunlight8-12 hours of full sun
  • Watering3 to 5 days during growth
  • Harvesting90 to 240 days

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