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Planting garlic can benefit your health

(WKOW) — Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, fight heart disease, boost your immune system, and add a bit of flavor to your meals by growing your own garlic.

Purchase firm, healthy bulbs of garlic. Each bulb contains a dozen or more cloves. The larger the clove you plant, the bigger the bulb you’ll harvest.

Plant cloves in fall about 6 weeks before the ground freezes in cold climates and early winter in warmer regions.  Garlic needs about 6 to 8 weeks of cool temperatures below 40 degrees for the shoot and bulb to develop.

Plant individual cloves in a sunny well-drained location approximately 6 inches apart with the pointed side up and the base of the clove 2 to 3 inches below the soil surface.

Mulch the soil with weed-free straw or evergreen boughs after the ground freezes, if you are gardening in an area with cold winters.

The garlic leaves will form during the cool short days of spring and then slow as bulb growth begins in the warmer longer days of summer. Harvest your garlic when 1/3, but less than 1/2 of the leaves turn brown.  Cloves should be plump and fill the skin.

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