Can You Grow Black Garlic?


The black garlic ingredient came into the national spotlight lately. It wasn't always popular in western culture, but now it is practically everywhere. Some people refer to it as a “super food” because of its high level of antioxidants. Black garlic contains a lot of nutritive value and is even used in some energy drinks. We are not entirely sure where black garlic first was first use, but many people believe that its origin is in Asian cuisine.

Some claim that they made the black garlic using a 4000-year old Korean recipe. Other people claim that it came to be much later. Some even say that it was invented in the 20th century. So, we can’t be entirely sure about the origin of black garlic, but one thing is for sure; whoever invented it deserves our thanks.

Growing Black Garlic

The Health Benefits of Black Garlic

You might know that garlic was used and is still used as a medicine . People in medieval times used it as a medicinal herb, and it had many uses for them. They used it as an antibiotic, a digestive aid, and as help for colds, infections, and in a wide variety of other ailments. Garlic was an effective treatment because it contained high levels of antioxidants. But what is so special about black garlic? And why should you choose black garlic over regular garlic?

First of all, we need to understand what black garlic is and how we get it. The process to make black garlic takes about a month. We get black garlic through the fermentation of regular garlic. The fermentation process helps garlic gain more allicin, which is the main active ingredient of garlic that gives it its beneficial qualities. Black garlic also gets more amino acids from the process of fermentation, and amino acids are great for your body. It also contains almost double the antioxidants than regular garlic, which is more great news for you and your body.

Some people have a problem digesting garlic as it is such a compact ingredient. Black garlic, on the other hand, is very easy to digest because it becomes much softer and digestible through the process of fermentation. So not only will it contain more health benefits than regular garlic, but it will be easier on your system. It also won’t smell as strong.

Can You Grow Black Garlic?

You can’t grow black garlic directly. You can, however, grow regular garlic and turn it into black garlic at home.

Because black garlic is only made by fermenting regular garlic, you have three choices for obtaining black garlic. 1) You can buy black garlic premade. 2) You can buy regular garlic at the grocery store and ferment it to produce black garlic. 3) You can grow regular garlic and then ferment it at home.

We prefer the third option. Garlic is very easy to grow and it doesn’t need a lot of space. When you grow your own garlic and ferment it at home , you’ll save more than buying black garlic directly or even buying garlic from the store. You can grow your garlic and then keep the bulbs refrigerated for as long as you need.

Of course, fermenting garlic at home can be a rather smelly affair if you don’t have the right equipment. But once you have the right fermenter, you can turn your regular garlic into black garlic without a problem.

Growing Your Own Garlic

So, you are interested in growing and producing your own black garlic. First of all, you need the main ingredient, which is garlic itself. Here, we’re going to explain to you how to be your own garlic gardener .

Planting. First, you need to figure out when the best time is to plant a seed of garlic in your region. It is usually in mid-autumn or early spring. Garlic grows well in a variety of climates, including places where there is not much rainfall during the season.

Then, you need to choose a good spot to plant your garlic seeds. Sandy loam is the best type of soil for you to plant your garlic, but even clay soil can prove fertile ground for garlic. You also need to provide a lot of sunlight for your garlic as it loves it so much, although it can grow in partial shade as well. Just make sure that it isn’t in the shadows all day long. Before planting it you should add some compost, manure, or fertilizer to the soil to ensure the best quality soil for your seeds. But, again, you don’t have to. The garlic will still grow; it just might not be as big as it would be if you had fertilized. Do you see how easy garlic is to grow?

Now that you’ve prepared your soil, all you need to do is go to your local store and buy some fresh garlic. The garlic cloves are also the seeds that you are going to plant into the ground. After you plant the cloves you bought once, you won’t need to buy garlic again. To start your next crop of garlic, you can simply plant some of the cloves from the garlic that grows.

It is very important to buy fresh and high-quality garlic as it will give you the best results in the long run. If possible, go to the farmers’ market near you and pick some organic garlic that hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals. Also, if you have some unused garlic at home that has sprouted, you can plant it as your starter batch.

Now, you’ve gathered and prepared all you need, so you can go out into your garden or flower bed and plant the garlic in the soil. Be careful when you peel the cloves of the fresh garlic so that you don’t damage the base of the clove. If you do, the garlic won’t grow. It’s also better if you use only the bigger cloves because they will give you more garlic.

You should push every clove into the ground to a depth of about 2 inches(5cm), and the cloves should be separated at least 8 inches(20cm) from each other.

Tending. Then, you need to protect your garlic. For this, you should use hay, dry leaves, straw, compost, or well-rotted grass.

Fertilization is also an important step to get that perfect garlic. So, when you plant your garlic, you should use some type of fertilizer. In another month or so, you should add some more fertilizer to your garlic.

As with any other plant, you should take good care of your garlic. You need to water it when necessary. In the beginning, the garlic should always be moist as the water will help it establish itself in the new soil and start to grow. Continue to monitor the soil after the first couple of weeks. If the conditions outside are dry, you should water it more. If there is no rainfall, you should water it once a week.

When growing any plant, you should always keep an eye on the pests that could harm your plant. Aphids have an appetite for garlic leaves, but they are easy to get rid of. Just rub your fingers on them or use pesticides. If you have problems with mice in your area, you should be extra careful and get plastic mulch to go over your garlic if you see the mice digging for the bulbs.

This should be enough to ensure you get the best garlic, so let’s say now is the time for your harvest.

Harvesting. One caution is to use gloves to pull the garlic out of the ground. If you don’t use gloves, your hands will smell of garlic for days.

How can you know that your garlic is ready to be harvested? First of all, dig down to the bulb. Without pulling it out. You should be able to feel every garlic clove with your bare hand, and the leaves should start turning yellow and brown. That is how you know that your garlic is ready. The right time for harvesting your garlic is usually the end of the summer, although in some warmer climates it can be ready sooner.

You should use a shovel to loosen the soil around the garlic. Be careful in the process of harvest as the bulbs tend to fall apart easily when being pulled out of the ground. Once you get the garlic out, you should leave it to “cure.” You do this by leaving it in a cool and dry place for about two weeks. Under no circumstances should you wash the garlic as it will cause it to root much quicker.

Storing. Now that your garlic is “cured,” you should keep it in a cool and dry place. If you’re not going to use it very quickly, store it in your refrigerator. Just leave the whole bulbs intact and pull off the cloves when you need to use them. There is also an option of keeping your garlic in oil and vinegar, but you need to keep it refrigerated and consume it quickly so that you prevent bacterial growth.

That’s the whole process of growing your own garlic that you can use as is or use to produce black garlic on your own.

The Process of Creating Your Own Black Garlic

Yes, you can probably go to your local specialty food store and but already prepared black garlic, but because growing garlic is so easy, let’s take a look at how you can make your own black garlic . Making black garlic is actually easier than growing garlic in the first place and it is a completely safe process that doesn’t make black unhealthy in any way.

As simple as the process is, it does take some time. It will take you about 15 minutes to prepare everything, but it will take about 3-4 weeks of slow cooking for it to be ready. If you don’t have a fermenter, you will need a rice cooker: nothing fancy, just the ordinary one.

First, you need to choose the best garlic bulbs that you have. Then, you need to clean them to remove any dirt. You then take aluminum foil and wrap your now clean garlic in it. Some people believe that it is not necessary to wrap your garlic in foil, but it will help it get more moisture in the process.

After you have prepared the garlic, you just need to put it in the rice cooker and leave it on the “warm” mode and wait for 3-4 weeks. The best temperature warming the garlic is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

You shouldn’t unplug or open the rice cooker at all during the fermentation as it will ruin the whole process. After 3-4 weeks, you can check on your garlic.

That is it! You just remove it from the rice cooker and congratulate yourself on making your own black garlic.

What Can You Use Black Garlic For?

There are many uses for black garlic. Most people use it as an ingredient in their dishes to add to the flavor. You can make a powder out of it and use it as a topping for your pizza or add it to your spaghetti. You can also take the whole clove and eat it raw because it has such a great taste and is healthy for you. Another interesting idea is to mix it with melted dark chocolate to create your own topping, candy bars, or chocolate chips. And adding warm black garlic to ice cream is a special treat.

What Is the Difference in Taste Between Black Garlic and Regular Garlic?

This is a common question that someone who has never had black garlic before will ask, especially if you ask them if they want it on their ice cream. The taste, however, will be pleasantly surprising to someone trying it for the first time. People know the taste of garlic and will probably expect something similar when they first try black garlic.

But even though they are both garlic, they taste very different. Many people don’t like the taste of regular garlic because it is so strong and has an unpleasant smell. Black garlic doesn’t have a strong smell at all because of the process that it goes through.

Black garlic is also much softer than regular garlic. The taste of black garlic is sweet with a syrupy texture. Many people compare it to caramel and eat black garlic as a sweet.

Try it yourself and then introduce it to your friends. You’ll love seeing their reaction.

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