Garlic Production for the Gardener.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a hardy perennial member of the onion family. Garlic is probably native to Central Asia but has long been naturalized in southern Europe and throughout the world.
Garlic (Allium sativum) differs from the onion (Allium cepa), producing a number of small bulbs called cloves rather than one large bulb. Each bulb contains a dozen or more cloves covered with a thin white skin. Each clove is made of two modified mature leaves around an axis with a vegetative growing point. The outer leaf is a dry sheath, while the base of the inner leaf is thickened, making up the bulk of the clove. The larger outer cloves produce the best garlic. Garlic has flat leaves rather than the round hollow leaves of the onion. Garlic is used largely as a condiment and as flavoring in gravies, tomato sauces, soups, stews, pickles, salads, salad dressing and breads. Many cooks find it indispensable in the kitchen.
We can find written references to garlic from the writings of the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and Chinese. The name garlic comes to us from the Welsh word garlleg, which is transformed into the English word garlic. Wherever it came from, there can be no doubt that garlic has captured the interest of gardeners and cooks alike. It is easily cultivated and, due to its growing reputation in health matters, will be of increased importance in gardens.