Alliums (Garlic, Onion, Leeks, Shallots, etc.)
Updated: Jun 15, 2021
Behold! The holy grail of gardens all over the world!
I believe plants like onion and garlic should be in every kitchen garden. Here is why.
-Alliums taste amazing! Yes, some will disagree, but I believe it is an acquired taste. I also believe that everything tastes better with garlic.
-They are possibly the greatest of all medicinal plants. They regulate blood flow, cholesterol levels, act as antibiotics, making them an age old remedy for colds and flu.
-Alliums typically store for a long time by just leaving them in the ground or if kept in a dry place. This is essential to the self sufficient homestead, as well as for sellers of fresh produce.
-They have some of the most beautiful blooms and pollinators love them. Plus a lot of alliums, like garlic and chives actually repel pests like aphids! This makes them perfect companion plants for your tomatoes, broccoli, kale, etc.
-Alliums are not too picky when it comes to care. They actually prefer moderate soil and dislike being watered too often. Sure they take a few years to grow, but it's not like you have to do much for them!
-They kill vampires. (Just kidding, but you can never be too safe.)
Now, here are the reasons why you shouldn't grow alliums.
-Can't think of any at the moment. 🧄 🧅
Seriously! If you don't have any garlic, onions, or leeks in your garden, you better plant some this fall, because they are slow growers. But in time you will find that having them on hand will be an amazing gift from your garden every time.
The history is lively and rich for the Allium family. They are one of the oldest crops ever cultivated by farmers. They have been known to grow in the most ancient cultures in the history of humans, including China, India, Egypt, Greece, and more. If you know me, you know I love anything that is older than known history, which is perhaps why I love garlic so much!
Alliums typically like a lot of sunshine and little bit of compost. Each species varies so it is best to research the specific crop you are planting. Some varieties are prone to mildew if planted where another member of the onion family was previously, so make sure to rotate them to other parts of the garden.
Typically you want to plant bulbs in the late fall or as soon as the ground can be worked in spring. Some will grow from seed with more patience, but again you ought to read more on the specific type of allium you are interested in growing.
The nice thing is that they don't take up much room in the garden, so you can usually squeeze these plants in anywhere you have extra space.
They also typically grow well at high elevations, don't mind cold weather, and tolerate drought reasonably. On top of all that, they are deer and rabbit resistant!
It should be no surprise my emphasizing of how Alliums are truly a staple to the High Altitude Homestead.
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