The following answers are to questions we get asked a lot about our garlic, tomatoes, and our farm.
Q: What is a suitable environment for garlic?
Ans: Garlic is a Winter crop and usually (but not always) prefers a cool to cold climate. Make sure that you have a garlic cultivar to suit your conditions. All TNG&T garlic is suited to cool climates.
Garlic likes damp, but not wet, conditions, so make sure your soil is well drained.
Full sun is best, but garlic can usually tolerate some shade.
It prefers a good loamy soil with plenty of compost.
Garlic is a hungry and greedy crop. It likes plenty of food and lots of space.
Q: When do I plant garlic?
Ans: Forget the idea of planting on the shortest day and harvesting on the longest. This may apply to some garlics in some parts of the world, but not here and with none that we grow. Also, when you plant always depends on which cultivar you are planting. If you’re not sure, then follow the rule of at least waiting for the first signs of Autumn. Cooler temperatures trigger seeds to shoot, so give the ground time to cool a little. In Tasmania, we suggest you don’t plant before April. Our latest planting cultivars can be planted up until around July.
Q: Do I plant the whole bulb?
Ans: No. Break the bulb into its individual cloves. (When planting these, we call them seeds). Each seed will grow into one bulb.
Q: If I just stick it in the ground, it’ll grow, won’t it?
Ans: Well, yes. Probably. But a good result requires preparation and effort, including appropriate feeding and good weed management.
Q: How far apart should I plant my garlic seed?
Ans: It’s important not to crowd your garlic, It likes plenty of space. We suggest 20cm apart on a grid.
Q: What do I feed my garlic?
Ans: That depends greatly on soil type and history. A well established garden with fertile and balanced soil will need little other than nitrogen early in the season, to build leaf… , calcium for pH and resistance to fungal disease; phosphate for root development and seaweed solution every 3-4 weeks for overall plant health. To know for sure, get a soil test.
Q: Do I need to water my garlic?
Ans: Garlic hates wet soil. But it needs to remain damp during the growing season. Only water if the soil is at risk of drying out. Stop watering about three weeks before harvest.
Q: What about weeds?
Ans: Garlic hates competition. Weeds will steal water and nutrition and create an environment that encourages fungal disease and mould.
Q: How long does garlic take to grow?
Ans: Roughly six months.
Q: When should I pull my garlic?
Ans: Aarghh! Never pull your garlic.
Dig and remove gently. Pulling will bruise it and reduce storage life.
When you harvest will depend on your local conditions and the particular garlic cultivar. Watch your plants for signs of slowing down and looking tired. eg. pale, dry leaves, (more than the two bottom ones). If you’re not sure, gently scratch around and check. If the bulbs are plump and have segmented, then you’re safe to dig them out. Be sure to dig before the wrappers split (this will reduce storage life).
The earliest garlic to be harvested is around late Spring, but this depends on the cultivar, the season and the locality.
Q: What is a scape?
Ans: The scape is the “flowering stalk” of the garlic. It is usually a good idea to remove the scape so that the plant puts its energy into the bulb instead. But don’t throw it away. It is excellent to eat.
Not all garlic cultivars produce scapes and as a general rule, the scape is not an indicator of when you should harvest.
Q: What is the difference between a hardneck and a softneck garlic?
Ans: A Hardneck produces a ‘flowering stalk’, or scape. When the scape dries, it becomes very hard. Thus, a hard neck. A Softneck garlic does not produce a scape, hence the neck remains supple. This makes softneck cultivars ideal for plaiting..
Q: When can I eat my garlic?
Ans: Garlic can be eaten at almost every stage of growth, from small green shoots, to larger plants with the unformed bulb (Spring garlic or green garlic). Bulbs can be eaten as soon as they form (but will not keep unless mature and cured). Fully mature bulbs can be eaten immediately after harvesting or you can choose to “cure” them and store for use throughout the year.
Q: How do I store my garlic?
Ans: Garlic must be “cured” in order to store it for later use. It’s always a good idea to lay your freshly dug garlic in the sun for a few hours to dry any obvious moisture. Remove all soil from the bulb by rubbing with your hands. Hang whole bunches of 6-8 plants in a well ventilated area, away from direct sunlight. Depending on the season and location, curing can take from 3 weeks to 3 months. When cured, “top and tail” (remove roots and now-dry leaves). Store in an area with even temperature, again, out of direct sunlight, in a net bag or basket. Garlic needs to breathe at all times. Note: different garlic cultivars will keep for different periods of time.
Q: Is TNG&T produce spray-free?
Ans: The simple answer is no. “Spray-free” is a feel-good cliché. We spray regularly - fish and seaweed solutions, organic fungicides and fertilizers, as well as beneficial microbes.
The real question is, do we us harmful chemicals? No, we don’t.
Q: When do I sow tomato seeds?
Ans: In Tasmania (cool temperate), we sow seeds in late August, then pot them up into individual pots, to be ready for planting out as seedlings in mid-October. As a general rule, allow about 6 weeks from seed sowing to transplanting seedlings.
Depending on where you live, adjust your timing, to ensure that seedlings will not be affected by frosts.
Q: I have trouble getting seeds to strike. What am I doing wrong?
Ans: We find that the most important consideration in striking tomato seeds is to have bottom heat. Emerging tomato seedlings can withstand relatively cold nights, but only if the soil is warm. Placing punnets or pots on a heat mat or warm tiles etc, is highly recommended.
Q: How do I plant tomato seedlings?
Ans: Plant in well prepared soil (plenty of rich organic matter), in a sunny, sheltered area (out of frost and wind). Plant approximately 60cm apart and plant deeply (above the first leaf juncture).
Q: Should I mulch my tomato plants?
Ans: Not at first. Leave the soil bare to be warmed by the sun. Later, as the days heat up, then apply a suitable mulch.
Q: What should I feed my tomatoes?
Ans: This is always a tricky one. So much depends on soil type and history. As a general guide for the average home gardener: Tomatoes will need nitrogen to build overall plant and leaf structure early in the season (chicken manure). They need phosphate for root development (blood & bone). They need calcium for strong cells (lime) and they need potassium for flowering (wood ash). If you are using synthetic fertilisers, look for a good all-round product from your local nursery.
Q: Should I prune my tomato plants?
Ans: There is some debate around this. At TNG&T we prune regularly, always and only from the bottom. This is to allow airflow and to keep leaves away from the ground, so at to prevent the risk of soil-borne disease affecting the plant.
Q: Should I stake my tomatoes?
Ans: We always recommend that you stake or support your plants to some degree (even small bush varieties), to keep them up off the ground and reduce risk of disease. Indeterminate (vine) varieties definitely need staking.
Q: What tomatoes can I grow in pots?
Ans: While some tomato varieties are very well suited to pots, you can actually grow any tomato in a pot. We recommend the larger the pot, the better. Tomatoes are greedy feeders and like a lot of space.
SHIPPING WITHIN TASMANIA (Fresh & Pantry)
We use a variety of shipping and courier systems within Tasmania, depending on a number of factors, including the size and nature of the item, its shelf life, destination and shipping options available.
The shipping price, calculated at the checkout, is determined by the weight of the product. There are three weight categories:
For regular or large orders, we strongly recommend you contact us directly, prior to placing your order, to discuss options.
SHIPPING TO MAINLAND AUSTRALIA
Non-perishable, packaged pantry items are shipped to mainland Australia via Australia Post. The shipping price, calculated at the checkout, is determined by the weight of the product and falls into three categories.
Delivery time will be between 3-10 working days from dispatch, depending on your location.
Fresh items up to 5kg total weight are shipped express post to mainland Australia. The Express post shipping price, calculated at the checkout, is determined by the weight of the product and falls into three categories.
Delivery time will be between 1-5 days depending on your location.
For regular or large fresh orders, we strongly recommend you contact us directly, prior to placing your order, to discuss options.
Overseas customers should contact us directly via email to discuss your requirements.
Upon receiving your order, if you have any problems with the product, please contact us via phone or email to discuss.
Note:for the term of the Covid19 crisis, we cannot accept returns.
Otherwise, our return policy is for 21 days.
To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it, within 21 days. It must also be in the original packaging.
Perishable goods such as fresh produce cannot be returned after purchase (see refund/replacement information below).
To complete your return, we require a receipt or proof of purchase.
To return your product, you should mail it to: Tasmanian Natural Garlic & Tomatoes, 338 Four Springs Rd, Selbourne, Tasmania, 7292, Australia.
You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning the item.
If you are shipping any item, you should consider using a trackable shipping service or purchasing shipping insurance. We don’t guarantee that we will receive your returned item.
We do not offer refunds or replacements on any fresh produce unless it can be demonstrated that the item was damaged or defective prior to leaving our care. We only offer refunds for packaged products with good reason (eg. defective, incorrect item sent, etc). Once your return is received and inspected by us, we will send you an email to notify you that we have received your returned item. We will also notify you of the approval or rejection of your refund. If you are approved, then your refund will be processed, and a credit will automatically be applied to your credit card or original method of payment, within 7 days.
LATE OR MISSING REFUNDS (if applicable)
If you haven’t received a refund yet, first check your bank account again. Then contact your credit card company, it may take some time before your refund is officially posted. Next contact your bank. There is often some processing time before a refund is posted.
If you’ve done all of this and you still have not received your refund, please contact us.
We only replace items if they are defective or damaged prior to leaving our care, or if it can be demonstrated that they are not what you ordered. If you need to exchange it for the same item, send us an email and send your item to: Tasmanian Natural Garlic & Tomatoes, 338 Four Springs Rd, Selbourne, Tasmania, 7292, Australia.
REFUNDS & EXCHANGES WITHOUT A RETURN
If you have a problem with an item that cannot be returned, please send an email with a photograph and a description of your problem. Refunds or replacements on non-returned items are totally at the discretion of TNG&T. We will notify you of the approval or rejection of your refund or replacement by the email you have supplied. If you’ve done all of this and you still have not received your refund, please contact us.
Growing with a combination of organic and biological methods, we strongly believe in the importance of good soil health to give our products the best chance and to get the best from them.
TNG&T : 338 Four Springs Rd Selbourne, Tasmania 7292