Growing Garlic


Garlic is a very hardy thing. In fact, garlic needs cold weather to trigger its splitting mechanism into cloves and to correctly form bulbs.

The four key things to successfully grow garlic are:

1. Good garlic sets

2. Autumn planting

3. Good drainage

4. Fertilizing during growing season

Garlic needs a long growing season and is best planted at the onset of colder weather in autumn onwards into winter. If you are not ready to plant, store in a cool, dry frost free place: not in the refrigerator!

Pick a well-drained sunny area and rake down to a fine tilthe, much as you would do for growing shallots or onions.

Do not fertilize.

Split your garlic into individual cloves and plant in rows or squares 6" to 8" apart. Current thinking is to dibble the cloves in, cover with 1" to 2" of earth. An older method is to just leave the tip of the clove showing.

Leave the plants to slowly root and shoot over the winter.

March onwards, give liquid fertilizer once a month. For bigger cloves pinch out any flowering heads. This is particularly true with elephant garlic and the Rose de Lautrec variety.

Harvest and dry July or August, as soon as the tops start to wither.