Knowledgebase
How do I grow garlic?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 17 November 2014 03:26 PM

Hardneck varieties are the closest to the wild garlic and regarded as having the finest flavour. The plants produce a flowering stem, known as a scape which should be removed and can be used in stir fries, salads and sauces. They are very hardy, thriving throughout the UK and are more suitable for northern areas. Hardneck varieties produce larger cloves but do not store as long as softneck varieties.

Softneck varieties are less hardy but will grow well in all but the coldest and most exposed areas, here they will benefit from cloche protection during the winter. Generally the flavour is a little milder and they will also store longer than hardnecks, the cloves are more numerous but smaller. 

Garlic is easy to grow in a sunny position and a well-drained soil.  Prepare you soil well mixing in lots of garden compost before you start planting. Split up the bulbs into individual cloves no longer than 24 hours before you plant them. Some varieties can planted during November and December for an early crop in June and July and others are suitable for planting from February to April for harvesting in July and August. In each case plant them 2.5-5cm (1-2") beneath the surface. Space the cloves 15cm (6") apart in rows 15-20cm (6-8") apart. Keep the plants well watered in dry spells throughout the growing season, stopping watering during the last few weeks. In February apply a high potash fertilizer.

Your Garlic will tell you when its's time to be harvested. Too early and you'll miss the final growth spurt, too late and your bulbs will rot in the ground. Hardneck varieties are ready to harvest when the leaves start to change colour. Softneck varieties are ready when the leaves go floppy and lie on the ground. If the sun is shining, leave the garlic to dry on the ground, if rain comes, bring them into a greenhouse or shed to dry.

Don't have a garden?

Garlic can be successfully grown in pots on the patio. We recommend planting 3 cloves to a 15cm (6"), 6 to a 20cm (8") pot and 8-10 to a 25cm (10") pot. Keep them well watered and stand them on the patio.

 

 

 

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