Growing Garlic

Growing GarlicGarlic has a wonderfully intense flavour when grown the vegetable garden can be harvested early as ‘wet garlic’ or ‘green garlic’ or alternatively allowed to dry, when it becomes the regular garlic you find in the shops. Green garlic has a particularly fresh taste to it. Crush some green garlic into some mayonnaise and you’ll have the ultimate dipper for crudités. Garlic can be stored for up to 10 months making it a great addition to the vegetable gardener’s list. Grow your own garlic bulbs and you could have a store for the whole year ahead…even if you’re a garlic bread fanatic.

How to Grow Garlic – QUICKSTART GUIDE
  • Dig in organic matter prior to planting
  • Garlic doesn’t like heavy or waterlogged soil so add sand if necessary
  • Plant individual cloves from October to January
  • Plant cloves in blocks or lines 15cm (6in) apart
  • Plant cloves 5cm (2in) deep with the pointy end upwards
  • Harvest from early summer to early autumn
  • Store in a cool dry place out of light


Garlic Varieties

Garlic VarietiesIt’s tempting to use cloves of garlic from the supermarket, but for best results you should buy garlic bulbs produced by a reputable supplier for garden growing.  These ‘proper’ garlic bulbs will be certified disease free which is important. Supermarket bulbs are not certified disease free, which, whilst not a problem for eating, might cause problems in the garden. It’s also good to know what variety you’re growing so you can make informed decisions on which type to grow in future years.

Garlic separates into two sub-varieties, hardneck garlic and softneck garlic. Softneck garlic are better for storing and their flexible stalks allow you to create the classic platted garlic braids. Softneck garlic produce numerous cloves and have an outer layer of papery skin that makes them store very well. Hardneck garlic tend to have fewer but larger cloves, which is good for ease of use, but they don’t have the same layering of papery skin as softnecks do and so they are not as good for storing. Have a go at both and see which you prefer!

Elephant Garlic – Has a sweeter flavour and is milder. It is great for adding a mild garlic flavour to salads and other dishes, and last but not least…it’s enormous, hence the name! For accuracy, I feel I should add…elephant garlic isn’t actually a garlic at all, but is more closely related to the leek plant…but given the proximity in flavour and look, it is often, treated as a type of garlic.

Solent Wight – A softneck variety of garlic that produces large fully flavoured bulbs. Ready for harvesting in July if planted early and good for storing.

Lautrec Wight – A hardneck variety of garlic that is considered by many French chefs to have the ultimate garlic flavour…that’s got to be saying something!

Jolimont – A softneck variety of garlic that delivers a good drop of high quality bulbs. The variety is particularly good as a wet garlic, harvested around May time.

Planting Garlic

1. Growing Garlic – QUICKSTART GUIDE
2. Planting Garlic – Help on planting garlic cloves
3. Harvesting and Storing Garlic – How and when to harvest garlic and then how to store it
4. Garlic Growing Tips – Some tips to help you grow fabulous garlic
5. Garlic Diseases, Pests and Problems – If things go wrong with your garlic, help is at hand
Back to main Growing Vegetables page

© 2013 Blue Tang Ltd. All Rights Reserved.