Garlic is an easy plant to grow, its almost plant it and it will grow. However if you want a good crop and large cloves you need to do a little soil preparation first, and pant you garlic the correct distance apart.
Its easy, and you can grow garlic in a container or in the garden.
One thing to look for is the flower scape. Some varieties produce one, other do not.
It is best to remove the flower scape to improve bulb size. If you remove them when young you can cook them in stir fries and similar.
How to grow Garlic
Prepare the soil
- Garlic will grow better in a well dug loose friable soil. It does not like heavy clay soils or rocky ground.
- You will find that you get bigger cloves in well prepared soil.
- Start by digging over the garden bed and removing any rocks, roots or weeds. Break up any large clumps of soil.
- Add some well rotted compost and some aged cow manure. Did this well through the soil.
- Garlic also likes a ‘Sweet soil’
- You can add some lime to the soil to sweeten it up a little before planting.
- A few handfuls over the top of the area you have prepared and then rake in well.
- The best soil Ph for garlic is between 6 and 7.
- Garlic is best planted at around 5 inches (12cm) apart)
This gives the individual plants space to grow without competing with each other for nutrients and space.
- How to plant individual cloves
Plant cloves pointy end up.
- Plant cloves at around 2 inches deep. In cooler zones plant a little deeper.
- After planting water in well to eliminate air pockets and provide good moisture.
With hundreds of varieties of garlic available, they fall into 3 main categories.
- Hardnecks – Good variety of flavours and colourful. Easier to peel.
- Softnecks – Easiest to grow and will store more readily. Also a little quicker to reach harvest size. Cloves are harder to peel, however they are easier to braid.
- Elephant Garlic – This variety produces a very large clove, however without the taste of other varieties.
Garlic bulbs are readily available to buy from farmers markets, nurseries, garden centres and mail order suppliers.