How to grow your own garlic

PUBLISHED: 11:14 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:14 05 December 2017

Garlic should be planted from November to December

Garlic should be planted from November to December

Photo: Thinkstock/PA

If you’re finding that shop-bought garlic doesn’t have the intense flavour you require, then it’s time to start growing your own, which will give you more choice and more flavour.

Here’s what you need to know...

Which type of garlic do you choose?

There are hardneck and softneck varieties. Softneck are the ones which supermarkets tend to stock, which have firm bulbs, lots of cloves and store well. Hardneck bulbs don’t store as well - but it’s often said they have better flavour. Elephant garlic, which produces huge underground ‘heads’ up to 10cm (4in) across made up of a few massive cloves, is actually not a true garlic. It is in fact related to the leek, and its cloves are mild and sweet.

When do you plant garlic?

Do it from November to December, as garlic needs a period of cold to establish healthy bulbs which will be ripe for harvesting next summer. You can also plant in February or March, but garlic planted in the cooler months usually has larger heads as it has a longer growing season. The earlier you start, the better the choice of variety.

Where do you plant?

You’ll need a weed-free, sunny spot and well-drained soil with added organic matter, such as compost. Make a drill around 2.5cm deep, split your bulb into cloves for planting and plant each clove, pointed tip upwards, so it’s just below the surface, 15cm (6in) apart in each direction.

Is garlic low-maintenance?

Garlic doesn’t require much work. It will need watering in dry spells and you’ll have to push back any cloves that the birds have pulled up. But other than that, it’s light work, really.

When do you harvest garlic?

As soon as reasonable-sized heads have formed, but the plants are still green and leafy, you can start harvesting, which is from June onwards. Only pull what you need as it won’t keep for long after lifting.

The foliage of the plants left in the ground will gradually turn yellow, then brown. When it’s turned brown, dig up the remaining plants and let the bulbs dry off in the sun before storing in a cool, dry place under cover.

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

For sale: New show homes open at Highgate development

Two new show apartments have opened at a luxury development in Highgate.

Elegant cottage formerly home to renowned poet, A.E Housman, now for sale in Highgate Village

A cottage in Highgate Village where the renowned poet A.E Housman once lived is now available to buy.

Comment: A War of the Roses? The challenges of dealing with property and divorce

Trevor Abrahmsohn, MD at north London agents Glentree, writes about his encounters with divorcing couples selling the marital home

Home of the week: Handsome 5 bedroom property in Hampstead perfect for a family

On the market for the first time in many years is this attractive, substantial detached double fronted family house located in a prime location.

Fancy owning a Picasso? It’s not impossible says Belsize Village gallery owner

Emma Rice talks to Andrea Sylvester about art and how we could all potentially own a Picasso or a Chagall, if that’s what we love

Callender Howorth interior designers transform Grade II-listed home in Hampstead

Mark Howorth, the founder of luxury interior design firm Callender Howorth, tells us how he brought elegant Indian influences to a period property on NW3’s Heath Drive

Primrose Hill artist Michal Cole on transforming her paintings into woven masterpieces

“It’s actually bringing these paintings back into what they used to be in the Renaissance times – as tapestries.”

Home improvements: How to make a rustic hanging rail

Fancy getting stuck into a creative project? Try your hand at woodworking and hang your coats on this minimalist marvel.

Home of the Week: Handsome four-bedroom Victorian terrace in Dartmouth Park

An attractive four-storey Victorian family home on the upper slopes of peaceful Dartmouth Park

King’s Cross area guide: shopping, culture, eating out and the station

Your guide to all the things to do in King’s Cross, including the best shops, cafes, pubs and schools. Plus our guide to property in N1C

Three properties for sale in King’s Cross

Here are three properties you can buy in King’s Croos, from new builds to conversions

1930s garage transformed into 10 luxury apartments in Belsize Village

A Belsize Village car repair and parking depot dating back to the 1930s has been transformed into a luxury apartment development.

Escape to the garden: Primrose Hill home gets a new luxury retreat

Chalk farm engineer and treehouse specialist talks about co-designing a new Escape Pod that can sit at the bottom of your garden

Home of the week: Room for all your earthly possesions in sought-after Hampstead enclave

An accommodating and beautifully presented, five-bedroom family house, set in the desirable South Hill Park Conservation Area.

Gardens: How best to stock your pond with fish

From picking suitable species to ensuring your pond is safe, Hannah Stephenson runs through some key points to consider before you start.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2018 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant