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

Wasps: a total nuisance or horticultural hero?

They may be the biggest nuisance at summer barbecues, but wasps are also of great benefit to the garden - but how so? A top entomologist reveals all

Seven ways to make sure your dahlias dazzle this summer

As dahlia societies nationwide stage their annual shows this month, expert Katie Kingett offers seven tips to success with these late summer showstoppers

Rug designer Sonya Winner, opens showroom in Dartmouth Park

Emma Rice talks to rug designer Sonya Winner about her passion for colour and her new inspirational showroom in Dartmouth Park

Inside the St John’s Wood home of interior designer, Brian Woulfe

This elegant apartment in St John’s Wood has been carefully curated by interior designer and former concert pianist, Brian Woulfe

House price gap between London and regional cities set to narrow over next two years

The property price gap between London and other cities around the UK is predicted to narrow in the next two years according to figures published by Hometrack

Tom Dixon kicks off series of architecture and design events in Kings Cross

Architecture and design discussion group New London Architecture will be hosting a series of dinners at Spiritland in Kings Cross this summer, starting with an event featuring renowned furniture, lighting and home accessory designer Tom Dixon, on Thursday, July 26.

‘The means of production are changing’ - designer Tom Dixon looks to the future

Tom Dixon, designer of iconic modernist furniture and lighting, has moved his business to a new Kings Cross HQ. Here he talks about what he learned working in the music industry, moving to the epicentre of London’s future industries and finding new creative ‘obsessions’.

New Middle Eastern antiques department opens at Alfies in Lisson Grove

One of London’s last remaining indoor antique markets, Alfies, on Church Street, has launched a dedicated Middle Eastern art, antiques and design department, spanning two floors and more than 4,000 square feet.

Eight ways to get your kids into the garden this summer

As the school holidays beckon, designer Ann-Marie Powell

shares top tips with Hannah Stephen for getting youngsters outdoors

Looking after your lawn: three essential tools

Love your lawn? So, get the right tools to help you maintain it in summer. Hannah Stephenson selects three essentials to make the job easier.

David Walliams is selling Noel Gallagher’s former Belsize Park home

Britain’s Got Talent judge and author David Walliams is selling his Hampstead home for 5.35million with Marcus Parfitt.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

2018 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant