Gardening Magazine

Garlic for Beginners

By Jules
In November last year I planted 2 types of garlic: Chesnok Wight and Picardy Wight, both sourced from the lovely people at The Garlic Farm. Garlic cloves need well drained soil and a spell of cold weather to ensure the new bulbs form properly. And aside from that they're pretty low maintenance. A bit of watering here and there to get them through periods of dry weather - not that we've had too many of those since May - and that's about it. In June the hardneck garlic (Chesnok Wight) start to produce a flower head or scape, that should be snipped off to prevent the plant's energy going into the production of the flower rather than into the bulb.
Garlic for beginners
In early July when the garlic foliage started to yellow and flop over, the new bulbs were lifted carefully with a fork, the roots shaken of soil and the bulbs dried in an airy location to prevent them going mouldy or rotting. I usually use the greenhouse - either hanging them up or laying them in wooden crates.
Garlic for beginners
Once dry and papery, I rubbed off any remaining dirt and loose skin, trimmed the top foliage off and then stored in a cool dry place ready to be used! Hardneck varieties will last until January so should be used first; softneck garlic will store well until late spring next year.
And as ever, before using any bulbs, I'll be selecting the biggest and healthiest from each variety to break up and replant come November. That way my garlic production is self-sustaining from year to year. Now that's what I call self-sufficiency!
Garlic for beginners
Garlic for beginners

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