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October and November are the months to plant your autumn garlic. Thank you to The Garlic Farm for supplying me with the cloves. http://www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk
Plant garlic in rows in any well drained soil in full sun. It is important that the soil does not become waterlogged so incorporate plenty of well rotted manure or garden compost to improve drainage and feed the soil. On particularly heavy soils, grow garlic in raised beds. Carefully split the bulb into individual cloves. Plant each clove at a depth of 3-4cm below the surface of the soil and 6cm apart, leaving 6inch between each row.
Weed rows of garlic regularly and protect crops from birds by covering them with netting. Garlic is undemanding and will only require watering during particularly dry periods. Harvest garlic from June, when the leaves begin to turn yellow, by loosening them from the ground with a trowel. Gently wash and dry garlic bulbs, then place them in a warm dry position to dry out, prior to storing them. Bulbs can then be stored in good condition for up to 3 months.
Hardneck: This type of garlic produces a flower stem (referred to as a ‘scape’), which can be removed and used in salads and stir fries. Hardneck varieties are ideal if you fancy growing garlic scapes but still want a crop of garlic bulbs too. The bulbs produced by hardneck varieties don’t store as well as softneck varieties but they often have unique qualities.
Softneck: This type of garlic does not produce a flower stem and will store for much longer than the hardneck varieties.