Garlic Bulbs

Garlic is very simple to plant, grow and harvest, with very little attention being required once planted. There are two types of Garlic:

Hardneck Types - Produce flower stems or “scapes” which must be removed to encourage the blub to reach its full potential. The scapes themselves can be eaten in early summer, they are delicious when chopped in salads or stir-fried. This variety is more tolerant to cold weather compared to softneck varieties.

Softneck Types – Produce smaller cloves per head but are quicker to mature and will store for longer than hardneck varieties. They do not produce "scapes". Softneck types prefer to grow in warmer areas and are generally more mild tasting.

How to Grow Garlic
Garlic thrives in a sunny location in fertile, well-draining soil. You can improve your soil by digging in plenty of well-rotted organic matter, such as garden compost a few months before planting. Begin planting by carefully breaking apart the bulb to separate out the individual cloves. Plant them pointy end up and about 15cm(6in) apart, leaving a foot between rows. Cover them back over with soil so that the tips of the cloves are about 2.5cm(1in) below soil. Water if the weather is dry, and weed between rows to keep the plants from getting swamped. You can also grow garlic in containers, or in module trays for planting out in spring, if you live in a very cold region.

Your garlic is ready to lift when the leaves have begun to turn yellow or die down. Use a fork or trowel to ease the bulbs from the ground, then dry them out somewhere warm and airy. Once dry brush off any remaining soil, cut off the leaves and store in a cool dry place. Garlic is best to be rotated on a minimum three year cycle to prevent the build-up of soil-borne pests and diseases.