Planting Autumn garlic

If you’re thinking about growing garlic at home, this post will be right up your street.

This box contains enough garlic to keep a whole horde of vampires away. We eat so much of it we should be immune anyway – which is a good job because this lot has been planted in the ground.

Seed garlic in box

I hadn’t even thought about growing garlic last year until a local freecycler kindly gave us a selection of garlic cloves in exchange for pebbles (I think we got the better deal there). A few months later our garlic has dried and there is space in the ground for more. Although tasty, I don’t know anything about the varieties we grew because the cloves were loose and mixed. So this year I ordered an Autumn Planting Pack from The Garlic Farm. Here’s what was in it:

A Lautrec Wight garlic bulb.

Garlic bulb on paper bag

Lautrec Wight

An Early Purple Wight garlic bulb – aren’t the colours nice?

Garlic bulb on paper bag

Early Purple Wight

A Provence Wight garlic bulb.

Garlic bulb on paper bag

Provence Wight

And three Elephant Garlic cloves. I couldn’t believe the size of them! I put a 50p next to one of the cloves so you can see just how huge they are!

Huge Elephant Garlic clove

Elephant Garlic

If you’ve never planted garlic before, it’s really easy. So easy your cat could do it.

1. Separate the bulb into cloves

Separate the cloves from the bulb as close to planting as you can, ideally within 24 hours. Be gentle to avoid damaging them.

Breaking apart garlic clove

2. Choose the best cloves

Separate any damaged or shrivelled looking cloves. Save the tiny ones for eating, the same goes for any you accidentally damage in the process of separation.

Bags of Autumn garlic cloves

3. Prepare your soil

Choose your spot (ideally sunny with good drainage), break up any big chunks of soil and dig in some compost.

4. Plant

Most cloves need to be planted about an inch deep. Make sure you plant them the right way up: the pointy tip should be facing upwards as this is where the shoot will grow from. The roots grow from the flat base.

Garlic clove in the soil

5. Cover

Cover your garlic cloves with soil and water in. And that’s all there is to it!

DIY plant markers

I made some quick plant markers out of twigs to help me remember what I planted where. If you want to make your own; sharpen one end into a point and shave bark off the other end for writing on.

Twig plant markers

Growing conditions

Our back garden is fairly shaded, only receiving 4-5 hours of sun a day in the Summer. I was worried a lack of sun with months of rain would make the garden too wet and the cloves would rot. However, our garlic growing was a success! We have clay soil and have been working hard to improve soil quality by digging in compost and breaking up lumps of clay. The cloves were planted in a raised bed which I think help moisture drain away easily. So if garlic will grow in our garden I think it will grow anywhere!

If you want to plant Autumn garlic you’ve still got a few weeks. Go go go!

21 Comments

  1. this is so great Gemma! you might have inspired me to try growing some garlic. it has always seemed impossible to me but i might give it a shot. thank you!

    • That’s great Claudia 🙂 It’s very little effort for something so delicious!

  2. I long for a garden of our own to grow produce in – one day!I adore garlic and you can’t beat something you have grown yourself.

    • If you don’t have a garden you can grow garlic in pots. I did it last year with an elephant garlic clove.

  3. I *am* thinking about growing garlic at home! Just ordered a whole load from Suttons, in fact, which have been sitting in a box waiting for me to plant them out for a little while now. (I took them to the flower bed last weekend, only to find hundreds of mushrooms already in their place. Not quite sure what to do about that, ha ha.) But — once I finally sort out the fungus problem — this will be v useful growing info…

    • Shame about the mushrooms. We’ve got lots of them in one of our raised beds, they all seemed to pop up overnight. If you manage to get rid of them let me know how you do it. Good luck with your garlic!

  4. The OH grew garlic a couple of years ago and we had it in the veggie basket for months! Must do it again, these look like good ones!

    • I think elephant garlic is a little milder than the smaller bulbs – but I’ll let you know in the a few months time 😉

    • I really want to go there. Need to plan a trip to the IOW! Could you put a couple of pots by the door?

  5. Ooooo oooo oooo! *garlic bulb shaped lightbulb flashes above head*

    This I must do! I have an empty veggie bed at the moment so this would be great -I keep meaning to go over the IOW sometime and visit the garlic place – there’s a good looking chilli place over there too.

    We should have a day out sometime!

    Thanks for joining in again and inspiring me to get my Twilight vampire freak on 🙂

    PS. Where do you stand on crushed garlic and cheese on toast?

    • I like the sound of a garlicky day out! I didn’t know there was a chilli place too, I’ll have to investigate. I am cursing you now for getting my stomach rumbling at the mention of garlic, cheese and toast – all of my favourite things in one sentence.

  6. Heavily used in our cooking! I will try this one. Hopefully we are not too late. Our terrace where my potted plants are also only gets a bit of sunlight so its nice to know that they can thrive in such environment =) #hdygg

    • We use it a lot too, I’m surprised no-one’s ever told us we smell of it, haha! Might be worth trying it and seeing how it grows on your terrace.

    • The leaflet that came with mine said to feed for best results, not something I did this year. Naughty me!

  7. Love this post, gorgeous photos. I almost want to say snap as we have some garlic from the garlic farm to plant. I *still* havent got round to it. Hopefully this week!

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