Tag Archives: Elephant garlic

#NABLOPOMO: Garlic growing good

NaBloPoMo_GROW_april

#NABLOPOMO April 201 starts today and the theme is Grow. Seems fairly apt for a blog that centers on growing your own fruit and vegetables.

garlicbed

Garlic, this is something of an update. I have a number of varieties that are currently growing. These are::

  • Early Purple wight
  • Lautrec Wight
  • Elephant garlic
  • Provence Wight

Other than the odd weed, the garlic seems to be doing okay. The green shoots appear to be strong and robust. With he wind of the last 24 hours, they are probably little wind scorched today.

This crop was sunk in the autumn last year. Here in England, sowing garlic happens-in my experience-from about October onwards, and then can also be done during the following spring months. In my experience, I have found that sowing garlic in October, and in raised beds, is a more effective, and produces a reliable crop. In comparison, sowing into open ground, and I have heavy clay, has not been as effective. They require little maintenance, and are pretty much left to their own devices.

In years passed, I have sunk a lot of garlic. Mostly to see which varieties produce the most bulbous, most garlick-y of bulbs. We use a lot garlic in Ma’s kitchen, most of her cooking has garlic in it, so it is always used. I think I even have a large jar of pickled garlic, somewhere in Ma’s pantry. There are of course, also a number of health benefits associated with it.

The seed garlic that I have sown, is from The Garlic Farm on the isle of wight. I know that some growers do tend to use the sprouting garlic that they may have lurking in the back of their cupboards. I’m not sure if this is a good way cultivation, since I have never done that. Some of the garlic that we buy in the supermarkets is better suite to different climates and is commercially produced.

Garlic update March 2015

It’s been a long time since I wrote about the garlic that was planted during the autumn last year. You can find that post here where I planted it.

The varieties are:

  • Early Purple wight
  • Lautrec Wight
  • Elephant garlic
  • Provence Wight

Generally, I will plug it in, and then pretty much leave it alone. Such is the beauty of planting garlic, other than feeding during the spring and weeding from time to time, I have observed that not much else is needed. In the past, I have grew it both in open ground and also in raised beds. In my experience, planting and growing in raised beds has produced a bigger and better crop compared to growing in the open ground.

So far so good, I will  have to feed these in the coming weeks. At this moment, the need to weed isn’t too bad. There is nice green foliage that has some way to go before it is shows that the bulbs are mature. The full maturity is indicated when the foliage becomes raffia like and pale, it also keels over in some cases.

#NaBLoPoMO: Planting Autumn Garlic 2014

IMG_4005 IMG_4007

Once again, I am planting garlic. I have already planted one batch of Provence wight into a raised bed. So today, I have plugged in garlic into a second bed. A third has been prepared and tidied up as I might plant some more yet. Every year, I try to identify and plant an appropriate variety. it’s been fun trying to establish the best, the results have been quite interesting. The one key finding, is that raised beds are beneficial. In the past, the cloves planted into raised beds have been bigger and more flavoursome. By that, I mean pungent!

On the other hand, cloves plugged into open ground, have been much smaller. Ma has complained that these are then very difficult to peel and prepare. You would easily use a dozen of those smaller cloves in the place of three larger ones.

Beyond the Provence wight, I am also trying Elephant garlic this year. It is technically, a leek with garlic tendencies, The first that I have tried this, and the difference is already clear in the size of the cloves.

The garlic arrives in bulbs, as you can see. This year, I have found some from http://www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk/ I was impressed by the size and quality of these. As well as the fact that this is a nice autumnal collection. Whilst there were three loose elephant garlic cloves, the rest of the bulbs are broken down into singular cloves. These cloves are then plugged into the dirt, with only their tip exposed.

Many people, will use supermarket garlic. There has to be caution with this, I think, In some cases, the garlic is for different climates and may not necessarily take off. I’ve never done it, but that’s not to say it can’t be done or isn’t successful.

In the past, when there has been an abundance of garlic, some the crop has been pickled. Rather nice actually, and has kept rather well. The majority has been used successfully in cooking. There is just something about fresh, home grown garlic. It certainly keeps longer, and definitely tastes different.