Growing Garlic - THE Plant For November Planting

Nov 23 08:52 2010 Graeme Toyne Print This Article

I sometimes get asked by my gardening clients if there are any vegetables they can plant outside in November. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, the answer is "not a lot".  However, there is one thing for which November is the perfect planting time - Garlic. This article provides some information & guidance to help you with growing garlic at home.

Now November is here and we're in the mid-Autumn,Guest Posting the leaves have fallen, temperatures have dropped & the garden is settling down waiting for Winter to arrive.

I sometimes get asked by my gardening clients if there are any vegetables they can plant outside at this time of year. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, the answer is "not a lot".  However, there is one thing for which November is the perfect planting time - Garlic. So if you've been buying your sets already, now is the time to plant them. If you haven't got round to buying them yet, get down to the garden centre quickly to see if they still have stocks remaining.

Garlic is a great plant - obviously the culinary benefits from garlic adding flavour to a multitude of dishes is well known, however, garlic is also very good for your health and has been proven to lower blood pressure & cholesterol levels. It is also an insect repellent and is often used to repel aphids by being either sprayed in solution form or by used as a companion plant & being planted alongside plants susceptible to aphis infestation.

Another great positive for gardeners is that garlic is easy to grow & is ideal for beginners.

So get out in your garden now & plant your garlic & you'll be harvesting in mid-Summer onwards next year.

Types Of Garlic

You have a range of garlic types to choose from & here's just a few suggestions:

Solent Wight

Solent Wight is probably the most popular types of garlic grown as it is very happy in the British climate and grows into a good crop of very tasty & plump cloves of garlic.

Elephant Garlic

Strictly speaking Elephant Garlic isn't a type of garlic - it is actually a variant of the leek family. However, it produces bulbs & cloves in the same way as garlic & tastes much more like garlic than like a leek. So, to all intents & purposes it's a garlic, although it's flavour is milder then normal garlic & much more palatable for people who don't like a strong garlic taste.

As the name suggests, Elephant Garlic is larger tan standard garlic, producing bulbs up to six times larger, so they are ideal for situations where space is limited.

Purple Wight

A good garlic that is typically ready for harvesting earlier than Solent Wight, with it being ready to lift from mid June. As the name suggests, Purple Wight has an attractive purple striped skin. Purple Wight is also stronger tasting that Solent Wight. Once harvested, the cloves store well until the end of the year.

Vallelado

Vallelado is especially suited for the climatic conditions in Northern Europe. Vallelado can be planted from November through until February, however, the best yields come from autumn plantings.

Where to Plant

Garlic should be grown in a position in full sun and in a soil that is not prone to water-logging to ensure that the bulbs do not rot over winter. in this respect garlic can be planted in raised beds to aid drainage.

How to Plant

As with most veg planting, dig the soil over well & if possible oe required incorporate organic matter to help with drainage. A sprinkling of bonemeal would also help, but not essential.

Gently remove the outer skin from the outer bulb (not the individual cloves) and then split the bulb into individual cloves.  Plant each of the individual cloves in an upright position approx 2cm (1in) below the soil surface with the pointed end just below the soil surface.

Space each clove about 10cm (4in) apart, with each row approx. 45cm (18in) apart.
   

Growing of Garlic

Garlic will survive & produce a crop with the minimal of care and attention, however, to maximise crop, garlic thrives when fed. So, in late March and again in mid May, feed the soil with general purpose fertiliser such as Growmore - if you can do this once or twice a month this will be even better. Otherwise, all you need to do is to keep them free of weeds and in dry conditions give them water.

They will start to produce green foliage from April onwards.

Harvesting Garlic

Garlic is normally ready for harvesting when most of the foliage has turned yellowy-brown - this time will vary depending on the variety grown, but will usually be from June onwards.

To harvest the garlic, simply ease thebulbs out of the ground with a trowel to loosen the surrounding soil, however, be careful not to bruise them as they will then not store & will go off quicker.

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About Article Author

Graeme Toyne
Graeme Toyne

Graeme Toyne is a qualified garden designer and professional gardener based in Flintshire, North Wales. As well as offering garden design & maintenance services he also runs an online garden store where customers can purchase from a wide selection of gardening supplies & garden leisure equipment. http://www.oasisgardening.co.uk/gardenstore/

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