HOW TO GROW GARLIC IN THE GARDEN
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Written by featured author, Margaret Robinson
Planting garlic cloves takes place October to February, generally the earlier the better in a well-drained soil. Light soils will usually produce brighter whiter bulbs. Heavier soils will grow good garlic but there can be some staining of the outer skin.
Divide the bulbs into their cloves taking care not to damage them. Each garlic bulb should produce 10-15 cloves. Plant immediately after dividing in well cultivated, fertile ground in rows of approximately 50cms apart. Push each clove into the soil base first so that the pointed end is about 2 or 3cms under the ground. Cloves should be 15cms apart. A dressing of sulphate of potash during growth - 2oz to the square metre - will be beneficial.
The crop should be ready for harvesting in July/August. As soon as the tops begin to fall the garlic is ready for lifting. At this stage the garlic is very tender so take care not to bruise the bulbs. Once lifted dry the garlic bulbs indoors taking care not to over dry the garlic bulbs. The outer skins should be dry whilst remaining firm, plump and tight to the touch.
Elephant garlic is grown in the same way but given a wider spacing of 25cm between cloves. Elephant garlic often runs to seed during growth so break the seed stalk off at least three weeks prior to harvest.
Margaret Robinson is one of the directors of W. Robinson and Son who specialise in large-sized vegetables.
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