How to grow garlic: When to plant and harvest in the UK

A TASTY seasoning, garlic is a necessary cooking ingredient in many recipes.

Growing garlic is a simple process and autumn is the best time to start.

How to grow garlic in the UK

  • The first thing you need to do is to decide what cloves to plant. There are several different varieties to choose from- you just need to make sure you have quality bulbs.
  • Next, you need to prepare your soil by mixing good compost before starting planting
  • Garlic needs plenty of sun so you need to ensure your plants are not in the shade. You also need to check there is enough space for the bulbs to form.
  • Once you are ready to plant break the bulbs and  3 – 4cm below the surface
  • When it comes to watering, garlic does not need a lot of it- just make sure to water it during dry spells and hot days.
  • Weeding is best done by hand in order to avoid damaging the bulbs.
  • Garlic requires little fertilising. Some general-purpose fertiliser should be enough to give it all the nutrients it needs.
  • All you have to do now is wait for harvesting.

What type of garlic should I choose?

There are two main types of garlic to choose from.

Hardneck garlic has a strong flavour but produces fewer larger cloves while softneck garlic produces smaller cloves that store for longer.

Elephant garlic has a mild flavour and has a single-clove bulb.

When should I plant garlic in the UK?

Garlic requires a cold period so it is usually advised to be planted in autumn.

Most tend to begin planting garlic in October-November.

However, some prefer planting in early spring.

When and how should I harvest garlic in the UK?

Garlic that was planted in autumn would normally be ready for harvesting in June or July while spring-planted garlic will need a while longer.

You will need to wait until the leave start turning yellow- that's when you know you need to start harvesting.

You need to carefully loosen the bulbs from the soil with a trowel.

Once the harvesting is completed you will have to dry them in a well-ventilated area for a few weeks and then they will be ready to store.

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