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How do I grow garlic?

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Expert Answer

Garlic is easy to grow in a sunny position and well-drained soil. Prepare your soil well. Mix in lots of good compost before you start planting. Break up the bulbs no longer than 24 hours before you plant them. Place the cloves 3-4cm below the surface, root down (pointy end up) 15cm apart in rows 15-20cm apart.

You need to water, feed and keep your garlic weed free to get the best result and highest yields. Water your garlic during dry periods throughout the growing season, stopping watering completely during the last few weeks. In February apply a potash fertiliser to your garlic; this will give it all the nutrients it needs to grow wonderfully.

You garlic will tell you when its time to be harvested. Too early and you’ll miss the final growth spurt, too late and the bulbs will rot in the ground. Hardneck varieties will be ready to lift when the leaves start to change colour. Softneck varieties are ready when the leaves go floppy and lie on the ground. If the sun is shining, leave the garlic to dry on the ground, if the rain comes, bring into a shed to dry.

Don’t have a garden?

Garlic can successfully grow in pots on the patio. We recommend planting three cloves to a 15cm pot, 6 to a 20cm pot, 8 to 10 to a 25cm pot. Keep well watered. Stand outside patio or window ledge.


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