Winter Growing Tips: Garlic

We get through plenty of garlic in our cooking here at Season Well.

That’s why we like to grow our own supply, as well as foraging fresh wild garlic when it’s in season.  Now, in late Autumn and early winter is the time to be planting your garlic for a crop next summer.

Garlic is easy and cheap to grow, and you don’t even need a garden as it can grow in pots. You just have to be patient as it’s a slow grower! 

First, you will need a bulb of garlic. Try to find organic if you can. Supermarket garlic is fine if you aren’t going to a garden centre.

Peel off the dry white outside layer of the bulb and break the garlic carefully into cloves, as if you were going to cook with them – but don’t peel the individual cloves. Choose the fattest cloves to plant.

Garlic doesn’t like to get too wet or it will rot, so if you have it add some grit or perlite into the soil especially if you are planting into a pot. Pots will also need about 15cm depth for drainage.

Your garlic will grow bigger the more space it has. If planting into the ground, 15cm apart is good. They will need to be twice as deep as their own size, so if your clove is 2cm high, push it 4cm into the soil. Make sure the pointy end is upwards!

Water and place the pot in a sunny spot outside – garlic needs a period of time out in the cold to do well. You will see a green shoot in a week or two but the new bulb won’t be ready until next June or July – look for the leaves starting to turn yellow and wilt and you can dig them up.

If you really can’t wait that long, you can use the same process with several cloves in a pot on your kitchen windowsill. 

In a few weeks, you will have tasty garlic greens to snip and use like spring onions – it’s great to have something homegrown to eat in the winter

Viv, our SeasonWell horticulturalist, is happy to give any growing tips you need. Do say in the comments anything else you’d like to get growing this winter. Maybe some windowsill herbs?

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