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Planting garlic

by Pippa Greenwood

Although I've stored a lot of garlic in plaits and loose in trays, to see me through the coming months, I've already started planting bulbs for the 2010 crop...

Tying garlic bulbs into plaitsI'm obsessed with garlic. I've had a bumper crop this year - a mixture of autumn- and spring-planted varieties -  and I use vast quantities in just about every meal.

Although I've stored a lot of garlic in plaits and loose in trays, to see me through the coming months, I've already started planting bulbs for the 2010 crop. The ground has been forked over thoroughly, some well-rotted garden compost added and ridges made - a particularly good idea with soil as heavy as mine. I've planted bulbs of two promising new varieties from a seed catalogue - I'll report back on those at cropping time next year.

During a recent visit to a farmers' market I was delighted to notice a stand from The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight. As a vegetarian I find farmers' markets pretty grim places. At our local market the majority of stalls are stacked with gruesome-looking cuts of meat from just about every imaginable animal, or strongly smelling hog roasts and the like.

But this month I wanted some locally made cheese suitable for using in home-made pesto (to help use up stacks of harvested garlic and basil!). I was so glad I did go, as I found a few more varieties of garlic, including three extremely plump bulbs of my current favourite, 'Albigensian'. I'd recommend this variety to anyone - the cloves are really large, sweet and succulent. Combine autumn-planted garlic like this with some spring planting varieties and you'll join me in garlic heaven!

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Gardeners' World Web User 07/10/2009 at 08:52

Reply to Moss Rose: We recently took the reluctant decision to remove the 7-day weather forecast for gardeners, as there were problems with the data feed from our third party supplier. Rather than publish incomplete or erroneous data, we are now linking through to the BBC Weather page, supplied by The Met Office. We are investigating alternative sources of weather information and hope to implement a new forecasting service tailored to the needs of gardeners. Although we can’t yet provide a publication date, please be assured that we are working to resolve the matter. In the meantime, please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused. Best wishes, Daniel The Gardeners’ World web team

Gardeners' World Web User 07/10/2009 at 14:28

I to have planted the isle of wight garlic this year, it smelt so good it almost ended up in my spag boll rather than the ground. Moss you want to get the garlic in before the ground starts to cool, or gets to wet.

Gardeners' World Web User 08/10/2009 at 10:43

I usually plant autumn garlic in modules and overwinter in my(leanto) greenhouse.I only have a small garden so space is not always available to plant out in autumn. I too miss the GW weather forcast. I find the BBC site too complicated and not enough detail.

Gardeners' World Web User 08/10/2009 at 12:45

what happened to my garden this year. The ground was well prepared. The runner beans failed> The broad beans produced outer shells only. Potatoes did'nt crop well.The tomatoes got blight.Disappointed, I have grown veg for years in my back Garden.

Gardeners' World Web User 08/10/2009 at 15:20

I have just planted some Albigensian garlic bulbs to overwinter in my raised beds and so am delighted to hear you recommend it Pippa! I too am a great garlic lover.

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