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Andrew Kenneth

Hi All,

I sowed some garlic cloves in Dec 2013 in toilet rolls just to get them started as the ground where I am  was saturated then. Now in March and still too wet to plant them out (I think) and the roots are now popping out of the rolls.

What shall I do?




Andrew, I can't see where you are located; if you are not in the far North or in a flooded area, I would plant them outside, or hedge your bets and plant some in large cheap plastic pots. Your local garden centre may have some 2nd hand that you could use.

Andrew Kenneth

I'm near Preston, Lancashire.

As the roots have now gone to the depth of the tube do I still bury the whole tube into the soil leaving the tip on the surface?

Maybe put some compost underneath for drainage?



Mine are out all year as they are hardy. Mine are in raised beds, so the ground is well draining. Can you improve drainage before planting?


Yes, bury the whole tube leaving the top of the soil at the same level.   Incorporate some grit to improve drainage - digging a trench alongside the veg patch will lower the water table in that area.  


Andrew Kenneth

Can sharp sand be added for better drainage and can I use sharp sand bought from a builders supply


I don't like using sharp sand for drainage - I've never found it effective - I prefer to use coarse grit. 

Andrew Kenneth

Sorry to be a pain. Will coarse grit from a builders supply be OK?

Decent coarse grit can sometimes be difficult to source.

A good alternative is Mixed Poultry Grit - from the likes of Countrywide or Mole Valley Farmers...........or big pet shops maybe.

Personally, I watch what  I buy from B&Q for gardening.............some of their stuff is good but what they list as Horticultural grade, I'd give a miss.

Has anyone noticed that what so many places now sell under the John Innes name/formula  is nothing like as good as it used to be ?

In JI 1 particularly, I notice large pieces of stone and in JI 3, often I have to pick out wire, plastic, binder twine, etc.

I can accept that a lot of Multi Purpose compost these days is made up from what we as gardeners put in the local tip "green" skips  and accidental drops of  "non green stuff"  is perhaps inevitable but that shouldn',t be the case with named products such as JI

Sorry...........this should probably count as a rant

Andrew Kenneth


I planted them out today. I incorporated some compost and sat them on a raised ridge for drainage. The cage is necessary because my plot is on a farm and there are loads of rabbits


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