A bulb of garlic

Three ways to grow garlic

Discover three ways to grow garlic to identify the best method for you.

You can plant garlic anytime from October to March.

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There are three ways to grow garlic, which means you can enjoy a tasty crop whatever the size and conditions in your garden.

Whichever way you decide to grow garlic, always order from a seed supplier. Break up the bulbs into separate cloves and plant the large ones with the fat end downwards and the pointy end 2-5cm below the soil surface.

Find out all you need to know about growing garlic in our garlic Grow Guide.

Here are three ways to plant garlic.

There are three ways to grow garlic, which means you can enjoy a tasty crop whatever the size and conditions in your garden.

Plant in the ground

Make sure your soil is cleared of weeds and the remains of summer crops. In very weedy ground, you can grow garlic through slits in weed-suppressing membrane. In soft ground, push cloves in, otherwise use a dibber to make holes 10cm apart, leaving 30cm between rows. Lay bird netting over new plants until the shoots are 5cm.

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In a container

If you have no space, or your plot has been affected by onion white rot in the past, then growing in containers is for you. Use any pot that’s at least 15cm wide and deep, filled with multipurpose compost. Sow three cloves in a 15cm wide pot, six in a 30cm one. Feed from April when you see strong spring growth, using a high nitrogen feed such as dried chicken manure pellets, or fill the container to the top with more compost. Stop feeding in mid May.

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Starting off under cover

Garlic is hardy, so doesn’t need protecting from the cold. But if your soil gets waterlogged, it’s a good idea to plant garlic undercover. Also, if you don’t get round to planting your garlic until the new year, then starting it undercover will help you to catch up. Pop the cloves into 10cm pots of multipurpose and place in a cold greenhouse or cold frame, or in a sheltered spot outside. Transplant to the veg plot in March or April, before the shoots are 10cm high.

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Harvesting garlic

You don’t want to damage the bulbs when harvesting garlic as they won’t store as well. Instead of yanking them up by hand, gently lever them out of the soil with a garden fork.