Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Grow your own garlic - it's easy:)

I love garlic.  Those lovely bulbs of fantastic flavour which enhance so many dishes.  I eat garlic raw in dips, chew a whole raw clove if I'm getting a cold (and not planning to visit anyone!), I love to roast a whole head of garlic, then squidge out the soft, rich clove centres, and, of course, it adds so much to curries, casseroles, soups, scones (biscuits) etc.

So ... last year I planted some cloves which had started to sprout, and this autumn I harvested the results.

They're drying off in the greenhouse, but I'm really pleased with the result.

Apparently I did it all wrong, though!  I'd assumed that the bulbs should be planted their own depth down, sort of like flowering bulbs often are.  However, I've just been looking into it, ready to plant some more this year, and apparently they only need to be just below the surface of the soil, like onion sets.  Which makes sense, I suppose.  It will certainly make them easier to dig up, these were quite reluctant to leave the soil!!!!!

However, I got a harvest, and they taste good, so it was a worthwhile experiment.  And, as a bonus, I had lovely globe flowers during the summer, too.

So, if you fancy growing your own garlic, now is the time to plant out your cloves, just a few inches apart, and just below the soil's surface.  Then forget about them until they've flowered next summer, and the stems have started to go brown.  Then dig them up, dry them off and store them ready for use.

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