Garlic is a really straightforward crop to grow, and late autumn is the perfect time to plant it! In a recent video, our friend Martin of Pots & Trowels is in the veg plot to show you how to plant garlic. You can watch the video below, or keep reading for all the advice you need to easily grow your own garlic at home
When should I autumn plant my garlic?
Late autumn i.e. November time, even into December, is perfect for planting out your garlic bulbs. You can also plant out your garlic in the spring, but garlic tends to benefit more from an autumn planting – this way it gets its roots down over the winter which will give it a longer growing season, and as a result you’ll get better bulbs next year.
If you’re planting elephant garlic, like Martin is in the video, then plant it out by mid-November at the latest.
How to autumn plant garlic
Before you start planting, you need to prepare your vegetable bed. Top it up with some more compost to add some more nutrition to keep it in good condition, then give the soil a raking over to loosen it up a little, level it out and help work the fresh compost into the bed.
There should be enough nutrition in there at this stage to get the garlic growing, but in the spring you can give your beds a feed as a little boost to keep them growing.
Now it’s time to grab your hand trowel and get planting! Plant your garlic bulbs approximately 4-6 inches apart with the tip (the pointy bit) facing upwards, or if you’re planting elephant garlic then plant them around 6 inches (15cm) apart as they’ll make much bigger plants than ordinary garlic.
The rule of thumb when autumn planting garlic is to plant the bulb the same distance below the soil surface as the clove is long (usually around 1-2 inches). If you leave the tip of the bulb visible then sometimes birds will come and peck them out, which of course is the last thing you want! As they’re going to be in the ground over the winter too then planting them deeper will give them extra protection.
Make a hole in the with your trowel, pop the bulb in, fill it in and give the soil a light firming. And it really is as simple as that!
Once you’ve completed your planting, give the bed another light raking over to level the surface, and be sure to label your row(s) so that you know where you’ve planted your garlic and don’t accidentally end up planting over the top of them or digging them back up.
In about 4-6 weeks, you should start to get nice little shoots popping through the soil. Your bulbs will be developing a really strong root system in this which will see them through the winter. Come the spring, they will start to burst into growth, and by the summer you’ll be rewarded with delicious fresh garlic that’s ready to be lifted from the ground.
Where to buy autumn planting garlic
If you’ve haven’t got your bulbs yet but want to give growing your own garlic a go then don’t fret! There’s still time to pick some up from your local garden centre, and if you’re quick there’s even time to still order some online from our friends at Mr Fothergill’s.
Where to buy Darlac tools
Make life a little easier for yourself by using the right garden tool for the job. You can find our Darlac products in store from your local garden centre, or you can buy selected products direct online from our website. Find your local Darlac stockist here.
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