Garlic can be planted anytime in late autumn or early winter. It actually benefits from a cold spell, which helps it to form the best bulbs. There is an old saying ‘plant garlic on the shortest day, harvest it on the longest’.
Garlic grows best in an open, sunny site with well-drained soil. It will also grow well in pots or containers.
Simply break a bulb of garlic into individual cloves and push the cloves into the ground, pointy end up. The cloves should be about 2.5cm deep and 15cm apart. They will start to sprout in the winter months or early spring but are not ready to harvest until the leaves start to turn yellow, usually in mid- to late summer.
Any garlic, whether it is from a supermarket or garden centre, is likely to sprout. However it is advisable to buy ‘seed’ garlic bulbs from a reputable supplier because they sell varieties that are known to perform well in the British climate.
This year in the Edible Garden we have planted two varieties; ‘Music’ from the Really Garlicky Company in the Scottish Highlands and ‘Solent Wight’ which was developed on the Isle of Wight.