Elephant garlic finally planted on a spring-like January day

Images from the Moregeous garden, and also thanks to organicallotment.typepad.com and wigglesworldtour.tumblr.com

I opened the boot of my car on Friday and nearly passed out from the unbelievably strong smell of garlic. Nope, I hadn’t left an Italian takeaway in there but had forgotten all about the garlic bulbs bought before Christmas which were supposed to have been planted already. Oops. I warily opened the paper bags to find that my Elephant, Bella Italia, Picardy and Albingensian Wights weren’t much fussed about soil and were starting to sprout in a Peugeot – disaster!

Thank goodness for a mild winter and soft soil. We headed over to one of our rental communal gardens on a beautiful sunny winter’s day to prepare for planting. Most garlic likes to grow in well drained soil so I dug up a small area, laid some pebbles for drainage, then some  soil and popped my elephant cloves in, with about 5cm soil covering them. I’m hoping when they grow they all look different ’cause I mixed in some smaller cloves too, keeping them all 4 to 6 inches apart. Nothing like experimenting when you’ve never done something before 😉

Apparently they should start to sprout through in around March and, dependent on the type, be ready for pulling up June to July. Bit gutted I have to cut off the flowers to encourage bigger garlic bulbs to develop so I planted lots of sexy black tulips too 🙂

Working in a garden in mid-January felt VERY weird. Such mild weather and no frost has meant the sage and thyme are still going strong, the honeysuckle’s trying to bloom, the Japanese acres are budding already and everything just generally looks really green and healthy.

Even our rocket is still producing mini shoots of super strength spiciness. Freaky! As the sun dropped in mid-afternoon we also popped up the new shelves I’d found in Homesense, perfect for post and enough space for the six flats….plus maybe even a picture or two.

Finally I ran out of excuses…. time for the dreaded self-assessment 😦

If you are thinking of growing your own garlic and have a nice sunny spot in mind, there’s some great advice and tips on The Garlic Farm web-site, where my cloves came from via Bud, Manchester.

Their ‘How To’ page is here: http://www.thegarlicfarm.co.uk/growing_garlic.aspx

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