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Talkback: Growing garlic in a clay soil

Is it too late to plant garlic cloves now? I have very heavy clay soil as well. Thanks


  • It is not too late to plant garlic - you tend to get a heavier crop from autumn plantings but I usually plant more cloves in the spring, I intend to buy some more this weekend... if I get time!

    As for what to plant, just last year I gave a couple of bulbs of garlic to a dear, dear friend of mine, omitting to tell her more than that it wanted a good, sunny spot... then in the summer I was summoned round to look at two green crested outbursts in the border... they do need to be separated in to cloves, not planted as whole bulbs!! It is an easy enough mistake, especially when your friends are not even sensible enough to tell you!!

  • Plant garlic bulbs in single cloves for good results. I grow mine in an old bread tray every year and have had great success, although I am worried about the effect the rainfall will have this year.
  • Forgot to mention. You can plant garlic up until February although the earlier the better as going through a cold snap is actually good for it. Hope this is of some help to first time garlic growers.
  • Hi staceyF, Garlic is planted in single cloves, with the pointy bit at the top. Hope that helps.
  • A Quick word about garlic, It's best to break up the bulb into smaller cloves,it can be planted late Autumn or early Spring, I normally go for early Spring though.
  • StaceyF - you plant each clove separately, & each clove should become a whole head when you harvest them in the summer. Bauchigirl - you can plant them in spring, no worries, though the crop may be a little smaller/later than if you'd done so in autumn.
  • I too have very heavy clay and have had varying results with garlic. I have found spring sowing in my area (Notts) very poor, but I may try a second planting soon (if I get time!). I will certainly try Pippa's ridge method next autumn although the new crop has suddenly sprouted beautifully and seems to be looking good with not a trace of yellow as yet. Your blog was very helpful thank you Pippa - I didn't know about yellow being a sign of waterlogging and its good to hear how others cope with the dreaded clay.
  • i had garlic in my fridge now it has started growing so i put them into a tray to grow in the greenhouse then put into my allotment
  • It's certainly worth a try, the only potential problem is that there will be an increased risk of virus infection from supermarket/greengrocer garlic... but why not give it a go!
  • I've just got some elephant garlic bulbs any tips on planting them
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