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How do you grow large garlic bulbs

Hi all - how do you grow large garlic?  This is my 3rd year of growing it, and its slightly bligger than last year, but not impressive at all.  I thought this was going to be the year, but sadly no.  How much fertilizer do you put in the soil?  We've been using chicken fertilizer, but not on a regular basis.  I've planted various Autumn varieties and they all grow the same, small!!  Any hints and tips hugely appreciated.

Posts

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    If you go on web finegardening.com you find out image
  • Forester_PeteForester_Pete DevonPosts: 94

    That is helpful. 

    I too can only grow small garlic it seems. And I do not wish to subscribe.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    I have been growing garlic for years; there are good years and there are bad years. The advice that I give myself is;

    only grow from your own stock for 3 years, then buy in new cloves to plant.

    I now only really grow elephant garlic (relative to a leek)

    Plant in late October/ early November in healthy soil. Remove any flower buds in June (called scapes) and use them in stir fries or Pesto.

    I have never fed garlic, just plant in good soil with home made compost and some organic chicken manure hoed in a couple of weeks prior to planting.

    imageI don't always follow this advice, real life intervenes. My garlic does not always split into cloves, but it is still usable.

  • Forester_PeteForester_Pete DevonPosts: 94

    Thanks, will persevere.

  • cajarycajary Posts: 26

    Everything that artjack says. Elephant Garlic is milder than normal garlic but I find it the best to grow. All garlic need a spell of cold weather to form cloves, I think it's called "vernalising".  I live on the South coast so I put them in the 'fridge for a couple of weeks before I plant them out just in case we get a mild winter. I use Growmore  a few times during the season, that seems to work. I always "soften" the ground where I'm planting to give them a bit of space to grow into.image

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    cajary, I've also heard that about the cold weather...and vernalising is a new word for me, I looked it up and amongst other things it means to treat seed in a special way before planting, so shall def try the fridge idea.image

    Are garlic greedy feeders? I know onions need pretty good soil, perhaps it applies to all alliums.

  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923

    I start my cloves in a module with decent multi purpose compost once rooted they go out in the garden in late Oct/early Nov and all I do is weed them and water them if we get a dry spring (like we did this year) and I get bulbs with 7 or 8 large cloves.

    they seem to like abandonment!

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    treehugger, I have never heard of starting garlic off in modules! When do you do this?

    I might try a few using this methodimage

  • cajarycajary Posts: 26

    Hi artjack. I give them a bit of Growmore in the Spring but I don't go too mad with it. It seems to keep them happy.

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