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Growing Garlic Questions

Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302


I love a good bit of garlic and have started growing some of my own veg recently. I have not as of yet tried growing any garlic though.

Would you mind advising whether you can grown garlic from shop brought garlic cloves or whether it is more recommended to buy garlic from a nursery etc. specifically for planting out?

How do you get the garlic to grow so that you can harvest it staggered across the year? Can some garlic last a long time without going off once pulled up? Obviously having 30 bulbs of garlic being harvested and needing to be eaten at the same time is not ideal.




  • ThankthecatThankthecat North DevonPosts: 412

    Hi Torg, I'm probably not the best person to ask because, although I have grown garlic for the last six years, I have never managed to get a crop I'm happy with. All my bulbs come out really tiny and around 25% don't even split into cloves! I try to follow all the advice in my gardening books about spacing, depth, soil prep, weeding - the only thing I'm not very good at is remembering to feed my plot regularly. But I can tell you that once harvested, if you let the bulbs dry out nicely before stringing, or chucking in a net bag, they keep for months and months. Any advice from more seasoned gardeners that would help improve this year's crop would be much appreciated!

  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,179

    Hi Torg22. I've never tried growing shop garlic so can't help you with that but the variety I do grow (Solent Wight) stores very well. I usually plait them up but haven't this year and they keep until the next year's crop is ready so we never have to buy garlic.

  • ThankthecatThankthecat North DevonPosts: 412

    Sorry, I should have said I always buy garlic sold specifically for growing. I've heard shop bought bulbs are treated with something that prevents them from growing successfully, but not sure if that's true? I've tried about four or five different varieties over the years, in an effort to produce something worth the effort!

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,690

    The bulbs sold for growing are guaranteed virus free.  The edibles sold in shops are not and viruses can infect your plants and soil so you can't grow again in that spot for some years.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    I always buy my garlic from a nursery (rather than Tescos): you get much more variety and as Ob says: virus free which is of great importance in the long term.

    With regards to how long they last: I'm still eating garlic that I harvested LAST summer! (You can also preserve garlic cloves in vinegar or oil but I tend to batch cut up a load and pop it in ice cube trays with a splash of oil and keep frozen til needed.)

    Good luck and I hope you have a really COLD winter (good for splitting the garlic).

  • hi  torg22      as a rule only buy garlic from a seed merchant or garden centre  as a couple have said they are virus free  last couple yrs have had good garlic   just put them in good ground that is weed free this year  put just over  100 +  so far 102 all showing well   if you hurry up you can still put it in over winter (a better crop )  also you can plant in next year for a autumn crop  hope it is some help         Michael

  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Thanks people! Lots of helpful information here. I will not gamble with shop bought cloves them and will get some from a garden centre.

    Are home grown garlic different from shop bought garlic then in respect of the shelf life once dug up? The stuff I buy from say Tesco only lasts a few weeks before it starts to go soft and past its best.

  • I've had no luck growing garlic, same as the poster earlier mine only grows to look like slim spring onions with masses of roots... any ideas why?

  • ThankthecatThankthecat North DevonPosts: 412

    Hi Steve, I do actually get little bulbs under mine, but most only about 1" - 1.5" diameter! Out of about 40 bulbs planted last autumn (we eat a lot of garlic!) I think only half a dozen were over that size.

  • ThankthecatThankthecat North DevonPosts: 412

    Thanks Aym - I'll have a read of that later. Our plot is south-facing and I always try to put the garlic where it won't be shaded by other things, but we have had such unseasonal weather over the last few years - perhaps there's just not been enough sun in the spring and early summer?

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