Q&As/Root Vegetables/Growing Garlic

Question

I never seem to have any success with growing garlic; can you tell me the secret?

Answer

There are a few secrets to growing garlic well. Firstly, it’s best to buy garlic seed bulbs from your local garden centre to plant out. You will have greater success as they are much fresher. Always select a healthy looking specimen and avoid any that are too soft or have mould on them. Don’t use supermarket garlic as they can be older and treated to prevent sprouting. 
Some people plant their garlic seed bulbs in the soil too deeply or grow them in poorly drained soil; which are both detrimental to its development. The best location to grow garlic is in a sunny location with well drained soil that has been prepared with plenty of compost prior to planting.

Gently break off each clove from the seed bulb. Don’t bother with the very small ones in the centre of the bulb, as the larger the clove, the bigger the bulb that will grow. Then plant them out individually just below the level of the soil with the pointy ends facing up. Finally, add a fine layer of mulch on top. Some people do feed them with blood and bone (under the mulch) in spring to help the bulbs bulk up.

TOP TIP: To help deter aphids, grow some garlic around your rose bushes. 

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