Grow Large, Juicy Garlic Bulbs

Bigger garlic bulbs require less peeling and are more satisfying to harvest.

| October 2014

Made at Home Vegetables, by Dick Strawbridge and James Strawbridge (Mitchell Beazley, 2012), proves just how productively green you can be all year round. Whether you have a tiny urban plot, a terrace, a community garden allotment or plenty of space in your own garden, growing your own vegetables is one of the easiest ways to transform the way you eat. The following excerpt from the chapter "Summer" teaches you how to grow and harvest garlic.

Purchase this book from the GRIT store: Made at Home Vegetables.

Garlic must be one of the most common flavourings in cooking — it may have originated in central Asia, but it has been embraced by cooks all over the world. Most people have garlic in their kitchen, and what better way to ensure a ready supply than to grow it yourself? If you do decide to give it a go, you will also have the opportunity to use it while it’s fresh, or green, and you’ll discover that its mild flavour is a real pleasure to cook with. Garlic is really easy to grow, so give it a try.

There are lots of different types of garlic — some can be as hot as chilli, while others are so mild you could almost eat them like apples. It all comes down to personal choice. There is something very satisfying about growing large, juicy garlic bulbs, not least because there is less peeling required when it comes to cooking.

Buy your seed garlic from a recognized seed merchant to ensure you have a fighting chance of producing the tastiest produce. Some people suggest that any bulb of garlic can be split into cloves and planted; however, there is nothing so frustrating as waiting for 9 months only to have rather disappointing little bulbs.

Plant your garlic in blocks or rows in well-drained soil, which needs to be dug over and weeded in advance. When you split the bulb, take care not to damage the individual cloves. Press each clove into the ground about 15cm (6 inches) apart to have plenty of space for hoeing.

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