Blog: Why those cloves need a big freeze for success…
I usually get my autumn planting garlic in the ground when you would expect – from October to November.
I’m going through a bad time with my mother being so ill in hospital and I feel constantly exhausted, so excuse my lateness, but I just sneaked them in before the end of December.
Garlic needs a spell of cold weather (one to two months below 10°C) in order to form cloves. If they don’t get this, you’ll end up with one large clove!
I chose Extra Early Wight, a large white hardneck variety, with a crisp fresh flavour.
Cloves and scapes to look forward to
Hardnecks also produce scapes, or flowering stalks, which are quite a delicacy in France and have a mild, nutty garlic taste, so I’m looking forward to them.
As the law of Sod would have it, my tardiness led to one of the two bulbs of garlic going mouldy and being completely unusable.
I’d shoved them away in the conservatory – they were fine when I bought them at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show.
Anyway, 12 cloves should make 12 bulbs and that’s enough for a family of three, I think – and leaves more room in the 1m² raised bed for the onion sets.
I used Natural Soil Conditioner dug into the soil before planting. Rich in nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and other trace elements, it’s broken down gradually by organisms in the soil as a long-term, slow-release fertiliser.