I love growing garlic. It’s an ingredient we use all of the time when cooking at home and I get a great feeling knowing we are using something I have grown. It stores well which means we can get months of use out of a single harvest, and now is the time to be planting garlic for a spring crop. It’s low maintenance and only needs a well-drained, sunny spot in the veg patch.
Cold weather is the, not so secret, ingredient to getting great garlic and here in Norfolk, UK, we will have an abundance of cold weather ahead of us. I have well-drained soil, and not the heavy clay soil found only 2 miles from my house. If you do have heavy or clay soil, you can wait until spring to plant your garlic; otherwise, it may rot over winter.
I usually buy garlic bulbs from the local garden centre; these have been prepared to be used to grow new plants. While you can grow from supermarket-bought bulbs, these may not be as good quality or resistant to disease.
Before planting, I carefully split the bulb out into cloves, being careful not to damage them. I then plant the bulbs 18cm apart and twice their own depth. They can be started off in trays if you have had problems with rot before and plant them out in the spring. Another option is to grow garlic in mounds to help drainage.
It’s as simple as that. Your garlic should be ready to harvest in the following summer.