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Published: 04th December 2016
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Garlic is very easy to grow and can also be grown in pots making it ideal for the smallest of gardens but make sure you obtain garlic cloves from either a garden centre or by mail order as the garlic you buy from supermarkets is not usually suitable for planting.

Garlic should ideally be planted in about the middle of October to grow the best sized bulbs but it can be planted from autumn up until April.
Garlic likes a light, well-drained soil and full sun and does not do at all well in waterlogged soil. Before planting dig the soil well, adding lots of well-rotted manure or compost to add plenty of nutrients and help with drainage.


Having prepared the soil, break up the bulbs into individual cloves and plant pointed end up, 1 inch below the soils surface and with 4 inches between each clove. Any rows should be 12 inches apart. Birds can often pull up freshly planted cloves so cover with netting or a horticultural fleece. The only other requirement will be to keep the area weed free and water only when conditions become dry.

If you are going to grow garlic in pots then an ideal size would be 8 inches in diameter and 8 inches in depth to allow room for the roots to develop. Fill the pot with multipurpose compost and then add some fertiliser for added nutrients. Plant to a depth of 1 inch with 4 inches between each clove and avoid planting too close to the pots edge. The compost will need to be kept moist, particularly during any dry weather.


As garlic is so undemanding there is really not a lot more to do but wait for harvest time but in late March and then in the middle of May, you could feed the soil with some general purpose fertiliser to give the developing cloves a good boost as garlic does like a well-nourished soil. Time permitting, a feed once or twice a month would be even better. Remember to keep the area weed free and water during any dry spells.


Garlic cloves planted during the autumn will be ready for harvesting from roughly June to August but you will be able to tell when the time is right as the leaves turn yellow and wither. Once the leaves have withered do not wait too long to harvest the garlic bulbs as they may start to re-sprout which can result in rotting when stored.
Loosen the surrounding soil with a trowel and then carefully remove the garlic bulbs from the ground, making sure that you do not damage them with the trowel otherwise storage length will be reduced.

Once you have removed the garlic bulbs from the ground lay them out in a warm and airy place to dry before storing. When dry they will make a rustling sound, gently brush off any remaining soil and store in a ventilated container for up to three months.


Garlic is generally free of any problems but there are two diseases that they can suffer from.

Rust Disease - for which there is no cure and appears as rust coloured spots on the leaves. The only solution is to practice crop rotation and refrain from growing garlic in the same area for three years.

White Rot - causes the leaves of the plant to turn yellow and wilt, with a fluffy white growth appearing on the bulbs. Again there is no cure or chemical control available and white rot stays in the soil for a very long time. The only real solution is to not grow garlic, onions or leeks in the same spot for about eight years.


Thanks for reading our gardening articles, we hope they are useful. Graftingardeners offer many types of tree services and work in all areas around pimlico and SW1V.

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