Planting Elephant Garlic

Yep it’s that time of year again – time to get your Garlic in. Personally, I love the fact that Garlic goes in the ground this early. It’s a great way to get you focusing on next year’s season even while this one hasn’t quite finished.

Sowing Garlic now means that you have to really think about what vegetables are going to go where in next year’s garden. You have to make room and be confident that that little patch of land can stay undisturbed until late Spring next year (when you harvest your Garlic) – it’s a big commitment! Of course if you’re undecided and need the extra thinking time you could always sow it in pots.

This year I’ve decided to try my hand at Elephant Garlic. I’ve seen the cloves on sale many times but never bought any. So when I saw some at the Malvern Show last week I took the plunge. Garlic, elephant or otherwise, is planted in the same way, no more than 2 inches below the surface.

Elephant Garlic is technically a wild Leek which may account for its milder flavour. As with all Garlic its best planted in Autumn as it prefers a stretch of cold weather. And ideally the ph of your soil will be around the 6 mark. Garlic doesn’t like acidic soils. But for me the best thing about Garlic is that the slugs won’t touch it! Of course there is a possibility that the evil white rot might appear again but I’m taking my chances.

15 Comments on “Planting Elephant Garlic

  1. Would one need to transplant the garlic from a pot the ground?
    I mean i dont have any ground space and i was hoping i could grow some garlic in pots all over the house?

  2. I’ve never grown elephant garlic either. In fact, I’m not growing anything over winter this year so that I can manure the whole plot. I’m trying to get some goodness back into my soil.

  3. best time year for Garlic esp as dark nites close in with vampires hiding amongst the shadows

  4. I grew elephant garlic last year – right off of the grocers produce shelf and into the garden. I love anything that keeps growing over the winter.

  5. Planted my garlic this weekend along with onions and shallots. You’re absolutely right – it makes you think about the planting plan for next season as they’ll be in there for a while and I got a bit squealy about it.

  6. I planted garlic in Jan and it didn’t really do much. When I harvested it it wasn’t much bigger than a conker and hadn’t formed cloves but the taste was lovely, really delicate. I thought garlic needed cold weather to divide and it was in through all the snow that bought the country to a standstill in Feb. Can you please tell me where I went wrong?

    Kay x

  7. Hi Kay – I would try planting them a bit earlier next time. The reason it’s best to plant in the Autumn is so that they get a good root system going before the onset of the cold weather. They then go dormant but come back with vigour in the Spring. It sounds like your Garlic didn’t have enough time to get going before it got too cold.

    I have heard that if your Garlic doesn’t bulb up then you can save it and plant it again in Autumn to get a bumper crop the year after. I haven’t tried it but it’s an interesting concept.

    Sounds like you ate all yours though :)

  8. Hi, one of the chaps down at the allotment told me that garlic needs a good period of cold to do well. I tried planting my garlic in Oct 09 one season, and got a great crop. I’m planting mine amongst my strawberry plants this year. It’s supposed to be a companion plant. I have to say, any other veg that I’ve planted near garlic has always been slug and snail free, so fingers crossed that the strawberries get protected.

  9. We have planted elephant garlic for the first time at the very end of September…At the same time we planted ordinary garlic….The garlic as taken root and started to grow…but the elephant garlic is doing nothing……When should we see signs of life ????? And will it be any good for making curry’s????

  10. You won’t see any signs of life yet – probably early next year. All of the action will be underground until then. I’ve never grown Elephant garlic before so I’m not sure about the curry. They are milder than normal garlic so maybe roasted whole, or popped into some Camembert and oven baked with fresh bread. Oooh I’m making myself hungry.

  11. I have just dug up our Elephant Garlic and, like last year, left a couple of cloves in the ground which should take for next years crop. Although we eat the cloves, which are very tasty indeed, we grow them mainly for the magnificent flower head that it puts out. This year I have kept the seeds and will start some off early next year. As for growing them indoors . . . they grow to about 4 feet tall! It might be a good idea to leave the pots outdoors to get the benefit of the cold weather and then bring them indoors when it starts to flower.

  12. my normal garlic came up to 4 feet last year and i only planted it in march and picked it at end of june…very big bulbs too….i did use quite a lot of compost though to be fair…im trying elephant this year for the first time….i only planted last thursday

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  14. How big a container would I need to grow elephant garlic?

  15. Don`t pull the plant because it flowers! just cut the flower stem off and leave…