12 Cloves of Elephant garlic – Nb – l have noticed that at times some of my images are not upright as they should be, this is nothing to do with my settings – but a glitch with WP – they are all loaded in the right way up. But l can only apologise if yours are looking odd.
Time To Do The Jiggy, Clothes On, Cloves Off!
Season 3 – Autumn/Winter 2019/20
Oooh these are monsters! Elephant garlic cloves from The Garlic Farm in the Isle of Wight …
Suze and l use a lot of garlic in our cooking and we decided it would be way easier to simply grow our own. l did try once before in 2017, but they ended up rotting on the bulb in the ground because they got too wet and this time around l am not prepared to have that happen again. With all the rains we have been having for the last three weeks alone in Kent, the ground is just too wet to plant out.
For next year’s season  l have decided to grow garlic in containers and make sure the drainage is ample. In 2017 l planted them in raised beds and they really didn’t like that – so this time l will try things differently.
I have a lot of garlic this time around, including Elephant, Caulk White and Early White – a grand total of 36 cloves. I only planted out 24 cloves today and so have 12 cloves of Elephant left for a later sowing.
One of the reasons, and there were several, that Suze and l decided and wanted to grow our own vegetables was so that we were in greater control of the foods that we eat as well as to ensure that there were no unwanted chemicals involved in the process. The harmful chemicals that farmers, manufacturers and growers alike spray into their crops and fields every year is one of the leading problems to health problems globally and we decided we had had enough.
In the coming episodes l will be discussing in more details our growing menu for next season and the choices have been made as the result of knowing exactly what it is we consume more of and more so – having control of the growing for it organically and chemically free.
Garlic Cloves… there is a pointy end and a fat end.
The ideal planting time for garlic for us is between the winter months of October to December, although you can plant them from January – March – pending on the variety being planted out.
The best soils for garlic is free draining and they cannot stand, staying in water, hence why l am going to be using containers this year and not taking any chances.
I have bought my seed cloves from a grower rather than use cloves from the supermarket as l have heard tales about them not being 100% productive. Garlic doesn’t like the soil to be too acidic either and this time around l am using a really nice variable compost that l have been working on for the last few weeks to make it nice for the planting.
To ensure that l am not planting into wet soil, l have planted next seasons cloves in biodegradeable [BDG] pots and l will start their growing periods under cover in the greenhouse. Once they are ready to be planted out, l will simply plant the pot itself into the final location and the earth will take care of the decomposition of the pots.
It’s pretty easy to plant garlic, and it is even easier when planting them into these BDG pots – you just have to remember a few things – round end down and pointy end up of the garlic clove, bury them only in their own length [3-4cm] of soil – so there is no need to have loads of compost / soil above the pointy end, and great results can be achieved just by using a multi – purpose compost.
When they are out in their growing location, they enjoy a good sunny window as in the more sun the better, water when too dry, but don’t let them become burn dry [as in the result of unbalanced watering], and ideally to allow for at least 9″ depth for their root system in the pot. Remember to stop watering them in the last few weeks leading up to their harvest. They are ready to yield fruit when the leaves start to yellow off and fold over – or alternatively reflective upon your planting time – around middle of May to the middle of August.
3 – 4cm Depth for normal sized cloves is more than ample
With elephant garlic which are that much bigger [5-7cm length] again bury in the right depth.
Then cover with compost/soil again – l tend to leave a smidgen of the pointy end visible, but you don’t have to do this. Once everything is planted, l sprinkle another layer of compost into the pots, water and then cover the trays. These garlic cloves will now stay here till sometime in January when l will get ready to transfer them to pots for their growing position for the season.
I spent quite a few hours in the garden today, it was a sunny day again and so there was much that needed to be attended to, but at least l now have the garlic planted and that’s another niggle off my mind. However l’ll tell you more about today over this weekend.
Check out the guide below:
I sorted the bird feeders out this morning … we had a beautiful Eurasian Jay visit the garden today, and oh my they truly are colourful. She/he was tucking into the lard ball cage with gusto! Check out the video below, aren’t they gorgeous? I have not seen many of them, however yesterday l did see 6 green woodpecker eating the seeds of the palm tree above me which was wonderful – as l have NEVER seen 6 all in one area!!
I/we have bought new feeders as some of the ones we had were damaged and old, so new ones were purchased for this winter approaching and so that our birds would not go hungry, but more importantly that there were enough seeders to go around and not be 100% monopolised by the doves and the PoPs [wood pigeons].
Have added some new peanut feeders in.
Doubled up on the lard balls as the garden birds love to tuck into these during the winter months.
I’ll leave you today with a quick shot of the recently filled new seed feeders which have now been moved as you can see from this image to the first image at the top of the sequence! This was done, because two PoPs landed on the branches and after three minutes ate that much!!
I found this video absolutely fascinating, and then noticed where it came from … from one of my old landlords when l used to breed animals and his speciality then was bird seeds and feeders.
Anyway l’ll take my leave of you now
Thanks for reading everyone, till the next time …