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Sow garlic

Sow garlic

Sow garlic now for a generous crop of fat, fragrant bulbs next summer, as they need a good spell of frost to encourage them to split into cloves. There are three different types of garlic to choose from:

Hardneck garlic is the gourmet choice, with particularly good flavour. Try early-maturing 'Chesnok Red' or the spicy flavours of 'Red Sicilian'. Their flower stalks, or scapes, give you a scrumptious additional crop picked and stir-fried whole.

Softneck garlics are the workhorses of the garlic world, reliable producers which store for months after harvesting. 'Solent Wight', milder-flavoured 'Germidour' and super-reliable 'Provence Wight' are all good choices.

Elephant garlic is more closely related to leeks than garlic, and produces just a few really huge cloves in a massive bulb. It's enormous fun to grow, and great to eat too with a mild, piquant flavour that's delicious roasted whole.

To plant: separate the cloves and bury them in a row about 15cm apart with the pointy end up, about 2cm below the soil's surface. If you garden on heavy soil, plant them in individual pots in a cold frame to begin with to get them off to a good start before transplanting into the open garden early next spring.