The hardneck type of garlic stores well and comes in a variety colours and flavours. Garlic needs a sunny location, rich in humus. 'Scapes' – garlic's shoots that appear in spring – must be cut, and are a food delicacy in their own right. This article takes you through clove selection, planting, caring and harvesting garlic.
Growing garlic at a glance
Garlic is planted in autumn and harvested the next summer. Garlic needs an extended cold period so the clove can grow into a new bulb.
Each clove produces a new head. As not all cloves will sprout, figure in up to 15% extra when planting.
Large, healthy-looking cloves are best for planting. Garlic from a supermarket is not suitable for planting. It might be treated, or it could have been grown in a different climate than your own. Use special planting garlic from a nursery or garden centre, or get untreated garlic at a reliable local source.
Garlic needs a sunny location with loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter and compost.
As a member of the onion family, garlic should not be grown in an area where its fellow crop family members - onion, leek, shallots or spring onions - were grown the year before.
Garlic is a good repellent against many pests and thus an ideal companion plant for most vegetables, with the exception of beans, peas, parsley and sage, which do not grow well near garlic.