Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Growing => Grow Your Own => Topic started by: mobilekat on August 16, 2012, 22:55

Title: Elephant Garlic
Post by: mobilekat on August 16, 2012, 22:55
I have consider growing this previously, but have been put off by the high price of buying cloves to plant.
Today I was in the local farm shop and they had it for sale for 3.50 per bulb, locally grown.
So I grabbed a bulb and came home.
It did then pass my mind its a tad early to be planting, so I was thinking of storing this in a cool dark place for a few weeks before planting out (surrounded by razor wire etc to discourage the local mouse population.)

does this sound like a good idea?

Has anyone much experience with this plant- I know its not a 'true' garlic, but from what I can see the care is pretty much the same?

Many thanks

Title: Re: Elephant Garlic
Post by: Trillium on August 16, 2012, 23:15
It'll grow and resemble a garlic, just a huge one. I doubt mice will bother with the oniony flavoury though.  It's always worth experimenting with this plant to see how you like it, especially at a good price.

A fridge is a good spot to store it until you're ready to plant. Just label it so family and others don't try to use it.
Title: Re: Elephant Garlic
Post by: Paul Plots on August 17, 2012, 02:37
I've grown elephant garlic for about 6 years since being given half-a-dozen by a cousin.

Plant in October spacing around 12 to 18 inches apart. I always put in a small marker to remind me not to hoe too closely before it comes up.

An easy plant to grow - likes a cold spell to help it form separate cloves. Once it's growing well a sprinkle of blood/fish & bone (I think that's what I plonk on)  ::)

In May / June or even a bit before, depending on the weather, keep an eye out for flower stalks and snap them off as soon as they form.

When the leaves begin to brown lift them and place somewhere to dry out thoroughly.

Store some in the shed to plant the following year. I have never bothered too much about keeping them cool but dry is important.

The nice thing about them is they grow when there's not a lot else on the plot and you can always plant a row of onions or something else in-between the rows once they are up. They also make for a very impressive harvest being so large and different.  ;)

Personally they are not my favourite food but several people in the family like them for stir-fry and oven baked.
Title: Re: Elephant Garlic
Post by: Christine on August 18, 2012, 17:33

They also make for a very impressive harvest being so large and different.  ;)

Don't they just? I had an audience of plot holders when I harvested mine  :D They are a lot of stick in the muds up here. Elephant garlic and marrows on the compost heap are a whole new world.  :D
Title: Re: Elephant Garlic
Post by: Paul Plots on August 18, 2012, 20:43
Having left about 6 hanging in the allotment shed since I harvested tham last year I'm going to see if they have any life left in them and plant this October.

I fancied a rest from them this year. I'm not sure they would have loved it quite so wet as it has been. If not dried well once lifted they do not store well I've found.
Title: Re: Elephant Garlic
Post by: mobilekat on August 18, 2012, 20:51
Thanks for the replies.

I have VERY determined mice here- they have a history of nicking my normal garlic!

I think a few weeks in the fridge and then once the autumn comes plant them out and see what happens!


Title: Re: Elephant Garlic
Post by: Paul Plots on August 20, 2012, 02:12
Thanks for the replies.

I have VERY determined mice here- they have a history of nicking my normal garlic!

I think a few weeks in the fridge and then once the autumn comes plant them out and see what happens!


Mice are about the one thing (so far) I've not had trouble with on the plot... but elephant garlic is planted pretty deep (6" or more). Would mice dig down for them?