Planting Elephant Garlic

Elephant garlic is more closely related to leeks than to garlic, despite what the name leads you to believe. The leaves are suposed to be more leek-like, but the plant forms a bulb of cloves like garlic does. The flavour of them is more mild than garlic, but with a similar taste.

But let’s get on with how I planted my Elephant Garlic, and I can tell you more about them after I watch them grow myself.

Step 1 Dig your soil to a nice fine tilth. Remove any rocks you might find. This is a root crop, so make sure you dig a little deep and make the soil nice and loose. I mixed in some organic fertilizer, glacial rock dust, bone meal, some compost from the barn I used to work at, and some old peat-based potting soil. Obviously, not a lot of each of these things went into each planting hole, but a small amount of each (more of the potting soil and compost obviously). This ground was a lawn just a few weeks ago.

Step 2 Check your bulbs. If any look like the picture above, discard them. Anything squishy or really shrivelled, or anything that doesn’t look healthy needs to be tossed out. You want your plants to be as healthy as possible and planting this and hoping for the best will likely result in diseases being spread throughout your garden. I was a little disappointed to find this mouldy bulb, as I just bought these a day ago. I should have checked them more thoroughly before I bought them. Learn from my mistakes and check your bulbs folks.

Step 3 Plant the cloves (my hands were too dirty to get a picture of this). Plant them as deep as the packaging tells you to, and space them apart accordingly. Since I only had 2 cloves to plant, I spaced them about 8-10″ apart.

Step 4  Label your row. This way you won’t have to try and guess what you planted there in a few months.

That’s about it really. Now we wait and see what they grow like. They are in a nice sunny spot so they should do well. They also better grow well and not make me regret using this nice space on them… And also play nice with the cucumbers that will go near them. So really, from the get go there is a lot of pressure on these “little” elephant garlic plants.

(Step 5: Water in! I almost forgot to add that… but don’t forget to give these a nice good drink)



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