Eureka! The perfect place to plant garlic

I had something of a eureka moment on the plot this week.   While November marched onwards, I was still faffing over where to plant the garlic.  Not a major problem in  the grand scheme of things, but still, I like garlic and we eat loads of it.

Having lost most of my onions to the birds, who have nothing but contempt for the scarecrow, I didn’t want the garlic to to disappear the same way five minutes after planting.

Then it struck me: why not plant the garlic inside the carrot tunnel?  Not only would the existing netting keep thieving beaks away, but the garlic would serve as an extra deterrent in the battle against carrot fly.

Better still, the soil where I’d already pulled up the first row of carrots was lovely and workable, ideal for planting.

November is the perfect time to sow garlic.  Simply break the bulb into cloves (it’s best to buy garlic for planting, not just use one from the supermarket which could harbour disease or be unsuitable for the climate) then press each clove, flat end first, into the soil, about 3cm deep, leaving 10 cm between cloves.  I also added some garden compost to the soil to give it a boost.

And that’s it, just leave it to grow until the summer. By the time the foliage is pushing against the carrot netting, birds will no longer be a threat, so you can take it off. It will be time to plant new carrots elsewhere anyway.

I’d like to say I planted some rare, heritage garlic, but in reality I didn’t get round to ordering any and just bought what was left in the garden centre:  Cristo and Solent Wight. I’m sure they’ll be fine.

I also planted Elephant garlic (technically a leek, but grown like garlic) except I didn’t realise the packet contained two cloves rather than two bulbs. So at £1.50 per clove they’d better be good!


About Becky Dickinson

Mum of three. Writer, blogger, grower. Trying to keep my head above the compost heap.

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