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Thread: Growing Garlic in different varieties

  1. #1
    Heavenly Creature
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    Growing Garlic in different varieties

    Anyone tried growing the Spanish Morado garlic in the UK?


    We generally sow a few rows of cheap Chinese white garlic, selected from bulbs bought cheaply at markets and supermarkets. (Iím cheap, I donít go giving Thompson & Morgan and the like £4 a bulb with ten cloves in it, only five of which are worth planting).

    The results we get arenít outstanding, but do produce a somewhat stronger-flavoured garlic than when used straight from the shop. The few months growing in UK soil seems to give them a sharper flavour.


    This year we recently put in three rows of Chinese red striped, and three rows of white, pretty much as usual, when I noticed Lidls had in stock some Spanish garlic of the Morado variety. (Morado means purple). I looked up this variety, and it seems to be very well known in Spain, and quite a tasty number. When tried raw, it is much stronger than the anonymous Chinese varieties, so we thought weíd give it a try.



    Morado is generally sown in the Autumn in Spain, to give it time to form a decent root system before the colder weather. Over here, South West Garlic Farms have grown it for years, down in Dorset. It being late Winter now, it might still be worth a few experimental rows, I figure.



    But Iíd be interested to know if anyone on here has grown this variety, or indeed any other interesting Continental garlics, in the UK.
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  2. #2
    If they are being sold here(bulbs?),i don`t see why they wouldn`t grow here.
    Couldn`t you give then a bit of protection over the winter to help them along?
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  3. #3
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    The garlic bulbs sold in Lidl's are really primarily sold for eating, but as they are an interesting variety, I thought I would try growing them as well. They are probably better planted in Autumn, and given protection over the worst winter months, and we might try that next year.
    But for now, it being late wintertime, I thought we could plant a few rows and see how they do. I might give 'em a bit of protection if the weather gets bad, as you say. 'Tis just an experiment, really.

  4. #4
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    I do not know what varieties I grow because years ago I bought a kilo of mixed bulbs from a dealer as it was a bargin price and since then I save the best bulbs back each year for replanting ,I have hard neck and soft neck varieties , and I always plant them towards the end of october as I was once told they need a frost on them to make the bulbs split into cloves , no cold and you get those single large clove jobbies (like they sell in Lidl now and then). I think they also like high intensety sunlight ? thats why they do well on the Isle of white .
    I plant about 150 cloves , and this years crop is about 6" tall now.I never give them any protection , and we are 700ft asl and get very hard frosts, they don't seem to mind at all !
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    Peace Practitioner! Cobra's Avatar
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    I'm glad someone started a garlic thread,as I was going to start one myself!
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    I've never grown Garlic,so is it just as easy as it sounds,buying a normal garlic clove from a supermarket,separating the cloves and re planting as you would onion sets?If so,I may try some on my allotment this year,but not sure if I will plant them now,I may wait until Autumn?What do you think?TIA
    *Thanks Oldkeith for starting a Garlic thread xox
    Note:Just had a quick look on Suttons(Not that I would buy from them,too expensive!)but they do have spring planting Garlic.I guess it worth a try growing the supermarket ones,as they're cheap enough if they go to seed or whatever.

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    That's worth knowing, Ma. Do you find that both hard and soft neck varieties do equally as well?
    I have autumn-planted here a few times, but we seem to lose about 20% to wet-rot and some sort of pest that eats the root, and even to birds tugging out the young shoots if we didn't cover 'em.

    There's an interesting thing an old boy told me about the difference in type of bulbs you get with autumn and spring plants, identical to what you've just mentioned.
    He said if you want big bulbs with lots of cloves on 'em, large and small, plant in autumn to get the heaviest crop. But if you want single largish cloves, what delights every cook because they don't need to peel a mass of smaller ones, plant in early spring.
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    Ive slwsys bought my garlic from 'the garlic farm' not cheap but if you want nice heritage/ heirloom varieties theyre where to get them.

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    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Yes keith , both types do very well , but hard neck seem to make more traditional bulb of larger cloves , where as soft neck smaller cloves with an inner set of cloves which can be a faff to peel , but I tend to chuck them skin and all in with a roast(roasting pan with tight lid) with onions carrots and what have you ,Then put it through a seive to make gravey
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    . Hard neck are a pig to make a plaited string of bulbs with !
    Only problem I have had with garlic is rust , but it comes when they are pretty much ready to harvest , Birds will pull the odd one out ,but bigger PITA is our cat using the veg patch as a shitting place and digging them up , but not once they have come through , and its easy to push the sptouted cloves back into rank .
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    I've planted a couple of cloves of Elephant Garlic this year, for the first time. Note I said couple of cloves - they cost me a quid each ! I hope they survive to make many more cloves.
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  10. #10
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Elephant garlic is actually a member of the leek tribe
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    Originally Posted by ma bungo
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    Elephant garlic is actually a member of the leek tribe
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    I didn't know that, they should do well here then, leeks grow like crazy.

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    Originally Posted by Boaty McBoatface
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    I didn't know that, they should do well here then, leeks grow like crazy.

    Same here
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    Originally Posted by Cobra
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    I'm glad someone started a garlic thread,as I was going to start one myself!
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    I've never grown Garlic,so is it just as easy as it sounds,buying a normal garlic clove from a supermarket,separating the cloves and re planting as you would onion sets?If so,I may try some on my allotment this year,but not sure if I will plant them now,I may wait until Autumn?What do you think?TIA
    *Thanks Oldkeith for starting a Garlic thread xox
    Note:Just had a quick look on Suttons(Not that I would buy from them,too expensive!)but they do have spring planting Garlic.I guess it worth a try growing the supermarket ones,as they're cheap enough if they go to seed or whatever.

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    We've never had problems with growing cheap Chinese bulbs from Aldi or Lidl or from the open market; it's just that you can't expect a very high yield, because many of even the better cloves from the bulbs are quite small. And, as a general rule, the bigger the clove you plant, the bigger the harvested bulb will be.

    So the finished bulbs from the bigger cloves are a medium size, about the size of the parent bulb, and those from the smaller cloves have only doubled or trebled in size. But worth growing for their better taste over their Chinese parent bulbs.

    As NRT says, you get what you pay for, and cloves of a good variety from a reputable seedsman will produce better bulbs the first year. We don't bother about that much, so long as we have enough garlic of a decent flavour to last halfway through the winter or more.
    But when I saw these cheap - 85p for a pack of 4 bulbs - Spanish Morado bulbs in Lidl, I figured they were worth a gamble. We bought 3 packs, so 12 bulbs in all, which when taken apart yielded around 100 cloves of decent planting size, and an equal number of tiddlers for culinary purposes, unless we bring some on in a seedling bed, ready to plant in Autumn.

    So we paid £2.55 for an amount of a named variety that would have cost between £25 and £30 from a seed merchant. As you say, worth the gamble at that price!

    Cultivation is dead simple, much like onions. But they do need watering in a very dry spell, otherwise they just stop growing, and it can take a month of rain to get them moving again, if ever.
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  14. #14
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    Remains of last years crop , we had 4 strings
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    Very nice, Ma! Some of them look a deal larger than mine. Do you give 'em any special treatment, apart from selecting the bigger bulbs for planting?
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    Originally Posted by Boaty McBoatface
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    I've planted a couple of cloves of Elephant Garlic this year, for the first time. Note I said couple of cloves - they cost me a quid each ! I hope they survive to make many more cloves.
    My O/H is a bit of an Elephant Garlic evangelist
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    . We were given a couple of them years ago at an allotment open day, and the guy who donated them wanted nothing, just for us to grow more, and in turn pass them on. Which Marian does every late summer, while there's still a few around.
    They are much milder than ordinary garlic, and can be sliced and eaten raw. They are quite delicious baked gently till they start to ooze
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    . If anyone's passing in the late summer, call in and you might be lucky
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    Originally Posted by oldkeith
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    Very nice, Ma! Some of them look a deal larger than mine. Do you give 'em any special treatment, apart from selecting the bigger bulbs for planting?
    No more special treatment than any other crops
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    I am a great believer in feeding the soil , not the crop . The worms do my work , and other than keeping weeds at bay , I let nature nutrure
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    I do use my biggest bulbs as my future
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    My Garlic will be going in the ground about ten days time.
    The soil is under a fleece at the moment drying out and warming up.

    Base is heavy clay (suitable for pottery) so planting in the Autumn tends to lead to rot
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    Results are not fantastic, but are acceptable for the limited growing season they have round these midland parts.

    YMMV

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    Originally Posted by oddballdave
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    My Garlic will be going in the ground about ten days time.
    The soil is under a fleece at the moment drying out and warming up.

    Base is heavy clay (suitable for pottery) so planting in the Autumn tends to lead to rot
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    Results are not fantastic, but are acceptable for the limited growing season they have round these midland parts.

    YMMV

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    Get more humus in your soil,sell your soul for it!!! clay can make bloody good soil with enough compost, encourage worms ! I have never had soil that was not clay to start with.
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    I know folk who grow garlic on clay, by planting them on ridges with loads of humus.
    If men bore wings and had black feathers, few would be intelligent enough to be crows.
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    Dig a load of manure in. I had a 40 ton delivery couple of years back, it's now rotted to a beautiful black soil.

    I'll be looking for more this year, last I heard it was £6 per ton, so a hundred tons is affordable.

    Build soil - it's the best investment you can make, and as Ma says - let the worms do the work.

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    Originally Posted by parrotandcrow
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    I know folk who grow garlic on clay, by planting them on ridges with loads of humus.
    We have clay coming out our lug holes , people knock up pizza ovens from the damn stuff in these parts the poor deluded souls . get it converted !!! it will grow stuff like billy oh !
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    Originally Posted by oldkeith
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    That's worth knowing, Ma. Do you find that both hard and soft neck varieties do equally as well?
    I have autumn-planted here a few times, but we seem to lose about 20% to wet-rot and some sort of pest that eats the root, and even to birds tugging out the young shoots if we didn't cover 'em.

    There's an interesting thing an old boy told me about the difference in type of bulbs you get with autumn and spring plants, identical to what you've just mentioned.
    He said if you want big bulbs with lots of cloves on 'em, large and small, plant in autumn to get the heaviest crop. But if you want single largish cloves, what delights every cook because they don't need to peel a mass of smaller ones, plant in early spring.
    That's interestng cos in Spain I was told that you plant garlic winter solstice and harvest on summer solstice. Never remember as have other things to think about those dates, but one year....
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    Originally Posted by Boaty McBoatface
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    Dig a load of manure in. I had a 40 ton delivery couple of years back, it's now rotted to a beautiful black soil.

    I'll be looking for more this year, last I heard it was £6 per ton, so a hundred tons is affordable.

    Build soil - it's the best investment you can make, and as Ma says - let the worms do the work.
    If its horse manure you need to be carefull the horses have not been on pasture sprayed with herbicides , as it passes through into the poo , and will destroy your veg plot !
    Good soil is almost a pleasure to weed , as they pull pout easy rather than snapping off .

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