Forget the mince pies for now and get your hat, gloves and boots on! If you have not yet planted your garlic cloves for harvest next June/July, now is definitely the time to do so.
Our garlic is divided into autumn and spring planting types. In our current UK climate most garlic can be planted in the autumn/winter but spring types such as; Solent Wight, Picardy Wight and Mersley Wight, definitely produce neater and more rounded bulbs from being planted in January and February.
When it comes to planting your garlic, you will firstly need to choose a well dug piece of your garden that hasn't had any garlic, leeks or onions planted in it over at least the last 18 months. Garlic grows well in most garden soils but if you think your ground is acidic then apply lime from the garden centre at three handfuls per square metre. Remove all weeds from the ground and apply a general fertiliser, or better still, The Garlic Farm Fertiliser which is available on our website: http://bit.ly/2hhEypp. This fertiliser is specially developed for garlic with minimal nitrogen (5%), phosphate (12%) and with the potash as sulphate of potash (20%), plus magnesium (3%) - sulphate of Potash is particularly beneficial to garlic. As a guide, apply half fertiliser in the bed before planting and half incrementally up till March. Our 300g pots are sufficient for at least 5 square meters of garlic in your garden.
The day you intend to plant, not before, break your bulbs into cloves, then mark out rows at least 30cm apart with cloves 10 to 15cm apart in the rows, according to size. The larger the clove, the more space it needs. Plant the cloves root end down pushed into the soil, pointed end up, with up to 50mm of soil covering it.
Once planted, your garlic cloves will concentrate on pushing roots deep into the soil so don't despair if growing points do not appear until the New Year. Keep them weeded and from March onwards keep them well-watered. In February and March, after hoeing around the garlic to remove weeds and aerate the soil, incorporate the rest of your fertiliser.
Growing a good crop of garlic is deeply satisfying. Enjoy tending it and watching it grow!