If you didn't get round to planting any garlic last autumn, there's no need to panic - you can still enjoy a bountiful crop of homegrown garlic this summer with our special spring-planting bulbs: Solent Wight, Tuscany Wight, Picardy Wight, Lautrec Wight, and our very own Mersley Wight. This last variety is named after our farm on Mersley Lane - which itself gets its name from an ancient colloquial word for woodland. Mersley Wight is a beautiful, large, long-keeping, full-flavoured bulb; a popular variety for the garlic-growing connoisseur!
All of the bulbs in our spring-planting range can be planted from January through to the end of March, and will offer you a fine crop of garlic in late July. Once you've planted your bulbs (see our step-by-step guide here if you're growing garlic for the first time), keep the soil well nourished with some sulphate of potash, and continue to fertilise and weed the area for the next few months. From April, once Spring has truly begun, don't forget to water your crop, as the soil can dry out on the sunny days that we start to enjoy at this time of year. By late July, your garlic should be ready to harvest - you'll know when it's the right time to lift the new garlic, as the lower leaves begin to turn yellow and lie on the ground. There's nothing quite like the taste of a freshly harvested, homegrown bulb of garlic!
On the farm, along with planting lots and LOTS of garlic, Colin Boswell is passionate about planting trees to enhance all aspects of the farm environment. He's overseen the planting of most of the woodland area now visible along the farm walks, and the original withy (willow) bed can be seen as you approach the lake. Colin comments, "The first woods planted in the 1980s got away well and will be thinned soon; the plantings of the 1990s have closed canopy, and are beyond 'thicket' stage. The latest plantings were done under the Forestry Commission (FC) JIGSAW initiative, in the early 2000s, some of which will soon close canopy."
When you visit The Garlic Farm, you are always welcome to explore the surrounding land, which is part of the beautiful Arreton Valley (maps available in our shop). Or take a Tractor Tour, in the school holidays, to enjoy a guided tour of the farm's fields and surroundings.