Episode 337. How I grow elephant garlic

Join me in today's podcast, where I am discussing how to grow elephant garlic. I also share the latest from the plots.

Episode 337 transcript

Hello and welcoem to episode 337 of the veg grower podcast. My names Richard and I am on a mission to grow as much food as I possibly can in my allotment and modern victory garden.

Today is the 22nd June 2020 and today I will be talking about where we are heading here at the veg grower podacst hq a bit of a update if you like. But first we have the diary pieces from over the weekend.

Music fades

Its Saturday the 20th June 2020 today. And today I have a been sowing some more peas. Peas are bit illusive for me I can grow them but I always have problems with them. This year the peas I have grown at home Where growing great but I grew them under protection of some wire mesh. Well when the peas couldn’t grow past this wire mesh I adjusted the protection and then the chickens where able to get to the pea plants. Of course that meant that the chickens would eat at the plants and therefore I get no peas.

So I am sowing more peas to try and make sure I get some this time around and beat the chickens by putting up some proper protection. These peas I am sowing in a length of guttering like I have done before and the variety of peas is called petit de provence which can be sown in July too.

Other then that the wife and I had had another tidy up and sweep around the garden pruning many of our bushes and the ivy as we went along and I have also potted up some of my cabbage and swede seedlings that where sown a couple of weeks ago. So I rather busy productive day.

Birds tweet.

Its Sunday the 21st June 2020 overnight I have some bad news to share. You may remember that last week we hatched some more but one seemed to be struggling to hatch until I stepped in. Well unfortunately that quail didn’t make it and it passed on over night. I tried my best with it unfortunately I don’t thing it was strong enough to make it. So sorry to share that sad news.

Today I have been pricking out a lot more of my seedlings. My beet leaf, my rocket and my basil again like yesterday these where sown a couple of weeks ago and have been growing well but its time to get them into root trainers so that I can plant them out in the garden in a couple of weeks time. Now I find that pricking out a very time consuming and a little tedious job however on a nice day like today while listening to some podcasts the time does pass by and more importantly it gets the job done.

To prick out my seedling I use a dibber and gently remove each plant and pot them into individual root trainers to grow on. Pretty soon these will go into the ground. I am ofton asked why do I sow seeds in pots instead of in the ground and its a good question but the main reason I sow my seeds in pots is so that I can help the young seedling grow on without battling against weeds which can inhibit the growth of my plants or disturb them. THtas my logic anyway of course I am not saying I do it right but its what I do and it works for me although it probab;y does make more work.

Well that what I ahve been up to today.

Birds tweet

Well today is Monday the 22nd June 2020 Ive been on the allotment today and Ive noticed the allotment is very quite compared to how it has been in the past few weeks. I am guessing more and more are returning to work or they are avoiding the heat and going early morning and late afternoon.

Anyway today I built myself a second compost bin. At the beginning of lockdown you may remember I built a compost bin out of some old pallet wood. Theres a video on youtube if you are interested which I’ll link too in the blog post.

Well today I build a second one in the same way but just a bit bigger. My first one is full up and Ive even planted squash plants in it so I needed another bin which I had planned to do anyway.

This is usung up my collection of pallet wood which was originally usued in my beds which means im recycling more wood which I am rather pleased with and its not costing me anything other then a few nails.

The downside with this is they do not look attractive and using nails the wood occasionally falls out. Usually on my builds I use screws but for this I thought nails will do. And they will do. I am not expecting these compost bins to last forever but if I can get a couple of years out of it before I make some better looking compost bins I’ll be happy.

Of course after that I did some weeding and watering which is a constatnt task at the moment.

Its getting hot and I believe we are heading for a heat wave this week so I think this week I shall be down the allotment early in the morning.

Well that it for the diary section but as always please let me know what you have been doing in your garden,

Birds tweet.

Another eventful weekend here at the veg grower podcast hq. Rather sad about the young quail we lost but we do have 2 that has survived and seem happy.

So today I wanted to talk about how I grow elephant garlic.

Ive been growing elephant garlic for many years now and I started of with on clove. Since then every year I have saved the largest bulb and replanted that in ordert o keep my supply of elephent garlic going.

Now if you don’t know what elephant garlic is well its very similer looking to garlic but about twice the size. It smells the same as garlic it has a sligthtly milder taste but its technically not a garlic its more closely related to leeks.

Ive found that another greata dvantage elephant garlic has over garlic is that it stores for much longer. I have kept my elephant garlic for a year and its been fine.

So how do I grow it well every year in september october time I plant out the cloves indivudally. Now these cloves are from the largest bulb harvested earlier the same year. Usually I get about 6 cloves from a bulb and I the get 6 plants. I pop the cloves indivually into the soil about 4 to 6 inches deep and about 12 inches apart giving them plenty of space. The cloves are planted pointy end up. The soil doesnt need much treatment as generally elephant garlic likes a nuetral soil with plenty of organic matter which is how my beds are anyway. I use the same bed as my standard garlic as this seems to help keep me organised. Once planted I water in and keep well watereed. Over the winter months this isnt hard as we get a lot of rain but come spring they do need lots of water.

I feed my elephant garlic with a garlic feed the same as what I use for standard garlicwhich I get from the garlic farm.

Elephant garlic does like plenty of sunlight but will tolerate shade. However on the allotment its in full sun all day.

I do find elephant gartlic to be later then standard garlic to show signs of growth which can get nerve wracking but I have learned to just be patent with it and it never lets me down.

Once growing its a case of trying to keep weed free, well watered and well fed right up until june when its time to harvest.

Once harvested the bulbs are dried in a greenhouse before being hang my garage and used as and when needed.

I use my elephant garlic in the same way I would use standard garlic except a whole clove of elephant garlic is probably equivelent to 3 cloves of standard garlic in terms of size but lacks that garlic punch.

Ive also use these in garlic and potato soup which is very nice to eat and easy to make simply add a clove to some potatoes onion and vegetable stock simmer until the potatoes are soft then blend in a food processer season and serve.

Now if your looking to grow elephant garlic and want to give it try you can get cloves for planting from the garlic farm or garden centres in the autumn.

Well thats it for today thatnk you for listening. If you want to get in touch email me richard@theveggrowerpodcastco.uk visit the website www.theveggrowerpodcast.co.uk or find me on social media. PLease take care and ill see you again next time.

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