My Elephant Garlic
I had never grown elephant garlic before, but there were some leftover seed garlic after last year’s Sow True Seed garlic festival in September and I got a few.
Subjecting them to my usual “Xtreme gardening” measures, I shoved each seed clove into a patch of the sorriest soil that’s still in my garden: dry and pretty dense with high clay content. Nonetheless, they started growing right away and made it through the winter without much in the way of mulch protection.
Results are in, and as of May 1 they are the biggest, baddest garlic I have ever grown. The biggest one is nearly the thickness of a soda can, and it still has a few months to grow before harvest. I see a blue ribbon for this one at the Mountain State Fair next August. They seem tremendously happy, especially since I have been able to add some soil nutrients and compost for better drainage.
After digging them in July it will be necessary for me to “cure” the stalks and bulbs by air drying them in the shade for some weeks. That helps avoid spoilage when garlic stalks are stored.
If you want to try elephant garlic or any other type, order seed garlic ahead of time for seasonal delivery in the fall. Plan to plant around late October or November. Technically elephant garlic is a kind of leek but it is treated just as other garlic.
Stay tuned for a later blog post about dehydrating garlic to make garlic powder and garlic salt. I’m looking at a mammoth garlic harvest this year, so am going to branch out into new methods of preserving it.
Written by Sow True Garden Ambassador, Nan Chase
Our Garden Ambassador Program is a network of talented gardeners, writers and photographers. The Garden Ambassadors are here to help you learn and grow from real garden experiences. You can read more blog posts from Nan Chase HERE.