|Garlic 'Bohemian Rose' showing strong early growth. It's leaves are reputed to grow over a metre high|
No allotment season at VP Gardens is complete without an experiment or two, and this year is no exception.
First up this year is a garlic trial using 3 new-to-me varieties courtesy of Marshalls, where one of the trio (Red Duke) is reputed to have some rust resistance. I didn't grow any garlic last year because rust was so rampant on my plot in 2014. I did harvest plenty of usable bulbs back then, but of the fiddly, hard to peel kind, rather than the bulging fat cloves which are a joy to cook with.
Winter's been constantly wet here in Wiltshire, so I've been unable to get onto my plot to plant out my cloves. As you can see that hasn't held me back as I've resorted to my usual potted solution instead - handy for anyone who gardens on clay and loves their garlic.
The pots mean I've also been able to take advantage of the few frosts we've had - a necessary ingredient if my planted cloves are to become full heads of garlic themselves*. As you can see I've spaced out my pots so they've had good air circulation around them. It's now time to plant these out before they become pot bound.
I had plenty of cloves left over, so the smaller ones are planted up in large pots to give me plenty of green garlic before the bulbs are harvested in the summer.
The varieties I'm growing are Bohemian Rose, Mikulov, and Red Duke, all are hardneck varieties, so they should be good for flavour. What garlic - if any - are you growing this year**?
* = something I learned when I visited The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight a few years ago and asked why my garlic had just one clove.
** = there's just enough time to plant some if you haven't already. Make sure you buy spring planting varieties; mine are autumn planting ones.