When should I lift garlic?
When the tops have withered, carefully lift the bulbs with a fork.
In dry warm weather they may be left on the surface of the soil to ripen in the sun.
If the weather is inclement, then place them on either mesh or slatted shelves to dry.
Once dried rope them up or place them in a net bag and hang them up in a cool dry place.
l would like to grow my own garlic, how do I go about it?
Garlic can be grown quite successfully in the UK.
It needs a light, fertile soil and a sunny situation, and a long growing season.
Plant out the cloves,(the individual segments that make up a bulb), any time from mid October to early December.
Plant the cloves 150mm (6") apart in rows 400mm (14") apart, covering them with about 25mm(1") of soil.
Keep the ground between the bulbs clear of weeds.
The bulbs should be ready for harvesting in July after the foliage has withered.
Whats the difference between hardneck and soft neck garlic?
Hardneck literally ha a hard neck as a result of the stem extending down to the base plate.
Soft necked varieties on the other hand do not have this stem.
Due to the softer nature of the neck these can be pleated much easier when tying up for storage, whereas hardneck varieties generally have to be tied individually.
Softnecked varieties are said to store longer than hardnecked varieties, however there are some hardnecked varieties that will store equally as long as softnecked varieties.
Hardneck varieties tend to have fewer but larger cloves per bulb.
Hardnecks need to be planted in late autumn for them to able to produce decent size cloves where as softnecks can be planted late winter / early spring if ground conditions allow.
If softnecked varieties are planted late winter / early spring they will not be ready for cropping until late summer/early autumn, with autumn planted hardnecks being ready a little sooner.
Hardnecked varieties produce flowerless stems with bulbils on them.
These bulbils can be potted up to increase stock!