Roasted whole or chopped or crushed into anything, It has to be one of my best additions to a nice home cooked meal! I even love to just look at a nice string of it in the kitchen!! :)
Anyway, this years crop has been pretty good on the whole. Luckily though I planted quite a lot of it, five varieties to be precise... Vayo, Solent wight, Albigensian wight, Tochliavri and Elephant garlic, as some did much better than others.
Planted last autumn sometime around october, probably an inch or so deep, and about six inches apart. Performed the best out of all of my varieties. Nice white bulbs with a pinkish stripe on them, which are a very respectable size. It is a hardneck variety so it does send out flower stalks (scapes) which I remove so the plant puts all of its energy into producing the bulb.
The least impressive of my garlic varieties. This was planted last autumn as was the Vayo, but it has produced only mediocre bulbs at the best with most of them destined for puree Mo & Steve's garlic puree thanks for that Mo. This one is a softneck variety so no flower stalks to worry about here, and apparently softneck varieties keep longer, but I shall have to keep you posted on that.
This one produced some lovely looking bulbs, and some rather poor ones aswell, probably a result of something I did (or didn't do more likely) but on the whole I am happy with their performance. Again it was autumn planted as were the previous ones, but it didn't seem to establish as well as the Vayo initially, but then went mad come spring.
This was my only spring planted variety. Again an inch or so deep, and about six inches apart, but planted around march time. Softneck variety so no flower stalk again. This was the first spring planted variety I have tried, so I was a bit anxious about how well it was going to do in a much shorter space of time than the autumn planted varieties, but to be honest it surprised me how well it performed.
These were my own cloves from last year that I saved. Planted around october again, they have performed pretty well, although I have dropped a clanger here and not harvested them quick enough so most of the bulbs have split..... pants!!!! Oh well, I still have some massive cloves to use up, but they just won't look as nice in storage. These were planted a bit deeper than the other garlics, maybe two inches or so deep and about ten to twelve inches apart.
I have watered all of them a bit earlier on in the year, kept the weeds down as best as I could, and given them a top dressing of bonemeal in the spring, but other than that they have been left to get on with it.
I lifted most of it about ten days ago, and the last of it at the weekend, and it has been drying since then, with my first bulbs ready to plait in the next few days. I think I should have probably lifted it a week or two before I actually did, which may have saved the Elephant garlic from splitting, but I shall do better next year. Out of the five varieties grown this year, I shall substitute the Solent wight for something else next year, maybe Chesnok wight, but the other four will go in again, from my own cloves that I shall save and replant.