One of the most common ingredients to use in the kitchen, garlic is versatile and healthy with a signature scent that’s unmistakable. This French garlic variety is the type you would find in supermarkets, producing white bulbs with a pink blush that are ready to harvest In June and July. Homegrown garlic has a much stronger taste than that found in the supermarket, so less goes a lot further when it comes to cooking. Plant between May and July, ready to harvest in June and July the following year. Sometimes you plant will produce delicate flowers that can be eaten as a garnish or flavouring for stir fries.
For the best results you should plant garlic bulbs in rows that are about 45cm (18") apart. Leave about 10cm (4") between bulbs and aim to plant them 2cm (1") deep. Make sure you plant the bulb with the thin end pointing up, not doing so will increase the time it takes the first shoots to emerge. Choose a well-draining soil that receives full sun throughout the day. This is an easy to look after plant that will only require light watering once the soil has become dry, however it is vulnerable to aggressive plants so weed often to allow it room to grow.
As it grows, each garlic bulb will produce a large green shoot. Once this shoot begins to go yellow your garlic is ready to harvest. To harvest, gently prise the garlic from the ground with a fork and leave to dry in a shed for two to four weeks.
Garlic that is harvested too late will start to take on an unpleasant taste so it must be harvested as soon as its ready. Once your bulbs have dried, they can be stored between six to eight months. For most efficient storage, keep you bulbs in a well ventilated, dark and cool space such a mesh bag or a hanging garlic braid. Do not store the bulbs in a place that is too bright or in a fridge as this will decreases the flavour a lot. When ready to use, simply remove the cloves you need from the bulb and prepare appropriately for the dish you are cooking.
- Grown in Scotland
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