A Mediterranean diet is allegedly good for us so eat more tomatoes and garlic.
Elephant garlic is an allium but not a true garlic. It is technically a stem leek which produces massive bulbs approximately 4 inches in diameter. The cloves are also much larger than conventional garlic with a milder taste making it suitable for a wide choice of culinary uses, especially roasting.
Top 10 Tips
- Suitable for Spring or Autumn planting I am starting mine off in February but I could wait as late as May.
- Cover the individual cloves with one to one and half inches of soil over the top of the clove.
- Give each plant space to grow, 6 inches plus.
- Garlic responds to well dug soil with adequate amounts of phosphate and potash.
- Sulphate of potash will help protect against rust disease the main problem with garlics.
- Never let the plants run dry until a couple of weeks before harvest.
- As harvest approaches lift the head with their green leaves.
- Hang is a warm dry area with all the leaves attached until there is no moisture in the necks.
- Store in a warm, dry place, a cool place will encourage the cloves to sprout.
- The curly flower stalks also called scapes should be removed to concentrate growth into the bulb. The flower arrangers may have different ideas.
‘Elephant garlic sprouts small bulbils on the cloves or on the leaf bases, usually at least three per head. If these become detached from the parent bulb and left in situ they develop into rounds. If, however, bulbils form at the leaf tips it is not elephant garlic, but Babington’s Leek, which some growers mistakenly offer as elephant. According to the National Vegetable Society
The best crop will be produced on light, friable, well drained soil in full sun.
When planting ordinary garlic plant only the outer cloves from each head. Those cloves, that is, with one rounded and one flat side, the inner cloves, which are square or triangular in section, should be used in the kitchen.’