Late autumn is the best time to plant garlic, because they generally need a cold period for proper bulb development.
There are two types of garlic: hard-neck and soft-neck. Cultivation for both is the same, but hard-neck garlic sometimes produce flower stalks – which should be removed to divert all energy into bulb development. Soft-neck garlic is named because their necks bend over when ready for harvesting; they do not flower and these type of garlic tend to have a milder flavour.
- Break bulbs into cloves just before planting.
- Add a balanced fertiliser at planting time.
- Plant each clove 1 1/2-2 inches deep (3-4 cm), pointed end up.
- Plant into well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun.
- Apply 15 grams per square metre sulphate of potash in February.
- Water plants well in the growing period.
- Stop watering for a few weeks before harvesting in summer, to help ripen the bulb.
- When you harvest, lay them on a board in the sun to dry and ‘cure’ before storing.