One of the pleasures of growing your own is that one is always looking forward, preparing for seasons to come, even as nature is slowly preparing to rest for the winter. Clearing beds of summer crops creates space to plant for next summer’s garlic harvests.
Using no-dig methods means that beds are always ready for the next plantings, especially as regular hoeing keeps weeds to a minimum. I twist out the old plants, leaving most of the roots in the soil, which benefits the soil life and structure, and trowel out any weeds which might have been hiding there. A light tamping down with the back of a rake or my feet, and the bed is ready for the garlic.
I mostly use my home-grown garlic as seed garlic, choosing healthy bulbs with the largest cloves. Splitting the bulbs, I put the larger cloves in one dish for sowing and the smaller ones in another to use in the kitchen. If you grow both, keep softneck and hardneck varieties separate so that you know which is which when planting. To tell the difference, softneck bulbs have a pliable stem (which can easily be plaited for example) and hardneck a stiff woody stem. It is also fine to use garlic from a shop, but it’s best to make sure that it is organic as treated garlic won’t sprout.
Using a dibber to make holes, planting 10-15cm (4-6in) apart in rows 30cm (12in) apart will allow plenty of space to hoe and also gives enough room for intercropping. Garlic has a long growing time, with harvests in June or July, so making the most of this space increases your pickings. After planting (I pop sticks at the end of each row so I can remember where the rows are) I spread a 2-3cm (¾-1in) mulch of compost and intercrop between the rows of garlic with winter-hardy salads such as lettuce, corn salad, land cress, and lamb’s lettuce. Looking ahead, once that is harvested in the spring, sow carrots between the rows for a follow-on crop once the garlic is harvested in the summer.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Turn Up The Heat For Melons
Nothing shouts summer like a home-grown melon, yet they can be a challenge to grow in the UK climate. All the more reason to have a go, says KG editor, Steve Ott
PEAS PLEASE ME
Growing peas is a must for Rob Smith. Here’s his introduction to growing them, with top tips and some varieties you might like to try
Boost your BUGS
Gardens that are alive with bugs – whether beetles or bees – are healthy, beautiful places to be. They’re also more productive. Benedict Vanheems shares some simple tips to give bugs a boost this autumn and beyond
Flavourful Fruit For Creative Cooks
Much of fruit growing centres around the premise of eating the fruit fresh from the tree, but this month KG’s fruit expert David Patch turns his attention to fantastic flavours for the kitchen
Milly Fyfe lives on a farm in Northamptonshire with her two sons, Angus and Dougie, and husband Andrew. As well as tending to 100 suckler beef cows, 300 breeding ewes, 350ha of land for arable production plus chickens and pigs, the family also maintain a walled garden where they grow fruit, vegetables and flowers.
JUST ASK PIPPA!
After training as a botanist and gaining her MSc in Crop Protection, Pippa Greenwood spent 11 years in charge of the RHS Wisley plant pathology department. She is the author of countless best-selling books and is a long-standing voice on BBC 4 Gardeners’ Question Time. Here she talks with Daniel Heighes
Go Go Go october
It might not be the height of the growing season but Stephanie Hafferty is still very busy with garlic, green manures, mulching and making a new compost heap using pallets
POWER OF THE Pumpkin
Pumpkins are soon ready to harvest and with October 26 being National Pumpkin Day, Annabelle Padwick decided to focus on this autumnal beauty
Spoilt For Choices With Cherries
Who would have known there are so many varieties of cherry, each a delicious nugget of tangy sweetness? Fruit expert David Patch knows... and here are his top picks
A Future Garden With Roots In The Past
Garden Organic, the national horticultural charity, has opened the doors on a new organic demonstration and learning garden. We take a tour with head gardener Emma O’Neill
The Power of Fermented Foods
If you want to steer clear of colds, flu, and Covid-19, fermented foods are your friends. They hold the key to a diverse gut microbiome, which enables your immune system to mount its best defense against pathogens.
10 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Immune System
Never as a nation have we been more focused on immunity. But in spite of our best efforts, some all-too-common daily habits may be undermining our resistance to infection. Here are 10 sneaky immune saboteurs, and ways to change them.
MASTER PAINTERS OF THE WORLD
TIPS FOR supporting Immunity
As we enter the winter months immunity support is even more critical to reduce the impact of being infected by COVID-19.
The myths and truths about immunity
It’s time to separate science from science fiction when it comes to your health and boost your immunity IQ.
Beat the Bugs
10 ways to conquer colds, fight flu, and stay healthy this winter
Recharge Your Immune System
What does it really take to boost your resistance to colds, flu, and other types of illness? We sat down with holistic health expert Michele Burklund, NMD, to get the scoop on maintaining a healthy immune system
A floral Noël
FOR SOME ATTRACTIVE DYI YULETIDE DECORATIONS, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN YOUR OWN GARDEN
Ears to you
PROLIFIC AND EASY TO GROW, SWEET CORN IS ONE OF THE OLDEST CULTIVATED CROPS IN THE WORLD
Use Tammy Silver’s knotted bag to spruce up your party season outfits