Hello, today I’m going to show you how to
grow her elephant garlic. I’m Liz Zorab and this is Byther Farm. Elephant garlic
is part of the Allium family, so onions leeks and that sort of thing and far
from actually being a garlic is actually a member of the leek family and it
produces wonderfully large bulbs that are edible. They’ve got a very mild
garlicky flavor and you can use the leaves or you can use the bulb.Most
people grow it for the bulb so this is one Erica from Erica’s Little Welsh
Garden. She grew this last year and has given it to me so I’m going to grow mine
in two different ways this year. I’m going to grow one bulb which I’m going
to plant and then I will harvest next summer and the other one I’m going to
plant and I’m going to leave in the ground and allow each each of the each
of the cloves to form much bigger plants and grow them as perennials. So much like
garlic it will have cloves in it, it will also produce little bulbils at the
side which I’m going to save and plant this as well. It’ll take longer to reach
maturity but it will get there. When you break open the elephant garlic bulb you
get these huge huge cloves to plant which is great.And when you cook these
they have got just a beautiful taste but if you roast them, they do that
lovely caramelized thing that garlic cloves do but a much much milder taste.
So I’m going to start by marking out the line of where I want to plant these
elephant garlic’s I like not just those I’m putting in today I’m going to put in
some ordinary garlic some onion sets and some shallots so I’m going to try and
get really organized today. It’s very simple to plant, you make a hole, now I
like to plant mine four to six inches deep so that’s four to six inches soil
above the top of the clove so I’m working on the basis of this is the the
depth of the hole the clove will go here I need to go a little bit more than that
there we go and they need about eight to ten inches apart so I’m going to go the
length of my trowel just because I do have the luxury of that much space and
it’s worth spacing them out because enough and guard it really doesn’t like
to be cramped doesn’t like to be crowded by other plants
it likes space to expand and to flourish so once you’ve made your hole for
planting it it’s just as simple as popping it in the hole covering over
remember to mark the row. As with all garlic and onions
it’s a pointy end up and the flat end at the bottom which has got the little
root base on it. Now they will produce flower stalks which called scapes, so a
stem will come up out of the middle with a with a flower bud on it. Cut
those off because it will divert energy away from the bulb but don’t
throw them away. You can use them in the same way now you would use any other
garlic scape, so you can stir-fry them and now absolutely delicious. I’m also
going to push a stick in here to remind me that that first section is elephant
garlic and the rest of this row is something else. And when the second bulb I got from
Erica, I’m gonna put it in this bed which is a perennial herbaceous border it’s a
couple of small very small low-growing shrubs in it but everything else is
herbaceous I’m going to grow these as perennials in here and they’ll come up
during the winter they’ll be there in the spring and then it will start dying
back at around the same time as some of the larger herbaceous perennials will
really get going so hopefully this won’t feel crowded the
clothes on this are huge they’re really good there are a couple of bow bells
which I’ll save and grow perhaps I’ll mock them at that end of
the bed so I know what they are so I’ve got five large cloves and 1 2 3 bulbils
from this, that’s great! So here we go. And again planting it nice and deeply. This is duck bedding, used duck bedding
that I’ve put on here as a mulch. It will help suppress some of the weeds so I’ve
cleared a little space in it for that elephant garlic to be able to grow up
through it. The ground in this area is quite free draining. Elephant garlic doesn’t like sitting in a waterlogged soil. So although our field is quite clay-ey,
luckily this area drains fairly freely. Where should I pop this other one! Let’s
pop it across here. So that’s the elephant garlic in, really
pleased about that and now I’ll crack on with some of the other onion family. Once it’s planted how you just wait and
let it grow, it should shake off the frost fine and will start growing with
quite wide strap like leaves very like leeks. And then you’re going to harvest
it mid to late next summer unless you want to grow it as a
perennial in which case you’ll leave it let it grow on and then the year
afterwards you can start harvesting from the outside or you can just let it
grow into a really nice big clump and then harvest the largest ones.