As a biennial, elephant garlic blooms for just two years. To complete its life cycle, it requires two growing seasons. The cloves are ridiculously large, having a diameter of almost 5 centimeters for a single piece. No matter how big it is, it’s still an error in naming. Elephant garlic is a kind of leek, not a true garlic bulb as the name may imply.
While it has a little garlic taste, it is not overpowering. In the first year, it just has one bulb, yet it continues to grow. During the second year, this bulb is more likely to break into many cloves than the first year. Despite its classification as a biennial, it will produce fresh cloves the following year. For novices, figuring out when to harvest elephant garlic might be a bit of a thorn in their side.
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During the last stages of maturation, harvest garlic when most of the leaves become yellowish-brown and begin to flop to one side. Elephant garlic is typically planted in the autumn and harvested between May and July of the following year, according to normal practices. Garlic grown in the autumn has plenty of time to split into cloves. It is possible to harvest spring-planted elephant garlic, although it is likely to yield only one bulb.
Elephant garlic’s growth and yield may be affected by a variety of circumstances. It is possible, however, that if you pay little attention, the procedure will become clear. It is here that your questions about elephant garlic cultivation, harvesting, and maintenance are answered:
The time of harvest is greatly influenced by the kind of growth culture used. Planning to cultivate elephant garlic has several considerations to keep in mind:
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As long as it gets some sunshine, Light Elephant garlic is happy. On most days, they should be exposed to at least six hours of daylight. Though the bulbs may be smaller, they may still thrive in partial shade as well.
A pH range of 6.0-7.0 is ideal for elephant garlic, which thrives in rich, thoroughly cultivated soil that has been well-tended and well-drained. For garlic, clay loams are a better choice than sandy soils. The only thing you need to make sure of is that the surface is well-drained. Soil that recently produced an onion family crop should not be used to grow elephant garlic since it belongs to the onion family.
When in full bloom, Water Elephant Garlic requires regular watering. Moderate moisture levels in the soil should be maintained by sufficient water. Don’t let the soil get moist that it rots the bulbs if you overwater.
Watering in the morning will guarantee that the plant is dry by nightfall. As an alternative, you may utilize a drip or trickling system, which provides water slowly to the soil.
Temperature Elephant garlic can withstand the specified temperatures rather well, although it may need some assistance. An area where the plants may be shielded from strong winds would be ideal for planting. You may also cover them with mulch to keep the roots safe from the harsh winters.
When moisture or humidity is abundant, fungi may thrive. Soil and air movement may help avoid this.
After removing any stones, level and smooth up the soil, it is ready for planting. A suitable organic fertilizer may then be added by mixing with compost. If you’re not planning on harvesting your bulbs next year, you may add another layer of compost. Elevated beds are also advised for elephant garlic since surface drainage is critical.
A thin paper-like covering binds the bulb’s “cloves,” which are arranged in a spiral shape. Separate the cloves and plant them one at a time before planting. The pointy end of the cloves should face up and be placed 1 inch below soil level for optimal results.
Each clove should be spaced around 10 inches apart in all directions so that they may develop. Using a shovel or spatula, fill up the holes. Also, straws and other organic things work well as mulch. Keeping weeds at bay and keeping moisture in the soil are all benefits of this.
Your garlic alliums will be less likely to suffer from any problems if you keep them watered, ventilated, and well-balanced in your yard.
Alternatively, you may remove the blooming stalks, or scapes, from your garlic plants to prevent them from blossoming. The garlic taste is not overpowering, so they may be used in salads, stir-fries, and even pesto sauce.
When they get 8 to 9 inches tall, cut them off so that the bulb development may be more fully concentrated. Some gardeners may choose to employ them for their aesthetic appeal
If you want to avoid this, you should rotate crops, use hand hoes, buy disease-free bulbs, and use herbicides.
You know it’s time to pick the garlic when the leaves are browning and leaning over. Stop watering them now, since excessive moisture might lead to the bulbs rotting. To harvest, use a tiny hand trowel or a border fork to carefully remove the bulbs.
A cold, dry, and dark location would be ideal for storing newly gathered garlic bulbs. Keep the biggest bulbs for next year’s replanting if possible. However, it’s ideal to purchase fresh bulbs before the planting season begins.
Elephant Garlic is a fascinating perennial plant that will provide beauty and elegance to your garden for years to come. There are several sources for locally produced, organic garlic, such as farmers’ markets and specialty food stores.
There are also heritage and non-GMO types that may be found online if that is not possible. Raising elephant garlic in your yard or using it in your cooking will be a rewarding and eye-opening experience.