The name “elephant garlic” (Allium ampeloprasum) is a misnomer; the plant is related to the leek, and its larger cloves resemble conventional garlic (Allium sativum). Elephant garlic normally only produces four or five bulbs, unlike conventional garlic, which produces many.
Although it has a milder flavor than garlic, it is edible straight from the ground. You can also plant it close to rosebushes, but timing the harvest might be challenging if you’ve never produced garlic before.
Elephant Garlic, which has beautiful flower spikes up to 1.5 m tall, is a lovely addition to any garden for those of you who have the space and want to grow your own.
It should be planted in September or October so that it will be ready to harvest in June of the following year. It prefers full sun and moist conditions.
Clear the area of weeds and outdated plants before digging it over and adding fertilizer. To give these enormous seed cloves room to expand into a monobulb, space each one 20 cm from its neighbor.
Normally, this separates into a number of distinct cloves that bloom in late spring with gorgeous spikes of flowers. In order to ensure that the bulb instead of the bloom receives all of the plant’s energy, it is recommended to remove these (and eat the tasty scapes!).
Your own ripe Elephant Garlic should be available by late June and prepared to be harvested and consumed.
Several things affect elephant garlic’s growth and harvest timing. First is a growing culture. Plant single bulbs from late September until the end of November.
This encourages large leaves that support higher harvest yields, upward of 4 pounds for a 10-foot row. Garlic sprouts appear within 30 days, but the herb doesn’t mature until late spring or early summer.
Remember to plant each garlic clove pointed side up when you divide your elephant garlic seed bulbs, advises Burpee Seeds. According to Utah State University Extension, grow garlic in a location with direct sunlight and in well-drained soil that has been amended with a lot of organic matter.
Mulch helps you save water, add extra nutrients, and do less weeding. If the elephant garlic blooms, remove it so that energy can be directed toward the bulb.
Elephant garlic needs two months of temperatures around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which promotes the growth of the bulb, blossom, and roots. If your summers are lengthy and hot, wait to plant bulbs until the temperature steadily drops. This delays harvest time and promote healthy bulb development.
For garlic to mature, it needs to be watered when it is first planted and then on a regular basis in the spring. It works with one inch of water per week in well-draining soil.
If you reside in a region where spring and summer are hot, you will need to water your plants more frequently to prevent stress and meager harvests.
Garlic should be planted in the fall, when temperatures are consistently cool, to correct this. Give the elephant garlic water in the mornings of April and May so that the ground dries by dusk. In your last harvest, this deters infections. When the top leaves of the garlic begin to dry, stop watering.
Elephant garlic should be ready to harvest between May and July of the following year if you follow the fundamental growing instructions and sow it in the early fall. According to Burpee Seeds, fall-planted garlic should be harvested 240 days after planting. Garlic sown in the spring should be harvested 90 days after planting.
The leaves bending over and dying back is the main indicator that the bulbs are ready. Use a tiny hand trowel to pick the garlic by loosening it from the soil once half the leaves have died.
To monitor bulb development, start with just one plant. You should be able to harvest and store your entire crop if you planted all of the garlic at once.
The neck of a bulb is prepared for storage when it has dried entirely. For the longest shelf life and the finest flavor, remove any remaining leaves and place the bulb into a vented container, such as a mesh bag, in a cool location away from sunlight.
Elephant garlic doesn’t keep as well as regular garlic, so it’s best to refresh your garden by purchasing fresh heads right before planting season.