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Milder than ‘true’ garlic, elephant garlic produces satisfyingly large, plump cloves with a light, mild flavour. Easy to grow both as an annual or perennial, elephant garlic is a great addition to any garden or allotment.
Elephant Garlic Bulbs
More closely related to leeks than actual ‘true’ garlic, elephant garlic produces huge bulbs, large blue-green leaves, and flower stalks up to 2m high. It can be used for culinary (perfect for roasting or baking!) or ornamental purposes.
The bulbs can weigh up to 500g and reach up to 10cm in diameter. Elephant garlic cloves are often so large, that a single clove will suffice for a meal (and the peeling is easy!).
To produce the largest bulb possible elephant garlic requires more maintenance than regular garlic. Weeding and eliminating competition around the plant is one of the key sets to success, a regular watering pattern will avoid stress and stop the bulb splitting which is a common problem when trying to grow such a large bulb. Once the bulb has started to form feed once a month with a general purpose liquid feed - avoid where possible splashing the liquid feed directly to the bulb and instead of water at soil level.
On harvest, you will notice some small seeds the size of a gumball it will be brown and often resembles a nut you can keep these and remove the hard outer shell or alternatively soak in water to soften and plant in a 9cm plant pot. This one bit of seed will produce 1 elephant garlic clove over 12 months, once the clove has formed you can plant this out and allow another 12 months and it will grow and produce a full size elphant garlic bulb.
Elephant garlic bulbs? No we do not sell the complete bulb due to the size of each bulb some may only contain 4 cloves while others may have 6-8 cloves. We try and be fair and average out the supply to 6 cloves, if the cloves are smaller than average we will include a few extra cloves with your order.
Growing Elephant garlic? It's not like normal garlic it's best to grow it as you would a leek! The earlier you plant it the better the bulb it will perform. Make sure the soil is nice and loose, make a small drill and push the clove into the ground and water. You can cover them - although we never do! A guide for spacing is to place them about palms width apart.
Water as you would a Leek plant to encourage good growth, half way through the growing season switch to a liquid feed.
Tiny bulbs? or Elephant garlic balls? 2 year elephant garlic? These little brown balls are also garlic! You need to grow these over 2 years if you wish. You tend to find them attached to the roots or next to a clove on harvest. Simply remove or add a small split in the brown husk (shell) taking care to avoid cutting the tender bulb beneath. Transplant these into a 9cm pot and keep either outdoors in a semi sheltered location or in a greenhouse, water regularly.
After 12 months you should have grown a single garlic clove. This can now be transplanted to the ground to grow a full elephant garlic bulb!
Elephant Garlic Details
- Average Germination Time
- 7 - 14 Days
- Sowing Method
- Direct to Ground
- Grow in Greenhouse or Polytunnel
- Optional for Early Crop
- Packet Seed Count
- 6 - 10 Cloves
- Average Number of Cloves Per Bulb
- 4 - 8 Depending on Size
- Recommended Soil pH
- Suited for small space growing
Sow and Harvest Times