Grow It Yourself - November

Garlic is where it all started for GIY, so of course, we grow loads of it at GROW HQ. Since most of the garlic available in supermarkets is from China (still, grrrr), it's a great one to grow yourself.

In case you don’t already know it, here’s the famous Garlic Story. A man walks into a supermarket...

Once upon a time there was a pale, chubby IT salesman called Michael, or Mick, but never Mike. One day Mick was food shopping for the family. Mick likes garlic, so Mick decided to buy some garlic. Good man Mick. But, wait a minute, what's this?! On a 90cent garlic bulb the sticker read "product of China". Now Mick has nothing against the Chinese per se. But China is a good 5,000 miles away from Ireland. And garlic is not exactly fussy. It's not like a panda, it doesn't need a specific temperature and nutrition and mood music and all that malarkey. So why the hell did someone decide to treat this garlic to the trip of a lifetime for 90cent a bulb?

That was the moment, the one on which Mick's entire life pivoted. Not content to remain a pale, chubby, foreign-garlic-buying IT salesman any longer he sallied forth from that mid-priced supermarket to grow his own damn garlic! And thus began the GIY story....


Most GIYers sow garlic in early winter (Oct-Dec, but before the shortest day of the year – Dec 21st) as the bulbs benefit from a cold snap. Some varieties however can be sown in spring but they won't grow as big. Pick a sunny site, with good fertile, free-draining soil. Apply an organic fertiliser before sowing. Divide the garlic bulb into cloves and plant each clove just below the surface, about 4-5 inches apart, in rows 12 inches apart. If soil is very wet, sow in module trays and transplant when sprouted.

As with onions, garlic hates weed competition so keep the bed weed-free. Hoe carefully around the bulbs once or twice over winter. Water occasionally in dry weather but don't over-water.

Harvest when at least half to two-thirds of leaves on each plant are yellowish-brown. Autumn sown garlic will be ready in early summer. Do not allow them to go too far as they lose flavour. Lift carefully using a trowel. Dry on racks in sun (or indoors in wet weather) for two weeks. Hang in plaits.

Where To Buy Garlic?
We recommend getting your garlic from garden centres or directly from producers as most garlic sold in supermarkets are grown in different countries and therefore usually need to grow in different climates to Ireland. If you do want to chance it and grow some supermarket garlic try growing them in containers!

To find out more about growing this fantastic veg why not grow along with Mick and Karen? Garlic took the role of our superstar veg in series 1 of GROW COOK EAT. Series 1 & 2 are available to watch on our YouTube channel now.
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Give The Gift Of GROWBox
Our full range of GROWBoxes are back and make the perfect gift for someone you think needs to get growing. From bees to salads there is something for all kinds of growers. You can shop the full range on the GIY website.
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Gift the gift of a GROW HQ experience - our gift card can be used in our award-winning cafe, for any of our courses, and our retail shop.

We use only trusted Irish suppliers and select varieties known for their reliability, yield and taste.

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