Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby Primrose » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:40 pm

robo wrote:I pulled my elephant garlic up yesterday ,nothing really big a couple went to around five inches in diameter
but each one had small nodules on the bottom , it's the first time I've grown elephant garlic if I plant them will they grow or should I dry them and plant in Autumn



I had these little mini bulbs on my elephant garlic last year (first time I'd grown it )and just dug a handful of them back into the soil with a stick to mark where I'd planted them to see what would happen. Actually nothing seemed to happen so I don,t know if they're still there and I've done the same thing again with the little bulbs on dug dup plants this year

I'd like to think that if I leave them in the soil long enough I might eventually get some more pants out of them but Im m not holding my breath. Any elephant garlic experts out there who can advise?
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby Monika » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:59 pm

I have never grown elephant garlic (they are a type of leek rather than garlic, aren't they?) but today I harvested our first garlic Solent Wight and compared to the Provence Wight which are huge this year, the Solent Wight are quite titchy. Strange that, they were both planted on 1 October next to each other and watered and fed in identical ways.

We also picked two large feed buckets full of broad beans (variety de Monica). They are in beautiful condition, no sign of blackfly or chocolate spot, though probably with not as large a yield as in previous years, no doubt the result of the long dry spell we had. The rain last week (52mm in three days) has certainly helped to fill them out.
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby Primrose » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:12 pm

I've not grown ordinary garlic this year but find it interesting to read reports on the resulting harvests other people have had with their crops, particular in cases like Monika's where two different varieties of the same vegetable were planted side by side and treated in exactly the same manner.

One might draw the conclusion that the Provence Wight would be a better variety to grow for those particular conditions or soil, but nature being perverse, you might get a completely different result next year. Had your yield made you decide one way or the other for next year Monika?
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby peter » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:02 pm

Drowning under a positive avalanche of raspberries...... :D
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby robo » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:08 pm

I watched Monty Don last night digging up his elephant garlic I noticed two things ,1 he had nodules on the bottom of his ,2 ,mine were bigger :D :D
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby Primrose » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:32 pm

Yes but annoyingly he didn't say what he did with the little nodules on the bottom of the bulbs. Perhaps he doesn't know what to do with them either ! :lol:

I think if you have enough of them you just plant them in a small nursery bed for a few years and forget about them until one day, if you live long enough you actually find you've got some decent bulbs growing.

I was weeding a border the other day where I have quite a few purple decorative alliums growing and noticed a lot of very small bulbs growing which I assumed might be very young bulbs forming. I just covered them up again and left them to their own devices.
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby KG Steve » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:15 am

You can grow them on Robo. In fact you may find that any bulbils left in the ground after harvesting the parents will sprout of their own accord and grow on for next year, but you can of course carefully separate them. I'd tend to plant them rather than store them as I think they might dry out, being so small. Either in trays for planting later or in a row in a sheltered spot on the plot. They will shoot when they are ready. They will likely only form small, solid bulbs next year and probably without cloves, but still tasty!
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:25 am

What do Elephant garlic taste like? I know they are a kind of lily, which has put me off eating them, but do they taste properly of garlic like the real thing?
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby KG Steve » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:29 am

Like garlic, but milder. I think they are delicious, especially baked whole in the oven!
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:34 am

Thanks Steve, a new one on my list. It says to plant them in October or November to give it time for the bulb to divide. When do you plant yours?
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby KG Steve » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:45 am

You can plant in spring or autumn, but you are right - I think the bulbs need a long growing period and cold conditions to form good cloves, otherwise you find that lots will form complete bulbs with no cloves - although these are still tasty. So to answer your question (eventually) Plumpudding I plant mine in the autumn.

They grow well in raised beds, too if your soil sits cold and wet through the winter.
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby peter » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:53 am

PLUMPUDDING wrote:What do Elephant garlic taste like? I know they are a kind of lily, which has put me off eating them, but do they taste properly of garlic like the real thing?


My understanding is that they are of the Leek family.
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby KG Steve » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:55 am

Yes more closely related to leeks than onions (or garlic).
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:30 pm

Allium ampeloprasum is related to the wild leek and in the lily family. I've stopped being lazy and actually looked it up :o It is a larger version of the Babington leek which grows wild in parts of Britain and can be grown as a perennial if you only lift the largest ones and don't let them get too overcrowded. So if you leave some of them in the bulbils will grow on too.
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Re: Early Summer bits and bobs - 2017

Postby Westi » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:24 pm

Peter - ditto with the raspberries!

I've been inviting my mates down to take them & they have by the bowl full, but still they come! And the blackberries are looking pretty happy as well!
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