December is the perfect time of year to start growing crops of garlic ready for next summer. Traditionally, garlic is planted on the shortest day - December 21st, but can be planted anytime from late November onwards. It needs a long growing season and a cold snap to mature properly.
You can use garlic from a supermarket, or even better, from a garden centre. All you have to do is:
- Remove the outer skin, and separate the bulb into individual cloves.
- Plant each of these with the pointed end upwards, just about sticking out of the soil, in a sunny spot.
- If you’re planting in the ground, you need good drainage, so if the soil tends to stay wet for a long time after rain, then just add a bit of grit to improve drainage. The other option is plant each one in a 3 or 5 inch pot with compost- If you just have a sunny windowsill, try that. All they should need is watering and the occasional feed of fertiliser with something like Tomato Feed. How do you know if a pot needs watering? Stick your finger into the top, if you get bits of soil sticking to it - water it. If you don’t - don’t.