In previous years we’ve sometimes been a bit late in planting out our garlic, the result being a large single bulb that hasn’t had time to form and give us the traditional segmented cloves that we want for the Genus kitchen. It seems time and cold weather are the cure and for the last couple of winters we’ve been quick to get in our orders and the bulbs have arrived in October to enable an autumn planting.
The choice this year was a variety called ‘Garcua’ a soft neck variety that stores really well. The cloves were planted an inch deep and to our surprise green shoots were out of the ground within three days - mild weather the reason for their enthusiasm - a period of cold should dampen their ardour!
While down on our hands and knees we planted our hardy onion sets. Red skinned ‘Electric’ and white ‘Radar’(picture) have been our choice for several years. They cope well in the cold of our rural garden, open on most sides to fields and meadows, and never suffer from unwanted pests or diseases. We’ve started planting them slightly deeper than normal - too shallow, and inquisitive blackbirds pull at the emerging stems uprooting the young plants - so just deep enough to allow fresh roots to anchor them well before the green shoots appear temptingly above ground.
Broad beans will be next. A deep pre-Christmas sowing of a cold hardy variety such as ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ always does exceptionally well for us giving a bumper crop in late May or June. There you go - we’re already thinking of summer!!