We often get caught out with our onion and garlic by not getting them ordered and in the ground until well after Christmas. Last autumn was an exception and we managed to have them delivered and planted by the start of November.
Garlic in particular needs a cold spell to initiate segmentation of the bulb - too late in the season and the result can be a single marble shaped ball with no individual cloves. Even in the cold of November our garlic, a variety called ‘Garcua’, hit the ground running and was showing green shoots within three days of planting. The onions ‘Radar’ and ‘Electric’ were a bit slower off the mark but soon caught up.
The only issue we had during the growing period was their desire to set seed - throwing up flower stems or scapes as they are known - something that can ultimately reduce the overall quality and crop size. By snapping these flowering stems off we were able to arrest any degradation of the bulbs and maintain our yield.
Lifted in slightly damp conditions we’ve put them in the greenhouse for a few days to dry off before we store them in our cool pantry. Garlic ‘Garcua’ is a soft neck variety, making good sized bulbs and keeps for a long time so should see us well into winter.