Community Gardens, Vegetable Garden

Now’s a great time to grow your own garlic

October 22, 2013

(…unless your soil’s too wet!)

planting garlic cloves in ClonegalWhen I switched the lights off last night and headed to bed, it was with slight concern. The weather forecast was awful for the morning and I was wondering how on earth I was going to keep 16 gardeners in Clonegal happy and interested in today’s grow your own lesson that I’d planned for them.

blue skies in Clonegal

The first two weeks in October in Clonegal

This is an outdoor class that’s enjoyed sunshine and warmth for the past couple of weeks and although we can dress for and work around showery days, the forecast was for torrential rain! As it happened, the worst of the rain kept away almost until lunchtime and everyone was dressed for the showers we experienced.

We covered several topics including soil pH and nutrients and managed to sow three rows of garlic before the downpour sent us scampering inside for shelter.

If you still think growing your own won’t save you a great deal of money, think on this. Three bulbs in the packet from the garden centre for planting purposes cost us €3.49. The three bulbs split into 48 cloves, each of which will hopefully grow into a bulb.

Garlic bulb split into clovesI just checked Tesco online for a price comparison. In Ireland they’re selling three organic bulbs for cooking for €1.99. Assuming all 48 bulbs grow (although they weren’t labelled ‘organic’ their price would be similar) they will have cost 22c for three (instead of €1.99), a saving of €1.77 per pack.

Incidentally, in the UK the identically packaged three bulbs cost 77p… 

If you’d like to grow your own garlic, garden centres are selling Autumn sown garlic now that are specifically for growing and are certified disease free. (That’s not to say you couldn’t eat them, but garlic for eating is cheaper, see above.)

Here’s an old blog post explaining how to grow your own garlic. Will you be growing your own garlic this autumn?


  • Reply Olly October 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I set a lot of onions and garlic in the patch this year and things got off to a good start, leaves were lovely and thick, the onion bed was looking amazing and I was looking at a good crop.

    Unfortunately by July the onions had not get much bigger and it was easy to pull them out of the ground. Roots were shrivelled and there was a mildew on the bulb. I was the victim of onion rot!!! The garlic got attacked too, however, the elephant garlic seemed to be ok and we had a pretty good crop from that. We are growing leeks but they dont seem to have been affected.

    We have only been here for 2 years and this is the first year of growing onions. I dug all of the beds for the veg patch out of the turfed area so its not as though I have been growing alliums in the same area for too long.

    I love onions, but now am in a position where I cant do anything about it for a long time!!

    • Reply greensideupveg October 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      Oh no! That’s so disappointing 🙁 would you consider a couple of raised beds with some imported topsoil?


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