Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

After deciding not to tie up my beds for months to grow Garlic, circumstances have conspired to encourage me to plant for this season.


After the almost-failure of the crop last year, I bought some kilos of Biodynamic Garlic from Patrice Newell in the Hunter Valley. This is divine Garlic, the best commercial bulbs I have ever eaten. However ... coming from a cold place to a warm place, it decided it would like to sprout. Meaning the Garlic arrived in January 2011 and is sprouting in May 2011, not really a practical solution to year-long Garlic eating. Certainly it is still very much edible and will be for a while yet (how long remains to be seen). It's pointless growing that variety here, it's cold-adapted for a long growing season (they plant in May and harvest around November). All the more reason to buy local!


Earlier in the year, I had bought a kilo of organic Garlic from the organic shop at Forest Glen (they used to have a stall at the Deception Bay markets and we really enjoyed getting fresh organic local produce). This Garlic came from around the Sunshine Coast and is quite different to any I have seen. The papery coverings (there must be a proper name for these things!) are a light-tan-slightly-golden with no hint of the purple I expect to see on Garlic. The bulbs are quite big and there's the occasional one which is dried out and brown but the rest are very tasty.


So since some of my winter veges didn't grow as planned, I planted 44 cloves of this Garlic out over 3 beds which are in the sun (my major issue last year was not enough sun).


They've been planted since I took the photo ;-)


I'll update the blog when there's more news.


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Comment by Scarlett on May 9, 2011 at 17:52

I tried leaving some in, and they flowered :(  

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 9, 2011 at 17:02
Elephant Garlic certainly does produce 'rounds' but then so I've heard, does the Chinese stuff since it's a colder-climate plant. There's nothing wrong with 'rounds' and next season they should produce cloves. Once you get settled you will be able to grow kilos of cold-climate Garlic and be wallowing in it ;-) It is marginal here certainly, but over many years I have had some decent crops even with the Elephant Garlic; funny though how all of us who bought that warm-adapted Garlic last season did not have very good crops but it is colder in Gatton than here though.
Comment by Scarlett on May 9, 2011 at 13:24
Mine grew fine, but it never divided into cloves - was just like one big fat clove/ bulb. Not incredibly garlicky taste either - might have been elephant garlic? but actually I think it wasn't, it just ended up that way. I planted elephant garlic and I don't think it sprouted.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 8, 2011 at 21:41
You don't need to wait until the cloves shoot - unlike Potatoes, Garlic will get a move on once it's in the soil. If you've got access to locally-grown cloves, they will at least be a warm-growing variety.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 8, 2011 at 16:53
I'd love to hear how yours goes too :-) It might be a tad late but then it's a short growing-season anyway - you just plant when you're ready.
Comment by Shirley on May 8, 2011 at 8:16
I will follow with interest, we haven't had much success growing garlic, however I bought some local (Gatton) so we have decided to give it another go this year, not sure if it is a little late to plant but we have our fingers crossed for success this year.

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