Elephant garlic is actually more closely related to leeks than garlic. The plants produce huge cloves on bulbs that can weigh more than a pound. It has a milder flavour than regular garlic. Elephant garlic is hardy down to USDA Zone 6, which means it grows in areas where the temperatures stay above --12.2 degrees Celsius. Knowing how to plant the seeds will help you produce this unique plant.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Seed flat
- Cold frame
Fill a seed flat with a mix of half peat and half perlite in early spring. Plant one seed in each cell about 1/2-inch deep. Water the cells thoroughly.
Keep the seed flat indoors in a sunny area, or place it outdoors in a cold frame, to protect it from freezing and the elements. Keep the seeds moist until sprouts begin to poke out of the potting medium. Transplant them into individual pots when they are large enough to handle.
Keep the elephant garlic plants in their pots over the summer. As the plants grow, water so that the soil is moist, but not soaked.
Plant the elephant garlic in the ground in late summer or fall. If the roots don't look strong enough the first year, keep the pots inside or in the cold frame over the winter, and plant the following spring. Choose an area with full sun and well-drained soil, especially if the soil is heavy. You may harvest the garlic 180 to 210 days from planting.
Tips and warnings
- Dig up the bulbs in their second year of growth when the plant is dormant in winter. Split them and replant immediately, in the ground or in pots, to multiply your harvest for next year.
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