RB’s sister Julia, a seasoned allotmenteer, gave us two cloves of elephant garlic for Christmas as she knew we were preparing our first vegetable garden. We had to get them into the ground in winter, so when we got around to it we hadn’t planned for the raised beds yet, let alone worked on the clay soil properly.
So it was a bit of pot luck, and although they have been harvested small, we are quite pleased they look like garlic and not a host for rot. Julia suggested harvesting when the plant flowers, which is what we’ve done. The photo above shows the one flower, which reached 6 ft high.
If we grow elephant garlic again I would certainly work the soil so that it is less dense in order to allow the garlic to grow large. I would also leave them in the ground longer, perhaps until the flower fully blooms, maybe even until half the leaves have yellowed like with normal garlic.
We have put the garlic in the late afternoon sun to start the drying out process, which we will continue in a cool dry place for a few weeks.
I can’t say we’ve grown prize elephant garlic, but the unopened bloom adds a great modern twist to this flower arrangement given to us last night.