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Elephant Garlic

Newly emerged flowers.

COMMON NAME:  Elephant Garlic
BOTANICAL NAME:  Allium ampeloprassum
FAMILY:  Amaryllidaceae

Elephant garlic harvested a little late and the cloves breaking apart. This doesn’t hurt the food value but does reduce storage life.

GARLIC PLANTING:  Actually a leek, this large garlic is planted similar to regular garlic but it is more forgiving. Plant cloves in prepared soil about 2 inches deep. Pointy end up is the best, but I’m usually going too fast and lay the cloves on their sides. Corms can be planted slightly more shallowly. Soaking the cloves, corms or rounds in Garrett Juice before planting is helpful. Putting cornmeal in the soil at planting also helps, especially if your garden soil is not alive and healthy yet. Space can be 6 - 10 inches apart. Water in and then cover with about 1 1/2 inches compost. Emergence will be in about 7-14 days.

Elephant garlic harvested a the right time showing the firm bulb. Timing is usually when the foliage first starts turning brown on the tips.

HABIT:  Large growing foliage to 18 inches. Flowers can easily grow to 4 feet, some even taller. Spread is 24 - 36 inches. Will grow in full sun to partial shade. Some shade in the afternoon is helpful.

Bulb, cloves, corms and rounds.

CULTURE:  Good drainage is essential so raised beds, rows or hills are best. Fertilize at least twice per season with an organic fertilizer and spray at least monthly with Garrett Juice. Cloves and rounds are best planted in the spring: corms can be planted anytime. All start to grow in the fall. Garlic thrives on even, not-too-heavy moisture and prefers cool roots, so irrigate as needed and mulch with shredded native tree trimmings. Mulch will also protect against frost in cold areas and help control weeds anywhere.   

Flowers that have been allowed to go to full maturity.

Elephant garlic just harvested. Notice the golden corms on sides of bulbs.

Elephant garlic bulbs.

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