37 In Gardening/ Lifestyle

How To Grow Elephant Garlic

Hanging Basket How-To | angiethefreckledrose.com

This year, I wanted to switch things up and grow vegetables all season long.  I built a hoop house over my raised garden bed, and planted my very first winter garden.  I planted crops that do well in the cold, then took precautionary measures to make sure they wouldn't freeze.  Since this was my first try at growing vegetables all season, I set my expectations lower that usual and just hoped for the best.  I took notes of what did well, what did great, and what did not so great.  

How To Grow Elephant Garlic | angiethefreckledrose.comBefore I started planting, I made a list of unique crops that I wanted to try growing.  Baker Creeks Heirloom Seeds is the perfect place to shop.  They have a wide selection of not only seeds, but different varieties of garlic bulbs to choose from.  Elephant Garlic immediately caught my eye.  I wanted to challenge myself, as well as expand my gardening knowledge by growing something new.  Out of everything I tried growing over the winter, Elephant Garlic turned out to be my MVV(most valuable vegetable).  Seeing it through each growing stage was fascinating and such a great learning experience. 

About Elephant Garlic

How To Grow Elephant Garlic | angiethefreckledrose.comElephant Garlic or Allium ampeloprasum is not technically a true garlic.  It is closely related to the garden leek.  It tastes similar to regular garlic, although it does have milder flavor.  It can be used in cooking just like you would use other garlics.  The cloves are larger, and the leaves of the plant are tall and flat more like a leek.  The foliage is a bluish green color and starts to produce a flower as it matures.  You can cut these scapes off when they are young and cook with them! If you leave them, they will bloom into a gorgeous light purple flower.  Just like the name states, they are large plants that need a good amount of room to grow.  In my experience, it is disease resistant and not prone to any trouble with garden pests.  Below are pictures of the stages in-between planting and harvesting.

Stage 1

How To Grow Elephant Garlic | angiethefreckledrose.com

The beginning stages of growing when my garlic started to break through the ground in February.

Stage 2

How To Grow Elephant Garlic | angiethefreckledrose.com

Starting to see all the bulbs producing leaves in early spring. 

Stage 3

Stage 3

Elephant Garlic beginning to produce delicious scapes in early June.

Flowering in early July. 

Growing Elephant Garlic

Elephant Garlic needs a cool season to grow successfully.  I planted mine in the early fall to give it time to set strong roots.  This garlic takes around 240 days to mature, so you are definitely in it for the long haul!  When choosing a location, pick a spot with full sun and well drained soil.  Remember since this plant is larger and doesn't appreciate overcrowding, give it plenty of room.  While you are loosening your soil, it is also a good time to amend with organic matter.  Make sure to plant your cloves down 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart.  Water in your new plants and also add a good layer of mulch.  This layer will protect your tender plants from frost during the winter months.  I also added a frost blanket and hoop house for extra protection.  The winters can be harsh here in New England, so I didn't want to take any chances of damage with falling ice and heavy snow.  

How To Grow Elephant Garlic | angiethefreckledrose.comWhen you remove the mulch in the spring, make sure to weed regularly.  This way, your Elephant garlic doesn't have to compete for nutrients.  Make sure to water regularly during dry months with less rainfall.  I use a soaker hose to give my plants a regular drink.  During the spring, the leaves will grow anywhere from 24 to 36 inches high.  During the beginning of June, you will start to see your garlic scapes sprout.  You can harvest these and enjoy in your seasonal meals.  You want to remove the scapes before they begin to flower to direct energy to the bulbs.  I harvested most of mine and made dishes like this delicious Summer Garden Stir-fry.  I did leave one scape intact so I could enjoy it's beautiful bloom. 

Harvesting Elephant Garlic

How To Grow Elephant Garlic | angiethefreckledrose.comWhen the foliage of your garlic plant begins to turn yellow and dry out, it is finally time to harvest!  You will notice your leaves will bend and look like they are dying back.  This is perfectly normal!  Now, is when you begin to pull.  When you pull your plants out of the soil, it should be easy with no need for harsh tugging.  After removing your Elephant garlic, give it a good wash with the hose.  This removes any dirt or bugs stuck to the roots and bulbs.  Allow them to dry out in the sun or garage for a couple of hours.  After this, move to a well-ventilated location like a basement for about 3 to 4 weeks.  When you pull up your bulbs, you will notice small corms attached to your large cloves.  These can be removed and replanted if desired.  The first year, they will produce a non-blooming plant with a single bulb.  The second year is when you can enjoy multiple cloves!  

Tuesdays In The Garden | angiethefreckledrose.com

Tuesdays In The Garden

Now it's time for Tuesdays in the garden!  Shell shares with us everything you need to know to grow carrots.  Jami gives us a great guide for growing, harvesting, cooking and preserving green beans.  Michelle lets us in on a beginners guide to growing garlic.  Diane gives us 5 helpful tips for growing perfect peppers!  Stop by and take a look by clicking on the links below.  

5 Steps For Veggie Garden Success All Season Long | angiethefreckledrose.com
How To Grow Elephant Garlic | angiethefreckledrose.com
How To Grow Elephant Garlic | angiethefreckledrose.com
How To Grow Elephant Garlic | angiethefreckledrose.com

I really enjoy branching out as a gardener and growing new things.  Elephant garlic is totally worth the commitment and time it takes to grow.  The scapes are yummy, and one of my favorite things to add into dishes.  I am currently drying all of my garlic and am looking forward to cooking up some fun recipes!  Do you grow garlic in your own garden?  If you do, do you have a favorite variety and way to cook it?  Tell me all about it in the comment section below!  You can also tweet me tips and recipes @thefreckledrose.  Happy growing and harvesting everyone!

In Case You Missed It - July Garden Tour

 

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How To Grow Elephant Garlic | angiethefreckledrose.com

 

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37 Comments

  • Reply
    Michelle Marine
    July 19, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I think my dad must grow elephant garlic. He has had the same garlic plot for many years and never replants it. It just grows like perennials! He also showed me the seeds on his garlic bulbs and I never find them on mine so can’t replicate his technique. πŸ˜‰

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      July 21, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      That’s awesome Michelle! I love how it comes back year after year. I was amazed when I first saw the little seeds attached to the big bulbs! I may make an extra garden space just to try growing them this fall πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Diane
    July 19, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    I LOVE elephant garlic. It’s tough to find it here so thanks so much for the catalog links. We will get some in the ground soon!

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      July 21, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      I am really happy I tried growing it, and now I can’t imagine a garden without it Diane! πŸ˜›

  • Reply
    Jami
    July 19, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    I’ve grown elephant garlic before, but I didn’t know that about the corms! If I grow again, I’ll be on the lookout for those. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      July 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      I think it’s absolutely amazing that you can replant the corms! I’m going to give it a try soon and see how it goes πŸ™‚ Why not right?

  • Reply
    Shelly
    July 19, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I haven’t grown elephant garlic before, just the regular garlic. I’ll have to order some to give it a try.

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      July 21, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      You will love it Shelly! It’s so much fun to watch it grow πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Rhonda Albom
    July 20, 2016 at 4:58 am

    Thanks for all that information on elephant garlic. Hubby may plant some this year.

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      July 21, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      That’s awesome Rhonda! Keep me updated on how it goes πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    daisy
    July 20, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Great article! I had good success growing garlic (the regular size) and I plan to do it again. It’s well worth the 9-month wait. So glad you had a good experience. Congratulations on extending your season.

    Thanks for stopping by The Maple Hill Hop!

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      July 21, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you Daisy! Growing garlic is so rewarding. Hoping to plant more this fall/winter πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Casey
    July 21, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    You make it sound so easy! What a pretty plant too!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    July 21, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I haven’t tried this before but have been thinking I need to grow garlic since we use a ton! Thanks for the tutorial – i’ll pin it to reference back in a couple months πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      August 2, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      I know what you mean Lauren. I always throw garlic in dishes I’m cooking all year! Thanks for pinning πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    The Thrifty Issue (Kylie)
    July 22, 2016 at 12:42 am

    My mother had this in our garden everywhere we lived when I was a child. I haven’t grown it as an adult yet, so thank you for the tips!

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      August 2, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      No problem Kylie! It’s a very rewarding crop that is such a garden classic πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    July 24, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Angie,
    These are awesome. I always wanted to give these a try and I will now. Thank you

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      August 2, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks Vanessa! It’s so much fun to grow πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Laura
    July 24, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    This is wonderful information about growing garlic.
    So interesting!
    Thank you for joining us at Thoughts of Home.
    Hope to see you next week too.

    Laura
    White Spray Paint

  • Reply
    Tracy
    July 25, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop. I want to give garlic a try this fall.

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      August 2, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      You will love growing it! Keep me updated of you do πŸ™‚ Always a pleasure to link up!

  • Reply
    candy
    July 26, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I have never been able to grow garlic. This will be a great help when planting season comes around,, Going to try again.

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      August 2, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      Don’t give up Candy! I am proof that it is possible πŸ™‚ Good luck growing this upcoming season!

  • Reply
    Monica
    July 26, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Love this post. I LOOOOOVE garlic and have always thought it would be a useful thing to grow. My parents are actually growing it for the first time this year, so I’ll have to pass this along to my dad!

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      August 2, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      Thank you Monica! I couldn’t imagine a year without it now that I’ve grown some. That’s awesome πŸ™‚ Thank you for passing this along!

  • Reply
    Brianna Forbis
    July 27, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Mmm garlic! Okay so my obsession with garlic may be extreme if I could add it to everything I cook I would. Thank you for sharing where you bought your seeds/bulbs I’ve been on the hunt for a good online place to order.

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      August 2, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      I agree Brianna! It gives every dish such great flavor! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Mary
    July 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Elephant garlic isn’t the same as regular garlic?! I never knew that. I always assumed it was the same thing.

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      August 2, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      They are very similar and both delicious Mary πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Mimi
    July 29, 2016 at 1:09 am

    Dear Angie Rose, just letting you know you are my featured blogger at A Tray of Bliss today. Thanks for sharing this post at Five Star Frou-Frou. Love, Mimi xxx

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      August 2, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      Thank you very much Mimi! Can’t wait to check it out πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Savannah
    August 9, 2016 at 10:12 am

    This is so cool! I’ve just started getting into gardening this year, first with hydroponics and then with soil. I’m hoping to have a raised garden all ready to go by the fall, so I might give elephant garlic a go! It’s funny, really. By accident, I grabbed some elephant garlic from the store and was shocked at how big it was. My husband and I started talking about how we wanted to grow our own, and then I come across this post. Fate! Haha-thanks for sharing <3

    • Reply
      Thefreckledrose
      September 6, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Thank you for ready Savannah & wishing you luck growing elephant garlic. It’s a fun crop to grow πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kurt
    October 31, 2016 at 6:35 pm

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