Friday 30 August 2019

Garlic giveaway 2019

Update Thursday 5th September 2019
This offer has now been oversubscribed, so I can not take any more requests

Garlic drying in the sun

 My garlic did really well this season. I've sorted through it, what I'm keeping to sow in Autumn, and what I'm saving to eat through the coming year. And I have enough to also do a bit of a garlic giveaway!

I've included some basic info below, but if you'd like to know more about the individual varieties, do take a look at my Garlic Record. If you would like to know more about growing garlic in general, please read my Spoonie Veg: garlic post first.

As there is only 2 packs (each pack contains 5 cloves) available for each variety, you can choose up to 2 varieties you'd like to try. Or I can choose for you if you're not bothered. Then email me your address details to: jgp @ I plan to send these out in batches, during September. Note: if I get inundated with requests(!), then I might reduce it to 1 variety per person, so more people have a chance to try them.

Due to postal restrictions, this giveaway is only available to people in the EU/UK. This offer is available until 22nd September 2019, and is on a first-come, first-served basis. And yes, this is a free offer :)

Garlic ready for harvesting, at the end of July

Varieties available
Unless otherwise denoted, the variety has a medium flavour, and will grow ok in pots.

Georgia Fire: storage 4 months.

Martin's Heirloom: storage 5 months.

Metechi: medium-strong flavour, storage 5-6 months, not happy being container grown.

Music: storage c. 5 months.

Persian Star: storage 4-5 months.

Rosewood: storage 5-6 months

Silver Rose: 6 months, not happy being container grown.

NOW GONE Susan Delafield: storage 6-8 months, this is the best variety if you want to grow in containers.

Apart from Silver Rose, which is a Softneck garlic, all other varieties are Hardnecks (see below). All can be sown in Autumn (October/November).

General information
Hardneck garlic: Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon: always produces a flower stalk (called a scape, see photo at the bottom of the post), is considered to have a stronger flavour, and is considered to have shorter storage qualities.

Softneck garlic: Allium sativum: doesn't produce a flower stalk unless stressed, has better storage qualities.

Soil: alkaline to neutral soil. Do not grow in acid soil. Most don’t do as well in heavy clay, garlic needs decent drainage.

Storage: the length of storage time is based on the conditions I have stored the garlic (more about this in the Spoonie Veg: garlic post).

Container growing: you can grow garlic in containers. I found 3 cloves per 10 litre pot gave me the best harvest. See my Container grown Garlic experiment post for more information.

Posts about growing garlic:
Spoonie Veg: garlic (for an overview of growing garlic)
Container grown garlic experiment (optimal conditions for growing in containers)
Garlic scapes (for Hardneck garlic varieties)
Getting the garlic in (sowing garlic in Autumn)
Garlic Record: my record of growing these garlic varieties since 2010. It gives more detail on the growing of each variety
Garlic growing back in June, with a garlic scape, which is edible too.

Saturday 10 August 2019

On the pollinating menu

Allium millenium is a much later flowering allium than most, with blooms in July and August. It's only 40 cms high, but it's a pretty little thing. And this year, it seems to have been the prime choice on the pollinating menu for honey bees, and two types of butterflies, the Gatekeeper and the Meadow Brown. On a daily basis, I see 20 or so in the garden at one once, and most of them can be found on or around this Allium.

On the left at the back is the Gatekeeper butterfly, and on the right at the front is a Meadow Brown.

Gatekeeper butterfly, Pyronia tithonus.

Meadow Brown, Maniola jurtina.

A Gatekeeper (right) and Meadow Brown (left), supping on the same flower.

And they don't mind sharing with the honey bees.

I do love this allium, and given it's so beloved by pollinators, I'm going to let my patch bulk up so that I can then divide and add more to other parts of the garden in future years. After all, I don't want to disappoint the other bees and butterflies that hear about the feast to be found in my garden.

I used the Butterfly Conservation website to find the butterfly id's.