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Garlic, Shallots & Polytunnel Growing

Planting Garlic

Back at the end of January I started off some Solent Wight garlic in pots. The pots were in my shed, which has windows to the south and the garlic seems to like it. Most had come through and the shoots were about 8″ (20cm in new money) high.

I’ve actually left them a bit long, the roots were coming out of the pots or circling inside. Anyway, better late than never. It was a pretty straightforward job to pop them into one of the raised beds except the wind was biting cold and I was shivering by the end.

The bed had some French beans in it last year so it probably was OK for nutrients but I added a couple of ounces of fish, blood & bone just to be sure. We love garlic and I want to make sure I get a decent crop this year.

It’s ironic that we’ve finally got more land than we need and I’m growing in raised beds. Still, it’s useable land that matters and turning the rocky pasture is a very long term job.

Planting Shallots

After a cup of tea in the shed, it was back outside. I prepared another of the raised beds and then planted out shallots. Prepared the bed in the same way as for the garlic, a quick hoe over to loosen the soil, couple of ounces of fertiliser and then hoe again to mix it in.

I was left with six shallots over. Now there’s little point in giving in to temptation and overcrowding but I hate waste. So popped the six shallots into 3″ round pots. Now if I lose some from the bed, I’ve spares to fill the gap. Otherwise, I’ll find somewhere to pop them in.

Potatoes & Garlic

The potatoes in the shed are chitting well. Short coloured shoots starting to grow, you don’t want the long white shoots that you get when just leave potatoes in a cupboard. Must get more beds prepared as they’ll need to go out in a month.

T&M delivered some Sarpo and Kifli potatoes which I’ve set out to chit with the others, along with some Picardy garlic. I really would have liked the garlic earlier but there you go.

Anyway, planted the garlic into pots which will get it off to a good start and nature does have a way of catching up. Must get the boards in for the new raised beds asap now.

Vegetables for the Polytunnel & Greenhouse

In my last post I said that getting tools sent to try is one of the nice things about running the web site. The books I get sent to review are a bit more of a mixed blessing. Some of the ones I get sent I wonder how they got published.

Anyway, I was really pleased to get a copy of Vegetables for the Polytunnel & Greenhouse from Klaus Laitenberger. He writes clearly and concisely, so you get the information you need without wading through waffle.

The first half of the book consists of a comprehensive list of the vegetables you can grow in a polytunnel, generally covering cultivation methods, pests, varieties etc. I say comprehensive and I mean it. He actually covers a vegetable called Yacon that I’d never heard of before.

The centre has a number of colour photographs which are followed by the second half of the book. This covers more general things like choosing and siting your polytunnel along with various charts showing optimum germination temperatures etc.

Finally he provides a month by month guide taking you through the year. It’s one of those books that you read and then keep on a handy shelf so you can look up details as you go along. I’d strongly recommend it for both beginner and more experienced gardeners.

Vegetables for the Polytunnel & Greenhouse by Klaus Laitenberger. £12.50 (€14.95) Published by Milkwood Farm www.milkwoodfarm.com

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
5 comments on “Garlic, Shallots & Polytunnel Growing
  1. Karenza says:

    Thanks fot the advice on the garlic. You have tempted me to do my own now. first time for everything!

  2. Paul says:


    I planted half of my garlic (Solent Wight) in a raised bed and half in pots in the unheated greenhouse in November. The raised beds have done really well, about 8 inches of growth. The pots have only put on half that, some didn’t grow at all. I must confess to inconsistent watering in the greenhouse, so that is probably the cause. I planted the pots out last week, hopefully they will catch up. Next year I will probably just put them all outside as I’ve seen no benefit from the indoor option. Any thoughts, apart from watering, as to why they did less well in the greenhouse?


    • John says:

      @Paul: Poor watering won’t help for sure but don’t forget the idea is to start in pots. Unless it’s a large pot the garlic will run out of nutrients pretty quickly and need moving into the soil.
      I’m suggesting starting in pots in the spring – notice you said November. I’d plant directly then

  3. Karenza says:

    Hi, so can i confirm? I get some Solent Wight garlic, plant into pots into my shed (with lots of windows), wait for growth, then plant out? When should i be planting these out?
    Hoping to pot these up tomorrow.
    Thanks very much!

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