Setting up the Greenhouse, Potting Garlic

I decided to wash the glass down and set up the big greenhouse. It’s a task that I should have done in November but I was really busy in October and November coping with orders for the Dig for Victory book. December came and went but better late than never.

Garlic Potted up in a Clean and Tidier Greenhouse

So a nice dry, calm day with a bit of blue in the sky seemed ideal. Only real problem was the temperature. The mercury was hovering over freezing. Even that’s not so bad until it came to washing down the glass.

I defy anyone to run a wet sponge over the roof inside the greenhouse without getting wet themself. Not really a sensible day to get wet, but I’m a stubborn sort of person and having started I carried on. Despite quickly realising this was not the best idea I’ve ever had!

Another job that should have been done three months ago was to check and tighten the nuts and bolts. I assume it’s the wind shaking things that causes the nuts to loosen. Some nuts had come off altogether but easily sorted. All now safely tightened up ready for the next storm.

A quick sweep with the broom and then the staging went back in. That wasn’t the end of things, some seed and gravel trays had been shoved under the staging to store and needed a wash down. A slight problem… I left them on the grass to dry off and they froze to the grass! Colder than I thought.


I’m starting my garlic in pots this year. Ideally they’d have gone directly into the ground back in October but they didn’t. I’m not fussed, it’s a bit more effort starting them off in pots but they tend to do really well and catch up in the greenhouse. Once they’re growing away, they’ll get planted into the big wide world.

I’ve 57 cloves of Solent Wight, 20 of another Wight variety. The undefined Wight is an Ebay bargain so a bit of a gamble. I’ve half a dozen elephant garlic started. I picked those up as a back-up in case I didn’t get more seed stock. I did find elephant garlic for sale on Marshalls site but they’ve yet to arrive and I’ve a feeling I’ll be asking for a refund

Finally, I’ve started 20 elephant garlic corms off. You can buy them but often you find them attached to the bottom of the bulbs at harvest. They look like very small onion sets.

In the first year they should grow into a single bulb, about the size of a normal garlic bulb, but not split into cloves. This can be left in the ground or lifted, stored and re-planted in the autumn. The following year they’ll produce a normal elephant garlic bulb comprised of cloves. A free bonus crop!

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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