Elephant Garlic

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  • Regular price $29.99


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Elephant garlic (allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum), despite its name, is not actually a true garlic. Instead, it is a close relative of the leek and belongs to the same botanical family as garlic, onions, and leeks. Elephant garlic is sometimes referred to as a 'wild leek or 'great headed garlic' due to its large bulb and mild garlic-like flavor.

About this Variety

Elephant garlic is popular for its ability to grow as large as a softball. Its individual cloves are much larger than a typical garlic clove and is its most distinctive feature. Its flavor is sweet and mild, closer to that of a leek or scallion. There generally are fewer but larger cloves within each bulb. The scapes (stalks) are edible and do not produce a flower. Elephant garlic does well in northern regions of the country, in fact, better than some true garlic varieties. Popular choice for those that seek a milder garlic flavor.

Highlights

  • Grow your own fresh garlic
  • Perfect for raised beds and containers
  • Easy to grow and maintain

Exposure:

Full Sun

Harvest:

Summer

Height:

Grows 8-10" tall

Spacing/Depth:

Plant 2-3" apart (12-24" apart for garden rows), 1-2" deep

USDA Zones:

Hardy in USDA zones 1-9

Growing Instructions

Proper planting and care techniques, including mulching and watering, can help ensure a successful garlic crop regardless of your location within the USA or variety planted. Garlic is typically planted in fall or early winter before the ground freezes so that it establishes roots. Fall planting produces bigger bulbs the following summer than when spring planted. Slightly acidic to neutral soils are preferred. Break the bulbs into individual cloves. Plant in rows, applying a layer of mulch, like straw or leaves, to insulate the soil and help regulate the temperature fluctuations. Water thoroughly after planting. Garlic benefits from a balanced fertilizer just as it starts to grow.

Care Tip

Timing of the harvest is crucial to ensure the bulbs are mature and properly cured for storage. In general, garlic is ready to harvest when approximately half of the lower leaves have turned yellow or brown, normally early summer. Carefully lift bulbs from the ground with a garden fork (garlic bulbs need to be handled gently). Carefully shake off excess soil. Trim the leaves of the plants, leaving about 1.5" of stem above the bulb. Trim roots to about a quarter inch in length. Allow the garlic bulbs to cure by laying them out on a flat surface out of direct sunlight until the outer wrappers become dry and papery. Proper curing is essential for maintaining flavor and quality. After the curing stage, remove remaining roots and tops and thoroughly clean the bulbs. The garlic is now ready for storage. Store in a cool, dry place with good ventilation in a net bag, basket or crate. Some garlic varieties can be braided and hung.