Garlic Elephant


Family: ALLIACEA (Amaryllidaceae)(Amaryllidaceae)
Genus & Species: Allium ampeloprasum


Limit of 2 per person


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Heritage Status: New Zealand
Bio-Region of Origin: Northland
Quantity: Approximately 80 grams

Description: Although commonly called garlic this is actually a type of leek. It is not good for medicinal garlic but tastes great as a roasted vegetable. Our Elephant garlic came to Northland with the Dalmatian Gumdiggers and has been kept going ever since, a sure sign it was enjoyed by many. Beryl Harrison believed in it and kept it alive and well for many years before it became popular again around 30 years ago. Thanks Beryl, this one is here by your effort (love). It grows huge, and produces an edible flower spike and underground bulbils as well. Sometimes the cloves planted, become large round bulbs we call ‘mother bulbs’, these can be used to grow huge bulbs the following year.

Planting Instructions: Garlic does best in light soils with good drainage and need a sunny position. Enrich soil with well rotted manure, compost, lime and Nature’s Garden prior to planting. Plant on 15 cm diagonal spacings from May to July depending on your region. Keep beds free from weeds. Mulch after planting but in wet areas watch that the mulch is not allowing the ground to become too sodden – should this happen pull mulch away from plants. Foliar feed with fish and seaweed during Winter and early Spring but stop once bulbs start to enlarge or the flower stalks start to emerge. Full sun and regular water during the months when the bulbs are developing is essential – stop watering when the tops begin to turn brown as the bulbs are now almost mature and watering can cause rotting at this point. Flower heads should be removed while young before they open to encourage good clove size and are excellent to eat. Harvest garlic when the leaves to start to turn brown. Don’t leave it till the leaves have completely died back as your bulbs will have started to split. Dig out with a fork and set to cure under cover away from rain and sun but plenty of air movement – keep tops attached to bulbs for curing and storing.

More growing information here