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I am an avid Auckland (Howick) gardener, but cannot grow garlic successfully. I use shop bought Printatur bulbs, planted in June, have changed the sites. I prepared the site with composite and kept them weed free. I planted them root down, covered them with 2-3cm soil.

This year the plants grew strongly with relatively no disease, however when harvested they had no bulbs. They just looked like Spring Onions. Such a disappointment! I would greatly appreciate any ideas.

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Hi Barbara,

Adding compost and organic matter to the soil like you have done is perfect as to grow garlic you need a loose, free- draining and rich soil. Also keeping the garden weed-free is great as the weeds are not stealing all the nutrients.

A few things I would make sure you are doing is when you feed the garlic make sure you feed with a bulb fertiliser and something that is not so high in nitrogen as nitrogen feeds foliage rather than the bulb. There is bulb fertiliser readily available in stores to give your garlic bulbs a boost.

Also, garlic bulbs form quite late, usually around November and December, at that time give them much more water. You can also try leaving them in the ground for longer in case they need a bit more time.

The Palmers Team

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