Planting Notes: Alliums
*The following information is designed for a temperate southern hemisphere garden*
These planting notes come from my own experience of growing Garlic, Shallots And Onions in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. However every garden is different, as is every season and every year. What may work once may not work again and what may not work the first time might be fabulous the next. It rarely hurts to try something so please treat this information as a very general guide only.
When to plant?: Anytime between April and June (you may just get away with July)
How long does it take?: about 8 months, from April – May plantings you can expect to harvest in December/January.
Which varieties?: I find softneck varieties do better than hardneck ones.
How to plant: Sow cloves pointy tip up about 3cm deep.
How much space does it take up?: I sow garlic 15cm apart with 15cm between rows.
Can I grow it in a pot? Yes. I often grow it in polystyrene fruit boxes. I sow eight cloves per box.
Care while growing?: A bit of lime prior to planting. Don’t water too much unless very dry.
Harvesting?: In Summer. For softneck varieties – pull it up after the foliage has yellowed and died down.
When to plant?: May to July (some types May – June only)
How long does it take?: about 6 months.
How to plant: Sow seeds in rows and thin later.
How much space does it take up?: Thin seedlings to about 5cm apart.
Can I grow it in a pot? I haven’t tried but see no reason why not.
Care while growing?: A bit of lime prior to planting after that none required (other than watering if very dry)
Harvesting?: Pull in late Spring – Summer when the foliage has yellowed and died down.
When to plant?: Mar – August
How long does it take?: 3-4 months, sometimes longer.
How to plant: Plant bulbs so that the very top of the bulb is just above the soils surface.
How much space does it take up?: Plant bulbs about 20cm apart.
Can I grow it in a pot? It would need to be a big pot as the plant needs space to divide and create new bulbs.
Care while growing?: Keep soil moist and away from the top of maturing bulbs.
Harvesting?: Once the foliage has yellowed and died down.
When to plant?: Seed can be sown all year round.
How long does it take?: About 3 months dependant on season – quicker in spring/summer, slower in winter. They often seem to take ages remaining quite small for the first couple of months.
How much space does it take up?: Very little per plant. I sow in drills (usually between other crops – particularly carrots) with seeds spaced about 0.5cm apart.
Can I grow it in a pot? Yes, – I love the look of spring onions particularly in upright pots.
Care while growing?: Just water
Harvesting?: Harvest by pulling up the plant when the stem reaches about 0.5cm in diameter. You can harvest them both bigger or smaller than this depending on taste and cooking requirements.