AS SUMMER moves into autumn, now is a good time to plant garlic either in your vegetable plot or in pots.

Garlic is very tolerant of our winters; in fact a bit of frost will do it the world of good.

Do not use garlic bought from the supermarket as it will have been treated to give it a longer shelf life and probably won’t grow.

However, when you have grown your own, pop some cloves aside to continue the process.

Growing in the ground

All you need is your garlic clove and a trowel, look for a well drained, sunny part of the garden – you don’t want the clove to get waterlogged and rot – and break up the soil with the trowel and plant the garlic clove pointy end up.

This tip should be 2cm, or 3/4 inch, below the surface, make sure it’s covered up or the local pigeons and seagulls will pull it back up to have a look. If growing more than one clove they need a bit of distance apart: around 15cm or six inches.

Growing in a pot

About 20cm, eight inch, is a good size for planting one clove any more than that you will need a bigger container.

Next fill the pot with compost or soil, check the pot has holes to allow for drainage, remember the cloves don’t like to get too wet.

Push the clove in until you can’t see the pointy tip and place the pot in a sunny spot.

Don’t worry if nothing appears to be happening with your garlic early on it; will be setting roots down and the odd green shoot may appear. But after the frosts have all gone in early spring it will start to grow both above and below ground.

If at any time the ground or compost feels dry to the touch give your plant some water.

When should we harvest this treat?

Well if the leaves have started to yellow it’s time to unearth the garlic bulb.

If you have planted more than one clove, let all the bulbs you harvest dry out in a cool, well aired, shady place, then you can clean them up and cut back the stems to an inch or two above the bulb and store as you would shop-bought garlic.

If you would like to grow your own garlic, why not come and see us at the Delph Pond Forum event on September 9 and grab a pot and a clove to get you started?

Open Day

Meanwhile, the Tullibody Community Garden Open Day takes place this weekend with families invited to pop along.

This will be an opportunity to meet the staff, see a Tai Chi demonstration, have a go on the smoothie bike and sample some of the homegrown produce.

Head long to Carseview, near Parterson Place, between 12noon and 4pm on Saturday.