Garlic ‘Casablanca’ – first of this year’s spring planting veg

I used the recent dreich weather to come up with a proper planting calendar for the kitchen garden. No more stressing over ad-hoc, last minute planting in 2020!

First up on my list of vegetables is garlic. February is the right time for spring planting garlic and shallots, though the RHS cautions this should only be done with light soil as heavier soil takes longer to warm up. It’ll be interesting to see if this applies to our raised beds which were filled using two different methods.

The first bed is a variation of hugelkultur, the other three beds use a ‘lasagna’ approach. Both are layering techniques but the main difference is that a hugel bed is filled with a lot of woody material. The decomposing wood generates heat so hugel beds are meant to be great for early spring planting. So far, things look promising – two weeks after planting the first row of garlic, the shoots are breaking through the soil.

I’ve decided to try garlic ‘Casablanca’. It sounds more suited to the Mediterranean but apparently originates from Eastern Europe. As a hardneck variety, it is said to be very hardy, making it perfect for our northern climate. It also performs well in containers, stores well and has a lovely strong flavour. And it’s easy to grow, making it the ideal candidate in my book.

When I told a friend of my plans to plant garlic, she texted me: Garlic and bread – perfect combination!

Indeed. Particularly with artisan sourdough bread!





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