Did you know that Elephant Garlic is closely related to leeks? It has a couple of similarities and differences when compared to regular garlic. Similar to leeks in appearance it contains a tall flowering stalk with flat leaves but has a bulb that forms large garlic-like cloves. Much like onions, immature elephant garlic plants can be topped off or cut off in order for more of the energy to be focused on the bulbs. However, the flavor profile of elephant garlic is much more similar to regular garlic than leeks, with a milder flavor than garlic and can sometimes taste better when used raw.
It is one of the EASIEST and most fun crops to grow alongside our bulbing onions throughout the winter months and has very few pest issues. Elephant Garlic grows best in the southern states with mild winters, compared to hard and soft neck garlic varieties, which can be a challenge to grow in the south. Garlic grows best when the competition with weeds is reduced, you’ll want to keep weeds at a minimum with frequent sallow cultivation. When planting the cloves, you want to plant with the blunt end of the clove into the soil first, the tip of the clove should be slightly exposed to the soil. Elephant garlic is considered a biennial, which means it completes its life cycle in two growing seasons (Fall-planted, Spring/Summer – harvest).