Time to plant garlic and tulips

Although it’s the back end of the year and we’re starting to get everything tidied up for winter, it’s also a time to plan ahead. Now that the temperatures are dropping, it’s the perfect time to plant two types of bulbs, garlic and tulips.

Garlic - planting in autumn

Garlic planting in pots

Garlic planted in autumn gets a head start and makes a strong root system before winter and hopefully, larger bulbs next year. It’s hardy so can be planted out into the veg plot as long as you’ve got a well-drained soil. Simply plant the cloves a couple of inches deep around 4-6inches apart. They will root and make a short stem before winter, but in spring they’ll really grow away. This year I’m going to also plant some in my polytunnel to see how they compare with plants outside. Alternatively, if your soil is heavy and clay, start the cloves off in small pots of compost and over-winter them in a cold frame or cold greenhouse for spring planting in the garden.

November is also the traditional time to plant tulips bulbs for a wonderful display next spring. They like cool soil conditions, so you can plant right the way through into December.  If planting in borders plant the bulbs three or four times their depth – I find it easier to plant with a small spade rather than a trowel. They can also be grown in deep pots for a colourful display on your patio. Happy planting!