Supermarket Garlic For Seed, by Charles Dowding

Jeremie LitzlerAbout 2 minGardeningCharles DowdingNo DigGarlicSeeds

A full harvest of a wide range of quality of the various heads
Credits: from Charles Dowding’s vlog.

A full harvest of a wide range of a different quality garlic gives the gardener a sense of accomplishment. Plus, you will enjoy deliciously-spiced meals.

Thanks to Charles Dowding for sharing his wisdom and knowledge! I wrote the following notes watching the video published on Charles Dowding’s channel. You can watch it using this YouTube linkopen in new window.

Varieties of garlic

  • Elephant garlic
  • Hard-neck garlic
  • Soft-neck garlic

Does it work


But from Charles’s comments, it seems a hard discount garlic head may give a strange harvest.

Personal note

Using organic garlic heads may yield better results. I will try a non-organic head from a local farmer’s shop and an organic head from our local organic supermarket Satoriz.

The top image is what you can get from a £1 garlic head.

Do not leave your garlic in the soil too long?

Once you checked the garlic head is ready, you should not leave it too long in the soil.


  1. the outer skin can decay and the garlic turns bad or the garlic may rot
  2. the cloves can start sprouting and you will see a lot of new garlic shoots
Example of a garlic left too long in the soil after being ready (the one of the right) compared to one garlic just right (the one of the left).
Credits: from Charles Dowding’s vlog.

Diseases of garlic


Overdue garlic
Credits: from Charles Dowding’s vlog.

It is a rampant fungal disease that infects the entire Allium family, including garlic and onions. If left unchecked, the disease can result in smaller-than-usual bulbs and limited growth of a plant. Garlic infected by rust is still edible and unless the infection was severe, you should get a decently sized bulb at harvest time. There’s no need to prematurely pick your garlic crop unless the entire plant is brown and dead. (Like “dead dead”, not “ready and ripe” dead.)

Source: article of gardenbetty.comopen in new window

How to grow garlic

You can plant them between lettuces or tomatoes.

They don’t need any special space.

Personal note

Maybe it could help with slugs. In fact, when I grew strawberries a few years back, I planted shallots around a patch of strawberries and we almost had no slugs