Ever considered growing potatoes, garlic, onions or shallots? You can buy everything you need to get started at Earlswood now.

Seed potatoes, onion sets, shallots and garlic now available!

Read on for our guide to growing potatoes, onions and garlic – how to plant and care for these so that you can enjoy some delicious home grown vegetables in a few months time!

seed potato packs available at earlswood garden centre guernsey

Buying Your Seed Potatoes

Choose your seed potatoes from our range in store or online. We sell them packs or loose so you can choose your own (loose not available online). 

Seed potato varieties fall into one of three categories defined by when your crop will be ready:

  • 1st earlies – take about 10 weeks from planting to crop; harvested in summer as “new potatoes”
  • 2nd earlies – take about 13 weeks from planting to crop; planted a few weeks after first earlies, a later summer crop
  • Main crop – take about 15 weeks from planting to crop; planted early and left in the ground until autumn

The packet says which a particular variety is.

Have a look at our blog post here on growing potatoes – including how to chit and plant your seed potatoes, and harvest your potato crop.

Growing Garlic

How To Grow Garlic:
1. If your soil is heavy create a ridge 20cm wide and about 15cm tall. Firm with the sole of your foot before planting.
2. Break up the garlic bulbs into individual cloves, taking care not to damage them.
3. Plant the cloves 10-15cm apart into individual holes, deep enough that they are covered with 5cm of soil. The flat end of the clove should point downwards. Allow 45cm between your rows and water sparingly.
4. You can harvest and eat your garlic as soon as the bulb is swollen. Lift the bulbs and dry somewhere warm and dry.

Tips For Growing Garlic:

  • If you have no open ground, you can plant garlic in pots. Plant three cloves per 15cm pot. Keepthe soil just moist, and place the pot in a sunny position.
  • Cover your newly planted rows as birds are known to pull up cloves. Once they’re well rooted, you can remove the covering.
  • Remove flower stalks if they start to develop, so that the resources are used to develop the bulb instead of the flower.
  • For something a little different! Why not grow your garlic indoors on a windowsill to provide garlic leaves. Harvest the leaves as required until the bulb has been exhausted. Be aware that growing garlic indoors is not a successful method for cultivating good quality garlic bulbs.

Growing Onions from sets

1. Plant onion sets in a modular tray and fill each cell with compost.
2. Push one onion set into each module, sinking them up to the neck, but don’t bury them entirely.
3. Water to settle compost around each set and check regularly to keep the compost moist.
4. If grown indoors, after a couple of weeks, you’ll notice green shoots emerging from the bulbs.
5. Prepare an area outside in a sunny, warm position. Tread it firm and rake to level the surface.
6. Thoroughly water the tray before planting, ensuring each bulb has a strong root system.
7. Plant bulbs at least 10-15cm apart and deep enough to bury them.
8. Firm the soil around the roots of each plant tightly and water to settle down.
9. Harvest your onions in August/September.
10. Lay your freshly harvested bulbs in trays, or in a sunny place outdoors. Clean off any soil and peel back any damaged skins to prepare for storage.

Tips For Growing Onions From Sets:

  • Weed regularly between bulbs to avoid competition for moisture, light and space.
  • Cut flower spikes off emerging bulbs as soon as you notice them.
  • Do not forcibly bend the foliage over as this can damage the neck of the bulb.
  • Dry the skin of the bulbs completely before storing. Look out for any signs of disease or rot.
  • Regular hoeing between rows and developing bulbs can encourage a higher yield.