Advice needed about growing and harvesting garlic
I planted some garlic cloves in October/November last year and was hoping to get a little advice. I've read about harvesting when the bottom leaves have died back, but am a little confused as things aren't progressing as I expected. I'm based in Bournemouth, Dorset.
I planted out two elephant garlic cloves and a bulb of solent wight. The elephant garlic has already produced scapes (which were delicious) and the lower leaves have started to die back, but I had a little poke around today and found the bulb hasn't formed yet. Similarly, the solent wight has started to die back but the bottom of the plants look like leeks, not garlic. They are planted in well drained, rich soil in raised beds 90cm deep, approx 25cm apart. They receive sun from around 7am until 4pm and are watered as soon as the soil begins to dry out. They have a garden compost mulch to help retain water as the beds are made of galvanized steel and can dry out relatively quickly if left to their own devices. There is no sign of rot or disease on any of the plants, the soil beneath the mulch is always moist but not wet (checked daily), but the bulbs haven't formed yet. I wouldn't worry if the leaves hadn't started to die back already, as everything I've read says the bulb is produced and then the leaves die back. It's also happening quite a bit earlier than anticipated. According to the best advice online this should happen in July, not May.