Monty Don shows how to ‘easily’ store elephant garlic
Monty Don has offered Britons more gardening tips on how to grow vegetables at home. This time, Monty has explained how to grow chillies and keep garlic fresher for longer. The gardener and TV presenter is known for sharing his plant tips and tricks with viewers.
Monty said he “loves” chillies and that he grows them with “avid fervour”.
He said: “Plants that nourish me and which I now grow with avid fervour are chillies.
“I love them. Don’t harvest them too soon.”
Monty showed viewers one of his own chilli plants which had plenty of veggies growing on it.
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However, some of the chillies still had hints of green on them which means the “flavour hasn’t fully developed”.
He continued: “If you love chillies it’s not just for the heat it’s for that fruity flavour.
“But once they are ripe and reach their full colour like these long red slims, it’s important to pick them as soon as they’re ready because a ripe chilli will inhibit the ripening of unripe ones that are growing above.”
Monty took a chilli and cut it off the plant just above the vegetable so there was still a bit of green stem on it.
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He harvests them over the summer but said it won’t be his only harvest.
The gardening expert also grows elephant garlic which he harvests at the end of June.
However, once he picks them he leaves them in the greenhouse for a month until the stems are completely dry and there’s “not a trace of green on them”.
The roots and stems will be dry but the bulbs will be full of “vitality and juice”.
He continued: “Now they can be prepared for storing.
“Over the years we found that they keep beautifully if you just clean them up and put them in a basket.
“If they’re in a cool, dark place they will store easily for six months and very often for up to a year.
“When you clean them up, what you need to do is first of all cut off the stems and then take off the roots.
“What you’re left with is a head of garlic which is enormous and each individual clove of elephant garlic is as big as an average head of normal garlic.
“Although it’s so big, it’s much milder but for everyday use this is fantastic.
“So we cut that [the stem] off trim off the roots and away we go and I’ll just work my way through the bulb.”
Gardener’s World with Monty Don airs tonight at 8pm on BBC Two.
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