Grow your own garlic tips for flavoursome fritters

Calling all garlic lovers! Have you ever tried growing your own? We’ve paired some helpful tips from our friends at BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, with a tantalising fritter recipe, as seen at the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2022, to bring fantastic flavours to your winter table.

This December, why not try sowing garlic for a crop that makes a delicious seasoning to your cooking all year round. Plus, garlic takes up very little space and is an easy crop to grow. Make sure you always buy bulbs at the garden centre or order them from a seed supplier – don’t use bulbs from the supermarket. Ready to use your freshly grown garlic gloves in a delicious recipe? If you’re bored of roast and mash potatoes this winter, why not try making sweet potato and saltfish fritters to put a kick back into your dinner time. Find out more about the recipe below…

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How to grow

  • Plot garlic in a warm, sunny spot in well-drained soil that doesn’t get too wet in winter – dig in some home-made compost or well-rotted manure for best results
  • Sow in small pots, a large container or directly in the ground 15cm apart, leaving 30cm between rows
  • Break the bulbs into separate cloves and plant the large ones with the fat end downwards and the pointy end 2.5cm below the soil.

TIP! Lay bird netting or fleece over new plants until the shoots are 5cm tall to keep the birds at bay whilst your garlic grows.

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Caring for garlic

  • Water regularly in spring and early summer

  • Reduce watering once you see the foliage turning yellow – this is a sign that the bulbs are reaching maturity. 

  • Weed between the plants to reduce the competition for water and nutrients. 

  • Remove any flowers, or ‘scapes’ the plants produce – you can eat these in stir-fries.

Time to harvest!

When the leaves have turned yellow, gently lift out bulbs with a fork or trowel, taking care not to damage them. Leave the garlic to dry out for a couple of days, by laying it out on a table or tray, in full sun.

Once the bulbs are dry and feel papery to touch, you can either store them loose or plait their foliage to make a traditional string of bulbs. Store in a cool, dry place. Take care not to bruise the bulbs, as any damage can make them deteriorate in storage. 

Andi Oliver

White sweet potato and saltfish fritters, ackee cream and green seasoning oil

This recipe is from the BBC Good Food Show Summer 2022, as seen on the Big Kitchen at the BBC Good Food Show Summer with chef Andi Oliver. Serves 6-8.


For the ackee cream:
  • 165g canned sweetcorn
  • 180g canned ackee
  • 200ml oat cream
    For the green seasoning oil:
    • 1 handful of mixed herbs (such as sorrel leaves, chervil and tarragon)
    • 2 thyme sprigs
    • 10g Christmas bush or bay leaf
    • 1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley
    • 1 small bunch of coriander
    • 4 spring onions
    • 10 garlic gloves
    • 1 green chilli or 1 scotch bonnet chilli (depending on how hot you’d like it)
    • 6 little Caribbean seasoning peppers, or a mix of red, yellow and green mini sweet peppers
    • 1/2 white onion
    • 400ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
    For the fritters:
    • 250g white sweet potato, grated
    • 120g skinless and boneless saltfish, twice oiled, drained and rinsed
    • 110g grated white onions
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
    • 15g finely grated ginger 
    • 1sp turmeric
    • 1tsp cumin seeds
    • 1tsp chilli flakes
    • 40g self-raising flour
    • 30g fine cornmeal
    • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
    • 8g finely chopped chives
    • 500ml oil (vegetable/rapeseed/sunflower)
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    1.To make the seasoning oil, blend all the ingredients together, add seasoning, and blend until smooth. Sieve the mixture to create a green oil.

    2.In a bowl, combine the fritter ingredients (minus the oil) plus a big pinch of salt and pepper and mix thoroughly using your hands, squeezing the mixture so it all sticks together. Cover and set aside.

    3.Heat the oil in a wide pan to 150-170C. Test the heat of the oil by dropping a pinch of the potato mixture into it – if it rises and starts to golden quickly, it’s ready to fry. Slip 1 tbsp of mixture at a time into the hot oil until golden. Transfer the cooked fritters to a plate or bowl lined with kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.

    4.To make the ackee cream, gently toast sweetcorn until it’s slightly charred. Add the ackee and cook for 1-2mins and mix. Blitz the mixture with the oat cream in a blender until smooth and season.

    5.To serve, divide the ackee cream between six-eight shallow bowls or plates, top with two or three fritters and drizzle the seasoning oil over the top.

    New year, new garden, new trends!

    We’re through the garden gate into 2023, with a host of gardening trends blooming throughout the country. From house plants reaching dizzying heights of popularity, to the colour of the year ‘Viva Magenta’, read on for our full list of trends.

    To get up close and personal with fresh garden inspiration, new plants, the latest gardening kit and more, join us in 2023.

    Colour of the Year 2023

    Hand-picked by Pantone, the colour of the year has been named as ‘Viva Magenta. 

    Pantone describe the colour as ‘brave and fearless, and a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.’

    Discover a world of colour and scent in the stunning Floral Marquee,  bursting with award-winning nurseries and display.

    Sustainable gardening

    Whilst your garden might seem to already be very green, it can always be greener!

    Discover ways you can make gardening more sustainable, like upcycling common items to make stylish features. What was a pallet, hessian bags, bits of pipe, and tin cans, could become a planter, grow bags, water features, and wildlife habitats.

    Be inspired by the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine editorial team as they’re joined by experts to give tips and advice.

    Grow your own food

    Looking to go from soil to supper this year? Get brilliant advice from the National Allotment Society at the event.

    Peat-free gardening

    Learn about the latest peat-free compost from exhibitors who can offer face-to-face advice.

    Indoor gardening

    Foliage doesn’t just belong outside – bring nature indoors and be inspired by the Houseplant Hub.

    Mindful gardening

    Beautiful Borders returns with this year’s theme ‘My Garden Escape’ to give you space savvy ideas.

    Gardening on a budget

    Discover different ways you can let your garden bloom under a tighter budget, with advice from expert gardeners.

    Fermented foods

    Visit the BBC Good Food Summer Show (with free entry with your ticket!) and discover the latest foodie trends.

    Feeling inspired? Find out what else is happening at BBC Gardeners’ World Live this June!