Friday, October 24, 2008

Garlic Sprouting

Tochliavri Garlic Sprouting

I noticed yesterday that the Tochliavri and Broadleaf Czech garlics are already sprouting. The sweet alyssum that dropped a zillion seeds in that area are sprouting also. I like to let the sweet alyssum volunteer around the garden, the beneficial insects flock to it. It will have to be weeded out of the garlic bed since the shallow rooted garlic does not like competition.

Last season I allowed the Georgian Crystal garlic to grow scapes. I collected the bulbils and yesterday I planted the largest ones in a few short rows so that I can eventually grow them to mature heads. From what I've read, it can take from 2 to 3 years to get full size heads from bulbils. Georgian Crystal doesn't produce very many cloves per head so increasing my planting stock from bulbils is likely to take no longer than saving full heads. I've also read that growing from bulbils improves the vitality of strains, which I suppose is because they adapt more quickly to different climates and growing conditions. The bulbils should also be free of any soil borne diseases if the scapes are not allowed to come in contact with the soil. The rest of the bulbils I sowed thickly to grow for the sprouts. I'm guessing that the sprouts can be used like chives or scallions.

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