Garlic question

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by poppy, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. poppy

    poppy Guest

    I was given some dug up mammoth garlic plants which I planted in the garden. They are about a foot and a half tall and have the white flowering heads on top. These heads are small and unopened. I never grew garlic before, so is the plan to remove these flowering heads at some point and plant them to renew the crop? If so, how far along do they need to be before I plant them?
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    There's some confusion there. "Mammoth" could mean elephant garlic. Since they are a bulbing leek rather than a true garlic, propagation possibilities are entirely different. Leeks have an actually flower which results in seeds. Garlic does not produce seeds but rather bulbils which result in clones of the parent plant. So, you have to find out which you have first before the questions can be answered.

    Martin
     

  3. poppy

    poppy Guest

    Thanks. I opened one of the little things on top and it looks like a bunch of little immature seeds so I guess it is elephant garlic. Do I let the seed mature and then let them dry for replanting next spring or plant them this year. I guess I really need to know if the plants they produce will survive the winter outside.
     
  4. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    If it were elephant garlic, you wouldn't be seeing immature seeds. They will make a globe of smaller flowers which would barely fit in your hand. If you are only seeing what looks like seeds, then it probably is a hardneck type garlic. Those types of garlic have bulbils as mentioned before. Very, very few have a bulbil large enough to produce a divided bulb after just one year. Those that do divide usually have a much smaller bulb than if planted from a clove. Others produce a bulbil so small that one will get only a marble-sized round if planted back.

    You'll now just have to wait to see what they turn into before proceeding with any bulbil planting advice. Whichever they are, I will discourage it unless you just wish to plant some for an experiment. Garlic is normally propagated by planting individual cloves, and best done in the fall. That is the only way to assure having a full-sized divided bulb. At the moment, I am attempting to save some Vostani via bulbils. The bulbils were barely the size of a grain of wheat. The resulting plants all currently have only a single leaf just like grass. I suspect that I will have bulbs barely the size of a marble but I will have hundreds of them to plant back this fall!

    Martin