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Growing a sprouted garlic in summer

 
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A major kitchen cleanup has uncovered a garlic with about 11cloves with 1cm (half inch) sprouts.   It has no sign of roots.  Mum is not sure if she found it in the fridge or outside, and it was store-bought, so it could be cold stored and shipped from USA or China.   It is late summer in New Zealand.  Normally people say to plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest day.  Garlic is something I don't use myself, but would like to grow some for a tiny market garden business I am starting. At NZ$35-70 per kg for garlic, I would love to grow this to several bulbs or bulbils for July or August planting.

Any suggestions?  The internet says they need a month or two at 0-10C to allow for root growth, and then it doesn't matter how hot.  Do I need to put them in the fridge in small pots to make the roots grow, or will the roots grow once they hit moist soil if the shoots are already growing?  Our summer heat is only average max of 23C and average min of 13C.  Should I put them straight in the greenhouse and give them as much heat as possible?

There is also the question of daylight hours.  This may effect bulb production, but will they still grow bulbils in the shorting days autumn?

Anyone been successful with this, or should I just put them in the fridge and see if they last there till July?

 
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My reservation about planting garlic of unknown origin that is sprouting at this time of year in NZ is that if it's locally grown, it will have been stored in a cooler or treated with sprouting inhibitors as the new seasons's garlic will have only just started hitting the shelves in NZ.

If it is indeed NZ garlic that has been kept in cold storage, there is a much greater chance that they will only produce rounds if they grow at all. There is also a higher likelihood that the bulbs will produce secondary shooting if they do manage to divide but as you have mentioned, the bulbing is initiated by increases in temperature and longer day length.

Not all garlic produces scapes, so there is no guarantee that you will harvest any bulbils.

If it is imported garlic from the northern hemisphere there is a very strong risk that it may be carrying viruses that are not already present in NZ. Imported culinary garlic does not go through the same strict procedures that plant material intended for propagation undergoes.

It would be preferable to chop and dehydrate the garlic for consumption and make that one time investment to purchase locally grown garlic to plant in autumn.
 
pollinator
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I am not refuting or disagreeing with anything that Megan said.  

I  put two bulbs of garlic with their root end in water on Saturday and had new roots growing in less than 24 hours.

Crazy root growth in 3 days.

Mine were self grown and harvested in October.

Starting to get green growth from the cloves.
 
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This sounds like a chance for a garlic experiment!

One year I got as far as freezing some and also refrigerated some to plant. Then, I forgot.

So I would say why not try growing them?  Freeze some, refrigerate some, and just plant the rest.  That way you can find out which method works best for you.

Please if you try these experiments let us know which method works best for you.

This thread is the one where I got the idea to put some in the freezer before planting:

https://permies.com/t/5646

 
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I happened to find a load of sprouting garlic in my cabinet last night as well!!
I am also southern hemisphere- this garlic is either local or from Argentina, in either case probably not treated with anything. We do get quite cold here but I've never had luck with garlic heading up, no matter where i source it from or what crazy measures i try.....
What I usually do is exactly what Keith said- throw them in water, let them develop roots, and then I plant them out in a series of containers I have to harvest the greens later.
 
Annie Hope
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Thanks for all the replies.  Now that it has young tender sprouts, will it freeze without killing these?
 
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Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft Grafter, veggie gardener
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You can plant the cloves of garlic in the spring; although I've never done than. From the stories I heard the garlic is ready to harvest at about the same time as if it had been fall planted. So it apparently doesn't need the cold weather before planting it. I have an acre field next to us in which German Red garlic took off and spread in areas as large as 75 feet by 100 feet or 25x35 meters (?? about). It's usually about a foot tall by the first frost when I would consider putting mine in the ground.

Edit: I see your question about freezing. If you have tall leaves or if you have short leaves they won't be harmed by frost. If you plant very late and no leaves show they come up in late winter. I noticed my Georgian Crystal has come up just yesterday. Also last winter we had a big snow storm coming and the deer ate almost all the green leaves the evening before the storm. They'd never done that before. I bring that up as that didn't harm the crop the next summer.

If you plant your cloves now I'm guessing they will be ready to harvest before the hard winter arrives. I'm comparing that to if I planted cloves in early August. As the plant develops it sends up a shoot, called a scape, on which bulbils will form. The scapes are edible. They say to harvest them when the scape forms a circle, but I find they're too tough that late. So you should experiment with when to pick them. The scapes sell here for $8US  a pound (12.65 NZ$ per Kg).  You should remove the scapes so that the bulbs grow larger.
 
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