Planting Garlic Bulbils for Fun and Profit — 4 Comments

  1. I played bulbs of a tasty garlic .
    Only to find roots after 4 months +_
    Long tasty roots but no bulbs.
    Watered nearly daily , soil good in plastic pots .Whats wrong ?

    • Hi Joel – Hmmm, I might be misunderstanding, but were you planting bulbils from the scapes? If so, it is common for them to take 2 or 3 years to size up. Just stick them back in the ground.

      If, however, you were growing from the cloves of a large bulb of garlic, it sounds like your garlic wasn’t in the ground long enough.

      I usually plant in late October here in the Pacific Northwest and harvest in July or August, which is about 9 months for those babies. Garlic requires a period of cold to develop bulbs.

      Not sure where you are, when you planted, or what were your varieties, but there are a lot of variables that can affect garlic bulb success. Here is an article I wrote a few years ago that might be helpful: 25 Garlic Growing Management Strategies for Preventing Problems and Growing the Best Garlic Ever.

      A lot of people plant anytime between early September and late November, so the timing is perfect to get next year’s crop started. Good luck!

  2. Juan de Fuca Wonder’s is the one you talked about, sounds good to me. I just want to try some in pots as I am housebound and can fool with them on my inside porch and some on my outside deck. Do you put drain holes in the pots you made out of plastic?

    • You got it, Harvey – you should have them by now. Bulbils are absolutely perfect for armchair & back porch gardeners – and just so handy to have on a windowsill. I hope to plant some more tomorrow and give little pots as Christmas gifts a month from now.

      In answer to your question, Yes, I drilled holes in the plastic tubs I used for planting bulbils in previously. Plus, because the tubs were rather tall, I cut a few inches off the top. I am sure you could use something much smaller – I just had some old tubs lying around and it was a good way to recycle them. Whatever you use, good drainage is important. Too much water and they can rot (as mine did last year after all the heavy rain & cold spring weather we had). Most sources will tell you they need constant moisture, but I have not found that to be the case. I kind of think of it like radishes or raspberries – lots of water, you might get bigger bulbs or fruit, but they won’t be as flavorful. Not that you want to stress the plants – you just want to try to walk that balance. Good drainage will help in that regard. I find it’s a little more critical to stay on top of the water when you grow things in pots. In the open ground, they seem to be able to find their own way a little easier if they aren’t strangled by weeds in the process!

      Best of luck to you!

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