Funny thing happened with some scapes I cut.

wertach zone 7-B SCJune 18, 2012

I had too many scapes to use and just laid them in a bowl for later. The seed heads have opened up! I cut the ends off and stuck them in a glass of water this morning.

What now? I'm thinking of putting them in some perlite and see what happens. I have read that it takes years "IF" the seed sprout.

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jolj(7b/8a)

I had more scapes then I could use, it is my first year using them. Some of the heads opened up. I composted them, thinking they were to green to make seeds.
Please let us know what yours do.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 1:49PM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Ok, for starters GARLIC DOES NOT MAKE SEEDS!

A scape, if left on the plant will sometimes make a little group of bulbs which are not seeds, but clones. Remember your biology. To make seeds you first must have a flower with pollen etc....

The little bulbs, if they mature on the plant, can be saved and planted in the fall a few inches from each other. Keep them well weeded and the following summer you will harvest small, single clove garlic heads. These you can either eat, or plant again and they will make normal garlic heads, with multiple cloves in them.

Hope this clarifies things a bit.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:02PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I'm no biologist, and I don't want to argue. But the website below disagrees with you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garlic from seed

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 1:04PM
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gemini_jim(7 MD)

As the article says, under special conditions in certain varieties true seed has been produced. But for practical purposes and for most varieties it is true that garlic does not make seeds. The flowering heads usually contain bulbils and may contain flowers, but those flowers are usually sterile or fail to develop seeds.

What is also confusing is that cloves or bulbils saved for planting are often referred to as "seed," in the same way as seed potatoes. Neither are true seeds, but are clones of the parent plant.

You can save the little bulbils and plant them in the fall just like large cloves. They need less space, but more careful weeding, because they are just going to produce little grass-like leaves and small round single-clove bulbs. They usually take 2 or more seasons to produce a full head, depending on their size. If you cut the scape early the bulbils will be smaller than if allowed to develop fully on the plant, but they should still be viable if they are at least rice-grain size.

I collected and planted some tiny ones from a purple stripe (unknown variety) last year and just harvested ~20 rounds in the 1/4" - 1/2" range. I figure they'll need to grow another 2 seasons before I get any divided heads, but it's a fun and frugal way to increase my planting stock.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 7:49AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Thank you gemini_jim, that makes sense and is a big help!

I'm not very experienced with growing garlic, my first serious attempt was last fall. I have planted leftovers and sprouted grocery store garlic kind of " willy-nilly" here and there.

I have little bulbils on them now! Most of them are bigger than rice grains, they are about 3/16" in diameter and about 1/4" long.

Should I trim the bottom of the stalk occasionally so that the keep soaking up water? And/or put them in perlite or something?

I don't remember the variety off of the top of my head, but I saved the bag and can get it later if needed. They were very expensive, so increasing my stock will be good.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 3:05PM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Hey wertach, thats fairly rude of you to disregard the help I offer and thank someone that pretty much said the same thing i did.
I don't think i'll be offering you any help again.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 1:10AM
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gemini_jim(7 MD)

They're not getting much of anything from the flower stalk anymore. Let it dry, and plant the individual bulbils in the fall. In SC any time in November or December should work.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 7:53AM
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gemini_jim(7 MD)

madroneb, I think we're all trying to be helpful and constructive here. I don't want to assume anything or step on any toes, but I can see where your comments may have come across as condescending and a little rude, even if that wasn't your intention.

True, I said a lot of the same things you did, but felt a need to clarify things, since there was a disconnect between what you said (GARLIC DOES NOT MAKE SEEDS!) and what the OP had read, and you were both right in a way. Whatever your knowledge or experience, there is still a lot to learn and discover when it comes to garlic, and plants in general.

Peace and best regards,
Jim

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 8:36AM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Jim, thanks for your comments. I didn't realize that just writing in caps would be rude. If you re-read my post you can see that I went out of my way to offer advice and no thanks were returned. I personally find that inconsiderate.

And regardless what a random website says about extremely rare instances, I feel safe to say that garlic doesn't make seed. For 16 years i've been farming and worked for 3 different seed producers. Not one person i've met, or heard of, has ever seen a true garlic seed.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:05AM
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gemini_jim(7 MD)

Well you can see some here! (see link below) It looks like a pretty exciting area, one within easy reach for diligent growers, and a way to introduce some new, improved and virus-free garlic varieties to the pool. I might try it myself, if not this year then next.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing garlic from true seed

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:47AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

madroneb,It wasn't intentional. I thought it was you and/or I would have also thanked you. I read the post and didn't scroll back up to the previous posts to see that someone else had posted.

"Ok, for starters GARLIC DOES NOT MAKE SEEDS!" Was rude, it kind of hit me wrong. I'm trying to learn and I am too old to be getting scolded, I don't like it.

And my response was, "I'm no biologist, and I don't want to argue." I thought that would be a nice way to put it.

The comment, "And regardless what a random website says about extremely rare instances,I feel safe to say that garlic doesn't make seed." That seems kind of rude also.

I apologize and I hope my apology's are accepted.

And, Thank you both!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 6:42PM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Jim, that was good reading. Thanks for the new info.

Wertach, good luck with your experiment.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 12:30AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

They are still growing! Some are over 1/4" in diameter and are turning purple. One fell off,it was purple. I put it in a baggy and in the fridge.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 2:17PM
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gemini_jim(7 MD)

I wouldn't put them in the fridge, they could start sprouting early. Just keep them in a paper bag until planting time.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 2:59PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Thanks gemini_jim, I took it out and put it in a paper bag. I'm learning!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 5:25PM
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largemouth(Z6 NY)

Easy does it Mad. Never looked for thanks when I posted advise before. Never will.

Post your opinion. It will be considered by all. Don't be offended if you are not mentioned in any or all responses. It ain't personal, dude.

Said with the most respect...

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 10:30PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Thanks wartach, I did not know garlic made true seeds.
I was talking about the bublils as seeds.
I have worked with vegetables & hard wood plants for over 40 years, but this the first year I have grown garlic & 2nd for onions.
gemini_jim thanks for you link, also.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:11PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

As madroneb said, they were little bulbs not seed.

The little bulbs are up and growing now! I tilled up a small spot, smoothed, and spread them over it. Then I covered them with some used potting soil so that it would be easy for them to break through.

They are about 2" high now. I think they all came up! I thinned them Sunday and replanted the ones I pulled, They had good roots and they look like they are recovering nicely.

I hope they make it through the winter! I think they will because we rarely have frozen ground here.

I didn't count but I would say that I have about 50 or more.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 3:12PM
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silkcom(5)

Turns out that you can get seeds if you pull the bulbils out a little before they kill off the flowers. The seeds have really low germination rates, but after a few generations done this way the seeds can get near 100% germination.

This seems to be a great way to make your own variety, and sounds like it could be a enjoyable, but probably not the best way to get garlic quickly :).

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Garlic from True Seed

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 10:17PM
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gemini_jim(7 MD)

wertach, that's great! They should do fine through your winter. I planted mine in pots this year because weeding around those little grass-like leaves was a big pain. I also planted some rounds from last year's saved bulbils.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 7:32AM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

You are right about the weeds! At least the frost we had a few days ago killed the weeds. It didn't bother the garlic. But springtime will be a chore I'm sure! Maybe they will be big enough to find!

I had some more develop later and I planted those in pots, they came up nicely too. I have one of the pots inside and they are growing like crazy!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 4:49PM
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urbangarlic(7a)

Wondering if anyone knows if planted bulbils will sprout faster if they are first exposed to cold temperatures, like in the fridge or outdoors. I saved some bulbils from my Red Russian crop, and planted about 70 outside in September. I has plenty left over, so I have tried to plant some in a small container and keep them indoors under lights, about one month ago (November). So far, I have not seen either batch produce a single sprout. Perhaps I'm being impatient!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:36PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

I didn't chill my first ones but I did the ones in the pots. They came up faster, but they were also in potting soil so I'm not sure if it helps or not.

Some small cloves that I had saved for eating were in my unheated shed. They have been exposed to cold nights and I noticed that they were sprouting Thanksgiving. The ones stored in my cupboard aren't.

I Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 11:55AM
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urbangarlic(7a)

Thanks for the reply. I guess the bulbils will behave much like cloves. I will try to put a few more of my bulbils outside for a few weeks, and then back indoors to sprout, as well as a control group that won't go outside.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 6:24PM
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timhensley_gw

Overall a great topic. I learned something new today and appreciate all the good info.
Good growing to all.

Tim

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:58AM
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