"too much" garlic

edudJune 12, 2013


We moved into a new house last spring (March 2012), and I only realized partway through the summer that we had quite the patch of garlic growing underneath a mulberry tree and a rosebush. I didn't do anything with it last year (busy summer!), just left it in the ground again, and it's even crazier this year.

It's starting to form scapes. I'm wondering what I should do with it - should I thin it to create more space for bulbs to develop?

Thanks in advance.

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AiliDeSpain(6a - Utah)

You can thin them by pulling some up and using fresh for green garlic. You can trim the scapes off and use them in a variety of ways.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 11:20PM
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Hi There
Welcome to your new home.
Just by chance, I wonder if you might be confusing Garlic with Garlic Chives or Wild Garlic? I just can't understand anyone planting very expensive garlic cloves under a tree or rose bush. One of the two other alternatives seems more likely.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 7:42PM
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Thanks for those responses. I did pull and experimental bulb last year and it looked like a mini-regular garlic, plus there are scapes - I don't think wild garlic has scapes, does it? I have attached a picture.

If you can even believe it, I have found this kind of garlic down by the river on our property...I'm not totally sure what the plan was. The roses are doing wonderful, though!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 7:39PM
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Hello EDUD,
Yep! It sure looks like hardneck garlic to me!. Can't figure this one out. Just go with the flow and make the best of it. Looks like you will have some very nice healthy garlic to harvest in a few weeks. Do the roses have a garlic scent?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:27PM
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What a good question - I haven't even stopped to smell the roses. Everything in that area smells like garlic - it has spread out to the lawn and I've nicked it with the weed wacker a few times - but I should get my nose in there.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 11:32PM
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qbush(6, NE MA)

Folks, have you heard of a book, Roses Love Garlic, Louise Riotte? Published by Garden Way, copyright 1983, on page 69, "Planted near roses it aids in fighting black spot." I can't answer for its efficacy, but as a completely lazy rose gardener I have put the sprout in the frig cloves under roses for years.
Planting the hardneck cloves I pay dearly for to plant and harvest from the vegetable garden does seem a trifle unusual...Perhaps the previous owner ran out of season, space, or energy?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 7:52AM
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what a wonderful "problem" to have!
As Qbush says, the original owners probably planted a few cloves of garlic as companion plants and as luck would have it, they're hardnecks and the bulbils have all self sown. They will be fully acclimatised to your garden so ought to produce really good bulbs if planted into your vegetable patch with proper spacing and care. Be interesting to see photos of what you harvested from the wild patch - did they look like they're the same variety?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 6:22PM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

If you don't pull them and separate them, the heads/cloves will get smaller and smaller each year. The plants will actually become "grassy" down here in the South.

To grow the largest heads, I always choose the largest cloves to re-plant. How fortunate you are to have inherited a garlic patch with your home! Take good care of them. I surely would. Ray

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 4:19AM
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