Should I Leave Bulbils in Ground Another Year?

lois(PA Zone 6)July 5, 2010

I've tried to research this but am not finding an answer. I planted bulbils last fall, and they have not yet grown into bulbs with cloves. Should I leave them in the ground for another year, or should I dig them up and replant them in 4 months? Thanks.

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If they aren't in your way, you can leave them in the ground. If you grow garlic very much, you will find that a few bulbs get missed during harvest, and the garlic grows just fine the next season without ever having been dug, dried, and replanted. (It's just like missing a few potatoes and having and endless supply of them coming up in future years.)

If they are in your way, dig them and set aside while you do your summer garden, then plant again in the fall. Garlic is really very forgiving.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 5:11PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

Thanks, Catherine!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 10:53PM
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rxkeith(z5 MI)

when i plant bulbils, i plant them fairly close together about 2 inches apart. that gives them enough space to form a round or 1 large clove. that round can then be replanted in the fall to give you a normal size bulb of garlic the following year. 2 inches apart isn't far enough for a large round to grow into a bulb of garlic. they need 5-6 inches of space between cloves. if you planted the bulbils far enough apart, you can leave them in the ground. if not then i would dig them up, separate out the ones that may have formed small bulbs, then plant back the best looking rounds.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 9:37PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

Maybe the spacing is why it seems most people like to dig up their garlic even if they just plan to replant it in a month or so. That wasn't making sense to me until just now. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 8:46PM
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rxkeith(z5 MI)

the garlic bulbils i planted last year that were given to me by a kindly soul all divided into bulbs. not one single round to be found. never had that happen before. some kind of hard neck, not one i have grown before, so don't know what kind. some bulbs are pretty good size considering what was planted. the full size cloves produced some nice bulbs. i'll be planting more of this one in the fall.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 11:19PM
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Some garlics produce larger bulbils than others. I grew german white porcelain bulbils this last season and none of them grew larger than a marble. I 'sowed' them in rows 3" apart with about a 1/2" spacing, and the plants came up with at most 1/8" diameter stems.

The bulbils themselves though were only about the size of rice grains, this year I got some turbin garlic bulbils that are already 1/4" - which I imagine will produce considerably larger plants.

Since the plants are small the first year, you could easily grow many in a 1g nursery pot and save the trouble of trying to protect them around weeds and taller plants that would out-compete them.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 1:36PM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

Funny you should mention the 1 gallon pot.. I planted some of the bulbils last fall in a 5 gallon bucket. They sailed through winter and sprouted well with just an inch of mulch on the top. They did not mature as much as I expected, though, so I think even the 5 gallon pot got too dry during our high 90s weeks. If I leave them in that pot, I will have to either get some kind of water reservoir for the pot or add a thicker layer of mulch.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 7:11PM
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