Tell me about Allium sativum ophloscorodon- Serpent Garlic

christinmk z5b eastern WAJuly 11, 2008

Hi! Through some research online I have discovered that the garlic Ive been growing in my garden is Allium sativum ophloscorodon, the Serpent Garlic. A few bulbs were given to me many years ago. I planted it in my veggie garden, but have since put some in various areas of my flower garden because it looks really neat (I love how it curls around). But im not sure im harvesting it right. I usually let the flower heads mature and produce those miniature cloves at the top. Then I plant the mini's and dig up the bulb. Is that how you do it? A neighbor keeps telling me I need to prune the stalks down Before it sets the cloves at the top. Any growing info would be much appreciated! Thanks!


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bloosquall(Wa 6)


OH BOY...where do we start here. You have a typical hardneck type garlic, the mini cloves up top are called bulbuils. they are actually mini garlic rounds or seeds that can be planted or eaten, I prefer to eat them if any of mine reach that stage. I would eat them when you think they're ready then wait until four green leaves are left on the plant and harvest the bulb. If you are planting these bulbils you probably aren't getting a very big plant. I could go on and on about this but please go to and read everything on that site about garlic and how to grow it. it's a good source of great information.

Check out a local farmers market this summer and maybe find a couple bulbs you like and plant the cloves in Middle October first week of November.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 2:04AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Thanks bloosquall! I love all the info I can get. That website was very informative. Ill have to go back there when I have a little more time to read it all. So, do you leave the bulb in the ground another year to mature? or do you dig it out and eat it too? or do you separate the bulb and plant the individual cloves?
Ps. Thats a FANTASTIC idea about the farmers market. Ill have to go and find one...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 1:02PM
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bloosquall(Wa 6)

CMK, The bulbs you get either out of the ground or some where else can be taken apart a day before planting or that day. you plant the individual cloves from the bulb. If I left a bulb in the ground until next summer I'f have a clump of garlic since all the cloves would want to make a plant.

Google "how to grow garlic" you will find many many sites with really good instructions on how to plant the cloves and caring for the plants. What part of Wa are you in ? I'm located near Walla Walla, east side.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 5:43PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Thank you for all your help! I bet you grow some great sweet onions over there. I live in Spokane.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 7:00PM
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I live 30 miles west of Olympia.I do not cut the scapes,in fact I cure them with the scapes attached and mostly get bulbs in the 2-3" range.The most important thing is to have a well balanced soil with high fertility and a high nitrogen feeding twice in the spring at leaf emergence and again around Memorial day.I planted 14k last fall,7k the year before.About 2% are no shows and another 3% are runtz.I harvest when the scapes have unfurled and cure with them attached;the dead leaf indicator times out well with the scapes unfurled and the bulbs stay tighter if not juost as big,i.e.they are denser and store longer as in mid to late spring.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 12:12PM
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