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Elephant Garlic Curiosities

Posted by SequoiaMatt99 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 16:49

Last spring, I planted a few elephant garlics. They never sprouted last year, probably because it didn't get cold enough, and I forgot about them. This year, however, they sprouted in the spring, and are now about ready. Well, one had its stem break over (not sure why) but I harvested it maybe a week early. There is one onion-like bulb and a few small clove-like growths that grew around it, but are in no way surrounded by a common paper wrapper. Will these grow if I plant them this fall?
I've heard elephant garlic sometimes forms onion like bulbs rather than cloves, but this seems rather odd. Any opinions are welcome.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Elephant Garlic Curiosities

Only thing I find odd is that it took a year for them to grow. The "onion like bulb" is called a round. Not uncommon. And the little things around the bulb are corms. They are very common. I planted some corms last Fall but they rotted. If you give them a gentle whack they are easy to peel and use in cooking.


RE: Elephant Garlic Curiosities

Like Rodney says, what you got is pretty normal.

Only I would plant the offsets back now and give them a chance to sprout out and establish themselves between now and killing frost. They should still be hardy enough to winter over for you. I did that with some offseason offsets I got of sand leek and had most of them sprout and then return this spring, and had one of them even bolt and set a headful of bulbils this year.

I had the same problem with elephant garlic not sprouting the first spring, myself, when fallplanted, but those were grocery store cloves and may have been treated against sprouting. I did get some spring planted ones to come up this year. Those I intend to move this week.

I expect to find a single relatively large round and the offsets below each of mine much like you found with yours.

RE: Elephant Garlic Curiosities

Thanks. I'll try to plant them, and hope for the best.

RE: Elephant Garlic Curiosities

If you plant the "round" in the fall, maybe September or early October, those will make the very best full heads of garlic at harvest. Those are the ones I count on for my very best for eating.

The corms can definitely be planted. I usually collect up all of them at harvest, then when ready, about now is good, I'll make a shallow trench and sprinkle them down the line maybe an inch or two apart. A good number of these will sprout, making decent rounds by harvest next spring. Another thing I've done is plant them densely in a pot buried in the garden, since not all of the corms may sprout the first year, but sometimes more will sprout the next year. I was getting frustrated having more sprout in future years when I had moved my garlic beds to a new location. When I was planting them loose, I was moving a lot of young sprouts to new locations every year.

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