Can You Grow Garlic From Seed?
Garlic is one of the most popular culinary herbs. It is used in many dishes such as soups, stews, sauces and marinades. Its flavor ranges from mild to strong with different types being suitable for cooking. It is usually grown fresh or dried but can also be found in capsules or powder form. Garlic contains a number of nutrients including vitamins A, C and K which are essential for good health. Garlic is also rich in antioxidants called allicins which have been shown to reduce inflammation and protect against cancer.
The best way to grow garlic from seed is through bulbs. Bulbs can be planted directly into the ground or they can be transplanted into containers after the first frost. Growing your own garlic from seed takes time so it’s not practical if you don’t have much space or want to wait until spring when plants are at their peak growth rate. However, there are other ways to grow garlic from seed.
One method involves using garlic bulbs that have already been cut up and placed in jars or plastic bags. These cloves can then be planted directly into soil once the weather warms enough for them to germinate. Another option is to use crushed garlic cloves that have been soaked in water and mixed with compost or manure before planting.
Can You Eat Garlic Seeds?
Most people don’t realize this but garlic is a flowering plant and can be grown from seed. In the wild, garlic produces large umbels of white flowers that contain hundreds of seeds. These seeds have an incredible ability to produce new plants through methods of reproduction known as dispersal and stratification. This means that they are spread over long distances by animals and in some cases they may lie dormant in the soil for many years. The quality of garlic seeds is low compared to that of garlic bulbs. If you want more garlic plants then you are better off planting the bulbs instead.
The taste and smell of garlic is produced by a combination of sugars and sulphur compounds within the clove. If you plant a whole clove, the sugars will remain intact for longer which can affect the flavor. The easiest way to eat garlic seeds is after they have been dried out a few days. This process also helps to break down the tough skin so that it is soft enough to eat.
When growing garlic from seed, it is best to use large, mature cloves that have already formed into bulbs. You also need to remove the husk from the outside and separate out the individual seeds. Each clove may contain anywhere from one to eight seeds but only a small proportion of these are likely to grow into new plants. To eat the seeds, simply lightly roast them in a pan and then crush them with a rolling pin or put them through a food processor.
The garlic flavor will come through stronger if you dry the seeds out first although this process is not strictly necessary.
Tips For Growing Garlic From Seed
If you are planning on growing garlic from seed then it’s best to do so in the spring. This will give the plants plenty of time to mature before the first fall frost arrives.
The garlic plant produces a number of different types of flower. You need to be careful when planting as different flowers lead to different types of garlic. Ideally you want to plant the bulbs that have never been exposed to light as these produce so-called “seed garlic”.
These small, white bulbs are grown in the dark and should produce very mild garlic that is perfect for growing and eating fresh. If you see green shoots emerging from the bottom of the bulb then it’s been exposed to light and will produce “aromatic garlic” instead.
Once you have selected your bulbs, it’s best to wait until the beginning of May before planting. You can plant them in soil that has a PH of around 7 using a depth of around four inches between each clove. Lightly water the soil afterwards.
Garlic grows best in cooler temperatures but it still isn’t a plant for the beginner. It needs to be grown over the summer months before being dug up and stored during the winter when it is dormant. The following spring, it can be harvested as normal.
Other Storage Options
If you grow your own garlic, you can try freezing or pickling it instead of eating it right away. The flavor is different when it’s frozen or pickled but both can result in tasty snacks that are perfect for adding flavor to other dishes.
Frozen garlic consists of individual cloves that are chopped up and frozen in a container or bag. Pickled garlic consists of whole bulbs that have been preserved in a saltwater solution before being stored in the fridge. Both need to be thawed before consumption and don’t keep for more than a few months.
Now that you know more about garlic, it’s time to grow your own or visit the store and pick up some fresh bulbs!
Sources & references used in this article:
Enhancement of seed germination and plant growth of wheat, maize, peanut and garlic using multiwalled carbon nanotubes. by S Anita, DP Rao – European Chemical Bulletin, 2014 – cabdirect.org
Evaluation of Returns and Risks in the Forms of Garlic Market: Seed Versus in Natura by L Bendlin, KA Vichinheski, NPM Spautz… – International Journal of … – academia.edu
GROWING GARLIC by P Pospisil – researchgate.net
Growing Garlic in Montana by C Moore-Gough, RE Gough – Montana State University …, 2010 – circlehgrowers.com
Garlic: Organic Production by HOWLDG LAST
Garlic in the Garden by J Bachmann, T Hinman – … , une publication d’ATTRA, États-Unis …, 2008 – michaeljbowe.com
Use of garlic (Allium sativum), black cumin seeds (Nigella sativa L.) and wild mint (Mentha longifolia) in broiler chickens diets. by D Drost – 2018 – digitalcommons.usu.edu