Archive for January, 2012

Garlic “Bulbils”

In a winter garden 2 years ago, we let some of the garlic grow until it formed a bulb-like ball near the tips of the main stalk. Inside this ball were 50 or so tiny little garlic clones of the plant. They look like minature garlic cloves. The ball grows until the skin on it turns paper thin and then it releases the bulbils.

I had read that these were not very useful but I collected them, let them dry a bit, and saved them from July to October. I planted them in October and got thin garlic stalks over the last year. They didn’t amount to much and in the following winter/spring, the tops died off. I left them in the bed and planted around them. This season, they came up again and are doing great.  

I don’t know if they will mature enough to produce full cloves in the spring but it is worth a try. If they produce “Rounds” (one clove in the shape of a round ball), I will need to harvest them and plant again next season.

Recommendation: If you try letting some of your garlic produce bulbils, plant them in the fall in a part of your garden that you don’t need for a while. I have also seen advice to collect them in the early summer, dry them out, and replant in the fall. This could take 2+ years but it is a great way to get garlic without paying for new cloves and it’s also a great way to learn.

Have you tried this? If so, please pass along how you did it and how it worked out for you!


Update on the Winter Garden

Our winter garden is our favorite garden. The winters in Austin are mild and the cools season plants do well.

The plants in each row of the garden are planted in order of height. The southern-most two rows are short plants. We planted lettuce and garlic.

The next row is Broccoli and the northnmost row is Snow Peas.

The squares most closely located to the sidewalk are planted with Pansies. The neighbor dogs use the side of the garden to mark their territory and therefore we don’t eat the veggies from that area. It also gives us a chance to plant beautiful plants where they can be seen.

The Broccoli is doing great. We need to plant more to get another harvest in another 8 weeks.

The Kholrabi is a great part of our winter garden. We cut up the bulb and eat it raw.

The Snow Peas produce slowly in the winter but they hold up well to freezing weather. The low temperatures in Austin are usually in the 20s.