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!


One Response to “Garlic “Bulbils””

  1. Pavani Says:

    The Mantis is about the best predator auonrd. This time of the year (early spring) is the best time to search the edges of pastures and fields auonrd parks for egg cases. They are found on the thin twigs of bushes. Clip them with pruning tools and hang them by short strings about 6 feet apart auonrd your garden. They will hatch 50 to 100 little bug eaters about the time your seeds germinate. They will venture about looking for food. You will notice that by the end of the season you will only have one or two big fat ones. If you have any short bushes they should have two or three egg cases that will winter over till next spring.

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