Preparing for Green Garlic

This week I'm sorting through last year's crop of garlic, to make sure what's left is still sound. It's about now that stored garlic remembers its previous life out on the plot and prepares for the next growing season by starting to sprout.

As the growing weather was poor last year, many of my bulbs are smaller than usual and quite a few of the cloves have been fiddly to deal with for cooking. I still have plenty of bulbs left, so I had a bit of a 'why on earth am I putting up with this?' moment and decided to separate out the larger cloves. As you can see, there's some smaller cloves left over.

I remembered my 'accidental' green garlic from way back and so I've sown these into various pots. The idea is I'll have 'clumps' of green garlic in a few weeks time which can be used for stir fries, stews and flavouring salad dressings. They're too small for bulb growing as little cloves in turn beget little bulbs. This approach means we'll have some fresh garlic stems to use ahead of the main crop of bulbs.

Also NAH will be pleased as there's no more fiddly cloves to deal with when he makes our regular Thursday night curry. Harvesting trendy green garlic and a happy NAH - that's win-win all round :)


  1. I have lots of tiny cloves and have thrown so many as I got so fed up with them. There are also shoots appearing from the stash in the garage. When you say green garlic are you talking about cooking the stems or the bulbs?

  2. Hi Helen - the stems. You can use them in a similar way to chives.

  3. PS I've amended the post to make it clearer :)

  4. Hi VP, Great idea! Off to sow a few skinny cloves this afternoon.

  5. Well I never heard of this and am intrigued...I will have to plant up some small cloves and see what we get...

  6. Absolutely fantastic idea. Must do the same. I did pot up small bulbs of the Egyptian Walking Onions and they are doing very well. They were turning green and wanted to grow.

    Oh just thought, maybe I will use the dried garlic bubels I saved. That would also work wouldn't it VP.

    I like the sound of Thursday night curry....yummm

  7. I've just dug up a few clumps of green garlic from historical sowings near my rosebushes - used them for companion planting in an attempt to keep aphids away. Not sure it had any effect, but it does leave me with a pleasant little windfall crop every now and then!

  8. I use my little cloves to grow green garlic too. Saves on both annoyance from having to peel small cloves and money from having to buy new garlic presses each time I put too many unpeeled mini cloves in mine and break it.

  9. After reading quite a few posts on Green garlic I finally used some of mine last was lovely and a great way to use up all those small bulbs which are so fiddily to peal!!

  10. I had no idea you could use the shoots! I live and learn something every day!!

  11. Naomi - you're inspired, hurray :)

    Donna - give it a go, they're great!

    Bren - it will. I've grown the bulbils before trying to bulk them up into bulbs. But for people like me, seeing I grow too much garlic anyway, that's a much better way of using them.

    TTG - absolutely. Also a good way of using the space if anyone doesn't have room elsewhere

    Liz and Andrea - I don't know why I've put up with them for so long, especially as NAH always moans about them whenever he cooks!

    Anna B - I didn't know until my garlic started growing flower spikes one year and then found out that the scapes (that's the technical term) are super trendy for cooking!

  12. Linda Penny via her email subscription says 'Awesome post'. Thanks Linda :~

  13. Sounds like an excellent win-win - I will never regret paying a bit extra for a garlic press that will take unpeeled cloves, small ones no longr such a pain.

  14. Janet - I use a lot of chopped garlic rather than crushed. Our garlic press takes small cloves too, but getting the skins out is still fiddly. I wonder if yours is a better performing model?


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