• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Haasl
  • Pearl Sutton
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Carla Burke
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean

Growing Garlic from true seed?

 
gardener
Posts: 2452
Location: Maine, zone 5
1128
2
forest garden trees food preservation solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, was just wondering if anyone here is working with true garlic seeds.  Here's an article on getting garlic to produce true seeds.

Getting a landrace together sounds like a good thing to get going for extra health and vigor, and I wonder what potential there might be for hybrids.  Other ideas?

 
Greg Martin
gardener
Posts: 2452
Location: Maine, zone 5
1128
2
forest garden trees food preservation solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I ran across this at Adaptive Seeds.  They sell them, but not at the moment and ask that you check back in August for true seed.
 
Posts: 89
Location: PA, zone 6a
17
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
http://www.rasacreekfarm.com/how-to-grow-garlic/true-garlic-seed This site seems to detail how you can get garlic to flower.

Suppose you could mix some varieties that you like by only forcing one flower from each type.
 
Posts: 265
Location: Montana
279
cat foraging hunting tiny house bike fiber arts building medical herbs woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I checked out the site that Adaptive recommends and sent those folks an email asking if they had any seeds available, but otherwise haven't been able to find any anywhere. Most places seem to be sold out of bulbs as well. Gotta get on that garlic growing train earlier next year..

Might just grow out some org. grocery store bulbs and see how that goes I guess.
 
gardener
Posts: 604
Location: the mountains of western nc
158
forest garden trees foraging chicken food preservation cooking wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
if i recall correctly, some garlic families are way more likely to produce viable seed (and are thus more useful as a starting place for a project like this)...i know purple-striped varieties like chesnok red are supposed to be good for seed production...but the other good seedy families escape my seive-like memory at the moment.

please note, many grocery store garlics, like california white, are softneck garlic, and are unlikely to flower at all, let alone produce seed. the garlic that doesn’t produce seed generally produce tiny little topsets instead, which is the same, genetically, as just growing the cloves from the bulb, with the added bonus of an extra year of growing to get to useable size.
 
Jen Tuuli
Posts: 265
Location: Montana
279
cat foraging hunting tiny house bike fiber arts building medical herbs woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

greg mosser wrote:if i recall correctly, some garlic families are way more likely to produce viable seed (and are thus more useful as a starting place for a project like this)...i know purple-striped varieties like chesnok red are supposed to be good for seed production...but the other good seedy families escape my seive-like memory at the moment.



From what I've read, yep, you're correct.

please note, many grocery store garlics, like california white, are softneck garlic, and are unlikely to flower at all, let alone produce seed. the garlic that doesn’t produce seed generally produce tiny little topsets instead, which is the same, genetically, as just growing the cloves from the bulb, with the added bonus of an extra year of growing to get to useable size.



Yeah, I was thinking to use them just to get some kind of crop this year until I can get ahold of seeds or a hardneck variety. I'd be okay with letting them make bubils and propagating those to get food crop until experiment crop happens. :)
 
Garrett Schantz
Posts: 89
Location: PA, zone 6a
17
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gurneys emailed me about a onion bulb sale. Figured I would check if they had any garlic left.

Right now they have:
California White Softneck Garlic - could probably find these ones at a store
Walla Walla Early Garlic
Inchelium Red Softneck Garlic

These all have some pretty bad reviews about bulb quality - granted the reviews are from last year mostly.


There are better garlic sources with more diverse varieties - these are usually planted mid-autumn. Lot of places will probably start selling bulbs towards the end of the season. Afterwards they start growing in late fall - early spring and so on. Garlic likes a chilling period. Usually takes 6 - 9 months for maturity after planting in the fall. Depends on the variety / type of garlic.

 
Posts: 42
10
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Greg Martin wrote:Hi, was just wondering if anyone here is working with true garlic seeds.  Here's an article on getting garlic to produce true seeds.

Getting a landrace together sounds like a good thing to get going for extra health and vigor, and I wonder what potential there might be for hybrids.  Other ideas?



Speaking from my own experience, it isn't difficult to get garlic to produce seeds. I have a perennial row of garlic in my garden, and it flowers and then produces seeds abundantly every single year. What I do differently that causes it to seed is I leave it alone. I harvest the greens but seldom harvest the bulbs underground. As long as you are constantly digging up garlic, separating the cloves, and replanting some of them, then it is already reproducing asexually and will not reproduce sexually. That is, of course, exactly what most people do, which is why it is incorrectly believed that Garlic seldom produces viable seeds. When you plant a clove, at first it will divide underground, then it will eventually shift back towards sexual reproduction if you leave it alone long enough, especially after it has already spread out a bit underground. This is not special or rare garlic, just ordinary garlic I bought from Winco. I haven't ever attempted to sprout the seeds but they appear to be full sized, viable, healthy seeds.
 
Posts: 18
Location: dfw, TX zone 8
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you Nathan, that is a very profound insight. I never thought of that.

Do you know if the garlic you have is hard or soft neck?
 
pollinator
Posts: 623
Location: BC Interior, Zone 6-7
158
forest garden tiny house books
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nathan Watson wrote:

Speaking from my own experience, it isn't difficult to get garlic to produce seeds. I have a perennial row of garlic in my garden, and it flowers and then produces seeds abundantly every single year. What I do differently that causes it to seed is I leave it alone. I harvest the greens but seldom harvest the bulbs underground.



This sounds reasonable, but I think it still depends on variety. There's an abandoned homestead and orchard near where I live where many people go to pick fruit and nuts. On one part of the property is a garlic field. There are local hardneck Doukhobor varieties, so it's probably one of those. It reproduces by bulbil and maybe division. I've never seen it set seed, and it seems like I'm pretty much the only person digging any up.
 
Greg Martin
gardener
Posts: 2452
Location: Maine, zone 5
1128
2
forest garden trees food preservation solar wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jan White wrote:

Nathan Watson wrote:

Speaking from my own experience, it isn't difficult to get garlic to produce seeds. I have a perennial row of garlic in my garden, and it flowers and then produces seeds abundantly every single year. What I do differently that causes it to seed is I leave it alone. I harvest the greens but seldom harvest the bulbs underground.



This sounds reasonable, but I think it still depends on variety.


Variety and perhaps growing conditions.  I have 6 hard neck varieties growing like that that produce nice heads of bulbils.  So far I haven't noticed seeds, but will look much more closely at them all this year.  Thank you Nathan.
 
pollinator
Posts: 423
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
119
goat fish books chicken sheep ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Please take any of the following advice with a grain of salt; this is probably not the only way, but it is what's worked for me. The chesnok red I grow forms bulbils and flowers in the same place. Left alone, the bulbils form a closed ball, and the flowers won't develop. I watch the scapes until the papery skin (umbel?) at the top splits. In the next day or two, I remove the bulbils, often dropping them on the ground. Now the flowers can develop. After the petals come off and the remaining bits (ovaries?) start to dry, I know they're as fertilized as they're gonna get. Sometime after that, but before they start to open and drop seeds, I cut off the scapes and hang them upside down in a paper bag.



During the fall and winter they might shed some seeds into the bag, but probably not all. Thresh 'em out. Last year I winter sowed all my seeds. (From 2 years.) Six came up. Two are still alive. I segregated them from the others.



That pot only has garlic grown from seed. I read that seed production and viability improve with each generation of growing from seed. When I have enough from seed, I hope to only save seeds they produce. It'll be a while longer. Last year's haul was one seed. I put it in the pot last night.

I don't have seed to share, and it looks like I won't for a while, but anyone interested in some bulbils, mooseage me when I remove 'em this year, you're welcome to 'em. Takes a while to get to seed (or to good bulbs) that way, but it can be done. I got my start when one of Joseph Lofthouse's colaborators made the same offer.
 
Jen Tuuli
Posts: 265
Location: Montana
279
cat foraging hunting tiny house bike fiber arts building medical herbs woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Garlicana Farms has some available still.
 
Nathan Watson
Posts: 42
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

B Beeson wrote:Thank you Nathan, that is a very profound insight. I never thought of that.

Do you know if the garlic you have is hard or soft neck?



I'm not sure what variety it is. I included a photo, maybe this helps?
1.png
[Thumbnail for 1.png]
 
B Beeson
Posts: 18
Location: dfw, TX zone 8
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That picture doesn't tell us enough to distinguish between softneck and hardneck.

This article has a nice overview, with pictures:

https://savvygardening.com/hardneck-vs-softneck-garlic/

No scapes (flower stalk) = softneck
Single circle of cloves around the scape = hardneck.
Big cloves on the outside, smaller and smaller towards the center = softneck




 
PI day is 3.14 (march 14th) and is also einstein's birthday. And this is merely a tiny ad:
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic