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Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Does anyone have experience growing garlic from bulbils? I have a big garlic patch that I have been tending and spreading for years. Every year I harvest all the scapes I could possibly use, and leave a lot of them to flower and make bulbils. I figure I'm getting some genetic diversity by now.

I have often lackadaisically tossed bulbils around, they grow here and there. I plant a lot of garlic, I usually take a bulb with me and plant cloves when I do a new planting.

I am considering putting some effort into growing the bulbils into large bulbs and choosing strains that I like to propagate. I don't know anyone who has ever done this so I'm looking for advice and thoughts.
 
Megan Palmer
Posts: 7
Location: Queenstown, NZ
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hello Matu, I've been growing garlic bulbils for several years now and it takes up to three years to get normal sized bulbs from the tiny rice grain sized bulbils of porcelains. They usually produce undivided rounds the first year. The pea sized bulbils from Rocamboles will often produce perfect miniature bulbs the first year. I prefer to get rounds as they size up better the following year. After you harvest them, just dry off and store until autumn and replant. I have grown them both in the open ground and in containers. They are useful scattered between rows of garlic as row markers between varieties. If you put them in a container, just make sure that they get watered in summer otherwise the growth will be checked.
There are some excellent blogs and articles about growing bulbils, here are a couple that I found useful when I first started
http://www.cog.ca/uploads/TCOG%20Articles/Growing%20garlic%20from%20bulbils.pdf
http://goingtoseed.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/garlic-bulbil-harvest/
It's a great way to increase your stock and I don't find it any hassle. if it's true genetic diversity you're after, you'll need to take it to the next level and try producing true seed which involves removing all the bulbils to allow the flowers to develop -
http://garlicseed.blogspot.ca/p/growing-garlic-from-true-seed.html

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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We grow bulbils every year Megan nailed it on the info. Spot on. Bulbils are clones, to produce new varieties you have to follow megans second link and produce true seed. Which is sort of a challenge IMO.

All fun though and like said bulbils increase planting stock WAY faster than growing from cloves. It also re-invigorates the garlic so as to produce stronger garlic plants once to full size.
 
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