“Seed Saving” Guide for Garlic and Rocambole

There are two basic types of garlic – hard-neck and soft-neck. Hard-neck garlics send up a flower shoot in the springtime, called a scape, but seeds are not normally produced by these flowers, or collected for re-sowing. They’re also often sterile anyway.

Instead, all garlics are propagated vegetatively.

Garlic bulbs form underground, and divide into many separate cloves. Each clove can be replanted and will itself grow a large bulb consisting of many cloves.

Rocambole, or serpent garlic, is a type of hard-neck garlic which, instead of producing a scape with a flower, produces a scape with bulblets at the top. These bulblets can be planted, though they will take two years to produce a full-size bulb instead of one.

Throughout the United States, garlic is planted in the fall, from September to November, and harvested the following year, usually in late summer. You can plant garlic in the spring, but the bulbs likely won’t reach full size.

Garlic requires a cold, resting period before it will sprout and grow properly. After this resting period, garlic will enter dormancy. It will break its dormancy when growing conditions are right.

To harvest garlic bulbs for planting stock, simply harvest and cure the garlic bulbs as you normally would. But instead of storing by hanging them in your kitchen, they should be stored in the dark, at temperatures of 35-40℉ to ensure viability lasts until planting time (the back of a crisper drawer in most refrigerators will provide these conditions). This also provides the cool resting period that garlic requires before it will sprout.

, , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply