Need to find a creative use for those left over garlic bulbs that you stored but didn’t get around to using during the winter months?
Here’s an idea; plant the extra garlic cloves out in the garden and grow a crop of delicious baby garlics.
Teaching Old Garlic New Tricks
By now the garlic that was harvested last summer is probably sprouting or beginning to shrivel in storage anyway, so why not plant what you’re not going to be able to use in the kitchen and enjoy fresh baby garlic in just a few short weeks.
The idea here isn’t to produce the full sized garlic bulbs that you’ll get out of your fall planted garlic bed, but rather to grow baby garlic plants that can be used to spice up a few early spring meals.
Growing and using baby garlic, also know as green garlic, can be compared to spring onions. It’s the swollen central stem, small root bulb, and tender young green leaves that will be harvested and used in the kitchen. The flavor isn’t as strong as fully mature garlic, but it will impart a mild garlic flavor to your favorite recipes.
Planting and Growing Baby Garlic
Growing baby garlic is simple enough, just press the garlic cloves an inch or so into the soil in a corner or end of one of you raised beds. We’re not growing mature garlic bulbs so plant the cloves very close together, with only an inch or two separating them. They can even be grown indoors or in containers.
To produce baby garlic, plant the seed cloves in the fall or as early in the spring as possible. After the plants have been growing for a few weeks in the spring you can begin harvesting and using baby garlic just like spring onions.
You can also use thinnings from your regular garlic bed in the same way if planted thickly. I usually plant a section of my fall garlic specifically for baby garlic production. After you harvest the green garlic you’ll still have plenty of time to plant other spring crops in the same area of the garden.
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