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Last year I planted garlic cloves a bit too late, and even though the bulbs were stored in the fridge for about 8 weeks (because the veg bed was inaccessible)  the cloves never developed properly, and when they were harvested I've effectively got little bulbs without any cloves. 

Are these any good to plant again this year? Given a winter will they form properly into bulbs with cloves or should I get rid of them and plant new cloves? 


  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,016
    Have you got room to try a few and see and have a row of new ones as well? I've never tried it - be interested to know what happens - compare and contrast
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • Not really got spare space unfortunately. My veg bed is only small and I'm growing other things, so space is a bit of a premium. 

    The ones I dug up that are now like little bulbs were purchased for planting. 
    If I plant something new as an alternative (and chuck these if they won't work) then it'll be the supermarket ones that are in the cupboard for eating. So it's a bit of a Germidour gets a second chance vs Tesco produce of China choice too 
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,721
    Why get rid of them? they're perfectly good to eat, they even sell them here in the supermarket.
    If you grow garlic from seed or from the bulbils that form on the flowering stems those single rounds are what you get in the first year, in their second year the round will split into cloves yes.
    I got one garlic this year that decided it didn't want to split so sometimes they just don't want to.
  • You need to buy new ones fit for purpose otherwise you could well be wasting your time again. Given they take so long to grow it isn't worth the risk. 
  • I would cook with them rather than discard them. The advice when planting garlic is the bigger the clove that you plant then the bigger the garlic it produces and I have found this to be a true saying. I know that some of the retailers will advise their customers that this garlic or that one will on average have 8 to 10 cloves but in the true sense no more than 6or 7 are of a size that is worth planting. I try to a great extent to keep my own seed and just occasionally buy the odd one variety to supplement my own seed.
  • I'd read that cloves are formed from frost/freezing (I a novice, so this may not be true). Last year we got no snow and barely any frosts, so my garlic came out as you described. More of a solid globe, rather than any, individual cloves.  Just as tasty though.

    The year before, I had similar, but down planting late in the season.  One of my previous 'globes' started to sprout.  Unknown to myself, my husband shoved it into a plant pot.  It did grow, but when picked again this year- it was still a globe.  I'd eat your globes and start with fresh gloves this year.
    Coastal Suffolk/Essex Border- Clay soil
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