The Q&A Archives: Tips for Larger Garlic Bulbs

Question: I have a general question about garlic. Some folks say that clipping the flowering heads from the plants yields bigger bulbs. Some say that knocking the plants over (without breaking them) gives a similar improvement. My own experience is inconclusive. Is there any benefit from these practices? Thanks! Richard Dickerson Memphis, TN

Answer: Both practices you describe--removing flower heads and bending leaves over--are intended to focus the plant's attention on enlarging and ripening the bulbs. While both may, to some extent, affect bulb size, more important to bulb size are other cultural considerations: Garlic prefers full sun, a moist, light, fertile soil rich in organic matter. Encourage vigorous leaf growth in the spring by fertilizing regularly, and provide plenty of water. Perhaps the most important factor in bulb size isweeds--keep competition for nutrients and water down by keeping your garlic bed well-weeded.

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