The Q&A Archives: Germinating Elephant Garlic Seeds

Question: We let our elephant garlic go to seed. How do we germinate them?

Answer: True garlic doesn't produce seeds (it produces tiny bulblets in what appears to be a seed head), but Elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) is closely related to leeks and does produce seed. The seeds need a cold treatment prior to germination so place them in moistened peatmoss, put in a plastic bag, and keep in the refrigerator for 4 weeks. At the end of 4 weeks plant individual seeds by placing them on top of moistened seed-starting mix and pressing them in with your hand. Just barely cover the seeds with mix (they need light to germinate) and keep them at about 50F degrees until the seeds sprout. This can take 16-30 days. Cover the pots or seed trays with plastic wrap to help keep the soil moist. Seedlings can be transplanted outdoors in the early spring.

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