Bulbs Form on Garlic Tops - Knowledgebase Question

Cleveland, OH
Question by annahdiver
July 3, 2000
This is the first time I've ever grown garlic, and I'm unsure of what to do with the flower stalk head that has formed. There are little "seeds" in this bulb. Do I replant these or just use a clove of garlic like I used before? Can I chop these "seeds" and use them like I would garlic in recipes?


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Answer from NGA
July 3, 2000

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I, too, was surprised by these top bulbs (called bulbils) when I first grew garlic! Yes, you can use them in recipes just as you would regular garlic cloves. You can plant them, too, but it will probably take a few years before they produce cloves of any size. I'd rather plant full-sized cloves and be able to harvest good-sized bulbs the next summer. It's a good idea to pinch the bulbils back early on so that the plant will direct more energy to the maturing bulbs below ground.

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