Green Garlic · Vegetables

Green garlic update: regrowing from organic vs. non-organic scraps

The Green Garlic 蒜苗 ends are steadily growing, and now with a significant stalk(s) sprouting from the center, I think it’s time to move them into soil.

Mar 19-09

The whole process – from kitchen scrap to water to soil – has taken less than a week, a much shorter time compared to previous “regrowing food” projects such as the Mr. Popeye spinach, Taiwanese basil 九層塔 and celery. A pleasant surprise.

As previously mentioned, I have two batches of green garlic ends – one three days older than the other two – which provided me the opportunity to observe differences in growth rate. Yay!

Interestingly, the two younger ones rapidly caught up and seems to be growing faster than the older one. I have a few theories why.

The older one: Non-organic, refrigerated before use
The younger ones: Organic, fresh from the market (never refrigerated)

Green Garlic comparison.png

Looking at them side by side, there is also clear difference in their roots system and bulb size.

The older one: Larger, wider bulb + white, transparent-ish, thinner roots
The younger ones: Slimmer, not-as-significant bulb + browner, thicker, more robust-looking roots

I’m guessing it may have to do with:

  1. Variation in species
  2. Age when harvested
    – I’m guessing the slimmer bulbs are younger plants.
  3. The amount of time soaked in water
    – The older one was soaked in water three days longer than the younger ones, I’m guessing the roots becomes more transparent when soaked in water longer.
  4. Organic vs. non-organic

Mar 19-15

Additional variation observed include:

  1. Length of ends kept for growing
    – The younger ones have longer “leftover ends” compared to the older one
  2. How the new shoots are growing: one large stalk vs. multiple smaller stalks
    – This is harder to quantify, as only one of the organic green garlic is showing multiple smaller stalks. Despite slimmer stalks, it is significantly surpassing the others by height.

In most of the articles/blog post I have read online, organic kitchen scraps were used to regrow food. I remember slightly freaking out when regrowing my celery (Ms. Accidental Celery) because it was non-organic, and had been refrigerated to the point where it was a little yellow and dry. Ten days later today, she is doing pretty well!

The Accidental Celery photographed today morning.
Mar 20-12

With these observations, I’d tentatively theorize that:

We can regrow (certain) plants from both organic and non-organic, as well as refrigerated and fresh kitchen scraps. However, the organic and fresh scraps may regrow faster.

Phew!! Now I won’t have to feel weary whenever coming across a non-organic, not-as-fresh, kitchen scrap. I just need to mentally prepare myself that I might have to wait a little longer. 🙂

When planting these green garlic into soil, I was surprised (but shouldn’t have) at the depth of soil needed. Because of the length and amount of roots, I barely fit them in 15cm (6 inches) of soil. Since I am interested in harvesting their leaves only (instead of growing garlic bulbs), I wasn’t too particular in leaving ample room between the plants.

As usual, I’m recycling a container and using a soil mix for growing vegetables in pots. I’ve been cutting out organic fertilizer from the initial potting mix, and am deciding to fertilize later on if needed. Just a gut feeling, and still experimenting so far.

I covered the entire bulb, with only the shoots showing. So excited to continue observe the growth of these three plants!

The journey of Mr. Green Garlic

Mar 19-16

Mar 19-17

The Vege Girl Project: Day 16


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