Green Garlic · Vegetables

Green Garlic: Pulling out to find… garlic?

An update on green garlic is long overdue.

They were planted in soil about a month ago on March 19th. Two of them were organic, while one was not. I was especially curious on how this might affect their growth rate, and if they will continue down the previous trend of organic outgrowing non-organic scraps.

Regrowing food: Green Garlic 蒜苗

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

Green Garlic comparison

Well, the answer is a very general yes, but it got a little more complicated down the road. Here’s what happened:

March 19: From water to soil
Mar 19-17

They started out quite well, and continued to show visible growth in soil. One of them even gained quite some height (despite being super slim).

March 21: After two days in soil (The slim, organic, green garlic was in turbo-growing gear)
Mar 21-08.jpg

March 22: All three showing growth. The fattest, darker green plant, is the refrigerated non-organic stalk. The two organic ones do seem to be growing faster.
Mar 22-09.jpg

March 23: Organic plant number 2 started growing in a horizontal, crooked direction. Hmm…. Non-organic slowly trying to catch up, but turbo organic is leaving everyone behind.
Mar 23-08.jpg

March 25: Waiting for organic 2 to wake up and realize that the “right” direction is up…
Mar 25-05.jpg

March 27: Turbo organic reach new heights, while non-organic shows promise in surpassing the rebellious organic 2.
Mar 27-18.jpg

March 30: Decide to help correct organic 2’s path, but somehow ended up cutting off the crooked end. Turbo organic’s growth speed has slightly stalled and the ends turned a little yellow…
Mar 30-04.jpg

It was around this time, while rethinking growing green garlic from scraps, that I thought it would be a good idea to remind myself on what a garlic plant look like and its needs. This is what a garlic plant look like:

Public domain image from Pixabay

Which freaks me out a little, because we don’t look anything like that… yet?

This was an experiment to begin with, so I decided to try giving them more space and move them into individual containers. Maybe being squished in a container was causing stress, and that’s why turbo organic was slowing down.

April 3: Trimmed off yellow ends and separated them into individual containers and added organic fertilizer. By the way, I tried to be quite gentle with them, but it wasn’t easy with all the roots and soil… 
Apr 3-27.jpg

April 6: They look ok, still not much growth. Non-organic is still growing a little, but organic 2 doesn’t seem to be growing much after the crooked part was removed.
Apr 6-15.jpg

The next six days, I was in and out and somehow didn’t take photos. I know, how could I. All three seemed to be on the not-so-good side during these six days. I wondered if it was because I was under-watering, and hence gave them a long drink. But when they didn’t recuperate afterwards, I had to accept that they may be on their way out.

April 12: Yellow, droopy and dry-ish. 
Apr 12-04.jpg

Apr 12-06.jpg

April 14: More yellow, more droopy, more dry-ish.
Apr 14-26.jpg

April 15: I think it’s time to pull them out…
Apr 15-14.jpg

So yup, I pulled them out before bagging and throwing them away. At least I could find out what was happening underneath:

  1. It was relatively easy to pull them out. They started with lots of roots, but did not seem to have gained more along this one-month journey in soil.
  2. There was a sticky substance around the bulb when pulling out, a little like pulling cheese on pizza.
  3. The bulb and roots seemed moist, even a little too damp… maybe it was because of the final rescue watering?
  4. The previously compact bulb has grown larger to form garlic-like cloves.



Lesson learned. I think it didn’t work because the plant was already mature, and was continuing down the path to forming garlic. But I speculate, if I ever find myself retrying this experiment 2.0, there could be two possibilities where I might get some kind of harvest:

  1. Harvest the greens around ten days of moving into soil. Or better yet, just keep it in water the whole time and harvest when the greens regrow to acceptable height (before it yellows).
  2. Can this be a shortcut to cheat on growing garlic? Not too confident on the yield and taste though…

So until I’m feeling adventurous again or until I find myself in a situation where I can’t say no, I sorry to say that I’m done with green garlic… at least for now. It was still nice knowing you guys, green garlic buddies!

The journey of Mr. Green Garlic

The Vege Girl Project: Day 43



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