I was browsing one of my favorite gardening blog, Garden Betty, and saw a post about green garlic. This is the garlic that is picked in the spring. Garlic growers thin out their garlic plants, so that the rest of the plants will have room to grow larger bulbs. These thinnings are the green or spring garlic and can be enjoyed like one would green onions. The blog post I read talked about growing this garlic for green garlic on purpose. I thought this was a brillant idea. Instead of having to plant garlic in the fall and have to wait until dog days of summer to harvest, I could plant some garlic in the spring and in no time have a “garlic crop” to harvest. How cool is that?
Planting the Garlic
I bought two bulbs of organic garlic from Whole Foods Market. I planted the cloves in several spots around my garden. I planted about 12 cloves in a pot near the end of April. Since you aren’t worried about growing large bulbs, you can plant them close together. I put them point side up and covered them with an inch of soil. In about a week or so, I could see green emerging from the soil. By early June they were very healthy looking, lush greens, already ready to harvest.
Harvesting the Garlic
You can just pull them out of the ground, like you would a radish or beet. You need to gently pull them out with a small shovel, so that you don’t break the greens off from the bulb on the bottom. I harvested them as I needed them. The whole pot I ended finishing a couple days ago because I wanted to make green garlic pesto (see recipe on my other blog, Eat Like No One Else) and as well as use that same pot to plant an extra tomato plant my mom just brought me. You can leave them in the ground longer to produce larger bulbs. If you want green garlic you need to pick them before the leaves start turning brown, which will happen in into the summer time.
A Second Crop?
After already harvesting my first crop, I am wondering if I can do another crop now, or will the heat of the summer put an end to that. I might try throwing a few more bulbs in the ground an just what happens. Stay tuned to see what happens.