Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Growing from the Compost: Regrowing Garlic

One of the most popular posts on this blog is how to regrow romaine lettuce, and I understand why.  There's something magical about taking the scraps you thought you were throwing in compost and getting more food out of them.

Garlic is another of these foods that you can regrow from scrap.  A head of garlic regrows from a single clove; if you order garlic to plant in your garden, you will get a couple of heads of garlic that look very much like what you can buy in the store.

In fact, you can regrow from what you buy in the store, especially if you aren't particular about every clove being successful.  (If you are, definitely order seed garlic.)  What you see at the right is some garlic sprouts coming up from cloves that I could not use in cooking.

Have you ever had your garlic start to sprout on the kitchen counter?  It gets that little green tip and a little green "core" through the clove, and you might think you need to get rid of it?  You don't, actually, but if you judge that your clove is a bit greener than you like to use in cooking, just take a pot full of soil, stick the garlic clove in with the pointed end up (and what was part of the flat end of the head down), and let it go.

Garlic does not tend to get very "wide," so a single clove will make a head about as large as the original head you bought.  It also doesn't form too much of a root ball, making it ideal for pots.  I've put mine in some decorative pots as you can see here, but you can also put it in any old container or in the ground.

It will take several months for the garlic to form a head, but, in the meantime, you can carefully snip some of the sprout leaves off if you wish to use for some garlic flavor in your cooking.

And there you to!  Just one more project from the compost pile, turning waste into value.  My kind of thing!

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  1. I enjoyed your post about garlic..I actually starting growing garlic again this I started it in the fall and this is my 2nd time growing it..I planted 4 cloves of garlic in a deep pot and the leaves are still I know not to harvest until they start to turn first crop was a big success..its a great plant to give instant gratification to the grower. Like, hey look what I did!! Incidently I am 86. Learned my gardening from my Dad many years ago..Waiting for a Grandson to come plow my small space..I bought a small Mantis rototiller about 5 years ago, thinking I could use it myself, well the boys said no way Gram we will do it.......enjoyed your article so much. Thanks. Dee

    1. So glad you are enjoying gardening! You are quite right, it isn't ready to harvest until the leaves flop over, but they sure are pretty until they do that! Enjoy your garden, and I'm envious that you have someone to run that Mantis for yoU!