Growing Green Organic Garlic
Green garlic is a good way to expand your market garden or savor a green bite in the early spring. Here are tips on how to select, plant, raise and harvest green garlic for market.
Green garlic is ready to harvest in early spring when people are hungry for the first vegetables and herbs. We like to use it in stir fries and Asian dishes. It also adds a little spice to dips.
Picture: Green garlic is planted in close rows like green onions.
How to Grow Green Garlic (Green Scallion Garlic):
Select only small cloves between 3-6 grams. Smaller cloves are more tender than large cloves. Large cloves will result in a tougher plant. You want small plants!
Plant cloves 2-3 inches apart and right side up (pointy growing end up) in either fall or spring. We recommend fall planting for the healthiest plants. Since plants are small rows can be fairly close together (3-6 inches).
A fast and easy way to plant green garlic is to dig a 4-6 inch deep trench, place garlic cloves right side up 2-3 inches apart in the trench and carefully cover with soil.
Harvest plants in when they are 10-15 inches high. Plants should have no bulbing at the base (at right: see how straight the base is at the red arrow). Once plants begin to bulb they become tough.
Pull or dig the entire plant, remove an outer bottom leaf or two if needed and rinse the plant off to remove soil. Wash off roots and trim to ¼-½ inch.
Sell green garlic in bunches of 6-12 plants banded (like green onions).
Green garlic is very popular for Asian cooking.
Edna speaks on volunteer green garlic:
"I have been using some garlic that has grown up in my yard. Last fall I tossed some tiny cloves and bulbils onto my informal compost pile of yard waste and leaves. This spring I was pleased to find a nice little patch of green garlic. Green garlic refers to the green onion-like garlic that grows from tiny cloves. It is actually just one clove of garlic that looks like a hearty green onion and has a nice fresh mild garlic taste. (If I were to save these cloves and plant them this fall, I would have a whole bulb of garlic with differentiated cloves the next year.)
However, I am enjoying using this garlic just as I might use green onions, in stir fries or added to a stew or to braising meat. I don’t know what variety of garlic I tossed out there although any variety of green garlic tends to be mild tasting."