How to Grow Green Garlic

green garlic

How to Grow Green Garlic

Have you ever seen Green Garlic in a farmers market or a restaurant and wondered what it is? It is an immature garlic plant that looks like a cross between a leek and a spring onion. Instead of eating the bulb, only the whole plant is harvested and eaten whilst it is still green. It has a delicious garlicky flavour that can be used in both cooking and salads. 

Regular garlic needs space, a cold period and a very long time to mature. If it doesn’t get that it will not separate into cloves. Green garlic on the other hand can be planted in spring closely together and is perfect to grow in your Harvst Mini Greenhouse.

Sowing/Planting

Green garlic is planted just like regular garlic. If possible, use garlic intended to be planted, as supermarket bought garlic may have been sprayed with an anti sprouting agent. If you can only find the ones in the supermarket, try to go for an organic one. Start by separating the garlic cloves but keeping the papery cover on each clove.  

Fill a tray or pot with a general peat free multi purpose compost and water it. Plant the cloves 5cm deep with the pointed end upwards and 5 cm apart. Keep the soil just moist until the cloves germinate because if they dry out they may not germinate, but if the soil is waterlogged they will rot.  As a general rule, the colder the soil the less moisture you need.

Plant care 

Keep the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season but make sure it is not waterlogged at any time. Feed the plants by mulching or use a general organic fertiliser.

Harvesting 

Harvest by either cutting off leaves as required or pulling the whole plant when it has reached the required size. Although Green Garlic can be pulled at any stage, the longer you wait to harvest, the more pronounced the bulb will be. Do not wait till the leaves start to die back as you will want to use the whole plant.

Watch out! 

Green garlic, just like when growing regular garlic, is susceptible to garlic rust. Garlic rust is a fungal disease that can not be cured. Avoid watering the leaves and discard any affected leaves (red/brown spots).

Pro Tip

If you grow regular garlic, save the smallest “useless” cloves when planting in the autumn and plant them as Green garlic instead.

Nerdy facts

Green garlic will look very similar to Spring Onions when harvested young. Although they belong to the same genus ‘Allium’ they’re not the same plant. Green garlic is the immature version of garlic, ‘Allium sativum’ whilst Spring onion ‘Allium cepa’ is the immature version of common onion.