Do you want to know how to grow garlic from seed? then in this guide that is what we will consider so stay tuned to learn more about how to grow garlic from seed.

Garlic growers sometimes refer to the cloves of garlic intended for cultivation as “garlic seed,” but what we’re talking about here is garlic from real seeds – a product of reproduction.

Gendered. Garlic seeds are slightly smaller than onion seeds, but they look different.

In the first generations of garlic seed production, growing garlic from seed was not particularly easy, but it also isn’t out of the reach of the average grower – and with the generations. After the garlic is produced by the seeds, the process becomes much easier, as we will discuss later.

Why bother growing garlic from seed when growing garlic from pods is so much easier? Asexual reproduction, growing garlic from a clove or bulbs, results in a genetically identical clone of the parent plant. This may be desirable to ensure regular continuity of the preferred variety.

However, if asexual reproduction becomes the exclusive method of reproduction, as has been the case with garlic over the centuries, then the implications of this become completely negative.

As with any plant species that has been repeatedly reproduced primarily by asexual means over a long period of time, genetic diversity and adaptation are very limited and the species is ultimately threatened. Sporadic asexual mutations may enhance diversity to a limited degree, but nothing is systematically possible through sexual reproduction.

The plant material present often suffers from an accumulation of pests and diseases. Most garlic varieties, for example, carry some degree of viral infection that is transmitted through asexual reproduction. Garlic can reduce the plants produced by the seeds or eliminate diseases and pests and greatly increase plant strength and yield.

Garlic has always been considered sterile, but in 1875 Edward Rigel described the unique flowering properties of garlic found in nature, suggesting that some garlic might still produce true seeds. As early as the 1950s, research groups within the former Soviet Union reported limited success in producing a few seeds from garlic strains native to Central Asia.

In the 1980s, limited production of garlic seeds was reported in Japan, Germany, and the United States.

The first experiments with garlic seeds were labour-intensive and produced very few seeds. More recently, with refined methodologies, millions of viable garlic seeds have been produced by researchers and agro-industrial interests, largely for experimental purposes.

If food companies choose to make the seeds available at some point, it is very likely that they are hybrid seeds rather than open-pollinated seeds in order to protect the profits and substantial investment involved in bringing the seeds to market. Seed market. Some new strains of garlic have been patented, but little has emerged as new cultivars or seeds available to the average grower.

There is a big difference between “garlic seeds” and “garlic seeds”. Most people grow garlic from seed, and if you’re dealing with a reputable supplier, that means growing large, well-formed garlic cloves from healthy, disease-free stocks. Most of the time, this actually means growing garlic that grocery store buys from farmers who were too ugly or deformed to be sold in the grocery store as garlic for cooking. On the other hand, garlic seeds are made abundantly after the country’s garlic plants bloom in late spring or early summer.

Northern gardeners know that chopping garlic is a true spring treat. Once garlic grows large and healthy, it sends out a rolled flower known as a garlic stalk. Chunks of garlic are usually chopped as soon as they appear because if the plant puts its energy into the seed, it won’t produce a large bulb.

A patch of densely grown garlic, with one plant every 4 to 6 inches tall means plenty of landscape to harvest. I harvest fried garlic, omelettes, and pickled garlic. Every year I try as often as I can, I still miss some squab in the garlic patch.

In late summer and early fall, they mature into large buds with small garlic bulbs and the garlic seeds are true. While the traditional variety of tough garlic may produce only 4-8 large cloves for the preservation of seeds, it will produce 20-100 small bulbs if the peels are left intact. As you can see, growing and preserving garlic seeds in place of garlic seeds yields huge benefits.

Each small onion of garlic looks like a small garlic clove and is actually a seed of garlic. The total amount of garlic seeds produced depends on the variety, and the high-producing varieties are preferred by “ garlic seed ” farmers who use “ garlic seeds ” to grow huge garlic bulbs for sale to the backyard garden to grow garlic cloves.

If you read the wholesale catalogs for farmers, the varieties would say “Ideal for propagation, the variety produces more than 100 onions per plant.” Knowing that many commercial growers take the time to plant garlic seeds rather than sow garlic, this is known to be the most cost-effective way to propagate garlic.



Which varieties of garlic are able to produce seeds? The non-sticky or “soft-necked” varieties such as those of the Artichoke horticultural group are clearly not candidates, since by definition they do not produce the necessary floral structures. It was once thought that only a few cultivars have the potential to produce seeds and most of them belong to what we consider the Purple Stripe gardening group.

Genetic studies have shown that the Purple Stripe group includes the oldest forms of garlic today. They are the closest to the origins of the species in Central Asia and are the ancestors of all varieties we know today.

However, with the increasing understanding of garlic seed production, we now know that many varieties from several gardening groups are capable of producing seeds.

Of the generally recognized horticulture groups, Marbled Purple Stripe has been the most productive for us. This may be because marbled garlic is usually thicker (flower stalk) than purple striped garlic. Most of our seed production is done using small pieces that are kept in water rather than leaving the whole plant in the ground (more on this later).

Cut stems should be able to maintain umbel (flower head) viability. This can enhance the tougher bumps of marbled garlic. Those who leave the entire plant in the ground during the seed production process may find a productivity balance in favor of Purple Stripe garlic.

Varieties from other gardening groups are less reliable and productive, but we produced seeds from varieties in the porcelain group. We were even attracted Some of the seeds and cultivars are Rocambole Glazed groups, but the latter two groups are somewhat marginal at best.


Start by leaving some flowers on your garlic plants in the spring. They ripen in garlic seeds in late summer and will be ready to be harvested once dry, and the plant begins to die.

The garlic bulb at the base of the plant will still be usable and fully formed, but will probably be much smaller than other adjacent bulbs.

Break the follicles and let them dry in a well-ventilated, protected place for several days. Since it is not underground, it adapts much faster than drying out a garlic bulb. After a few days, keep it in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight.


Garlic seeds are slightly different from garlic cloves. While garlic cloves will produce a harvestable crop the following year, garlic seeds will take a little longer to harvest.

A small bulb is much smaller than a clove of garlic, and it will take a year for the plant to settle in the soil to reach the size of a clove of garlic. After a year, you will produce a fully harvestable bulb of garlic.

Begin planting garlic seeds in the fall, along with your regular garlic bulbs. They need to be separated because they take longer to ripen and you will be disappointed if you accidentally harvest your summer garlic harvest after planting.

Grouped garlic can take up to three years to ripen if the primary garlic seed is very young. The size of the follicles depends on the type of garlic, and they range in size from a large pea to the size of a grain of rice.

The largest specimens can produce harvestable garlic in as little as two years, while the smaller specimens need up to three full years to ripen.

During that time, it was basically enough for them to leave them alone. Keep them in a bed of straw and weeds and quietly wait for your time to reap the potential of a huge garlic harvest almost free.

Without the huge cost of garlic seeds, which typically sell for between $ 3 and $ 5 per bulb, this crop is nearly free.

Meanwhile, chives will help ward off pests from the rest of your garden.


The seeds of garlic plants that were previously only propagated by asexual (cloves, bulbs) have a low germination rate of 10% to 35% optimistic at best. In our own efforts, we achieved about 13% of germination with first-generation seeds.

First-generation plants tend to produce higher frequency than young seeds, which are often not viable. Sustainability is relatively low even for large seeds. However, studies have shown that later generations of plants produced by seeds have a much higher germination rate, sometimes as high as 100%.

The first generation of seedlings often has a high frequency of negative features, such as stunted growth, deformed leaves, limited root growth and lack of chlorophyll. Subsequent generations of the seeds produced by garlic have increased potency and lower frequency for plants with genetic deficiency.


This does not mean that the efforts of the first generation are doomed to weak garlic. We’ve definitely seen a number of young, first-generation plants, but we’ve also seen exceptionally strong plants. For example, a seed planted in the late winter of 2010 in the form of a large round (separated bulb cloves unbroken) was harvested in August of this year.

The round was planted again in the fall and harvested as a fully developed bulb in summer 2011. The plant was exceptionally strong and appeared to be virus-free. The lamp is 2 inches in diameter.

Garlic seeds have a dormant period and should not be planted immediately after harvest. This is likely an adaptive response to garlic’s original origins. If the seeds germinate before the onset of winter in Central Asia, their chances of survival will be greatly reduced.

Exposure to a cold attack shortens the sleep period. The synthetic period of wet cold in the refrigerator sufficiently simulates a natural period of exposure to cold in Central Asia.

Garlic seeds should be soaked in bleach before planting to protect them from contamination, then cold treatment to reduce dormancy. Soak garlic seeds in a 1% bleach solution (1 teaspoon of bleach in 2 cups of water) for 20 minutes, rinse the seeds, and spread the seeds on damp paper towels.

Place the seeds in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator for about four weeks. We informally tested the importance of this step by planting 26 seeds without bleach or cold treatment. Only one seed sprouted weakly and then died.

At the same time, we planted 51 bleached and cold treated seeds. The germination rate of these seeds was approximately 13.7% what was expected for the first generation seeds.

The timing of sowing seeds depends to some extent on the growing climate and the ability to change growing conditions with artificial lighting, a greenhouse or a cold frame. Planting the seeds indoors at the end of winter provides the best potential for seed development in the largest possible rounds, or sometimes even in multi-podal follicles, during the first growing season.

Seeds planted later in the year will have a harder time completing the normal cycle of growth and ageing. Subsequent plantings will tend to produce smaller, higher rate plants than green onion-like plants – plants that fail to form a circle with protective sheaths that can be harvested and replanted in the fall.

After cold processing in the refrigerator, we plant the seeds in trays under artificial lights and cover the trays with a transparent plastic dome. The ambient air temperature is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit and no additional heat is used. The seed will likely germinate successfully over a reasonably wide temperature range, but we have no further experience in this regard.

We’ve never had a problem with good quality potting soil, but a sterile seed mix is ​​likely a safer option. We cover the seed with about an inch of soil. The first seedlings appear after about 6 days. We took out weak seedlings up to 2 months after planting. Most of the viable seeds will appear in about two weeks.

Expect the death of some first-generation seeds due to genetic defects, such as a lack of chlorophyll. The active range of seedlings is important. It is likely that some will show exceptional activity.

As soon as conditions permit, plant seedlings outdoors in the ground. Garlic plants are very hardy, but there are limits. Like all plants, garlic seedlings must be hardened before moving outside.

In cold or more severe climates, a greenhouse or cold frame may be necessary intermediate steps. Depending on outdoor growing conditions, moving new plants directly from a seedbox to an outdoor garden bed may be possible, but planting seedlings in small pots is often a useful or necessary intermediate step. Always make sure your plants have enough room for roots to grow unimpeded.

Ideally, new garlic plants will grow vigorously and be ready to harvest in summer or early fall, their leaves sparkling from the lowest leaf to the top, just like a garlic plant from a pod. We have seen some variation in this regard, especially with late seed. Some plants may continue to appear like green onions in late fall without ageing or forming a ring.

This isn’t the desired result, but these plants can still produce rings or carnations for replanting. In early fall, if none of the plants is showing signs of ageing, dig the plants carefully to check for circle formation. If not shaped or be, The plant can be returned to the ground to continue its growth cycle.

In our experience in a climate where winter temperatures rarely drop below 15 degrees Fahrenheit, we simply leave this “green onion” in the ground and harvest it the following summer. In colder climates, a cold frame or a cold greenhouse may be required to keep these plants. If you sow garlic seeds early enough in the year, “green onion” plants will be the exception rather than the rule.

Like the seed, freshly harvested garlic bulbs, including round ones, have a normal dormancy period. Various factors affect dormancy, but the temperature is a major factor. Warm temperatures prolong the sleep, and cold temperatures shorten sleep.

We don’t have a specific recommendation, but as a starting point, we suggest waiting at least a month after harvest rounds before replanting in the fall. We didn’t find this a problem for us, but if needed, buffering in the fridge can be used to help break the sleep earlier.

Once the rings are planted in the fall, the garlic produced from the seeds follows a normal cycle and can be grown as with the rest of the garlic crop. A large series of robust seedlings should produce fully developed plants and split bulbs upon harvest the following year.

You can use these full-grown plants to produce second-generation seeds, although this will significantly reduce the bulb and thus prevent or sacrifice duplication of what is essentially a new variety. You can also choose not to produce second-generation seeds from these plants and instead harvest bulbs and cloves at full size for planting in the fall.

This delays the next generation of garlic produced from the seeds until the next year, as you can use some plants to produce seeds and others for continuous iteration of the new variety via cloves.

There is no right or wrong method in this regard, and you may want to try both. If you have a particularly promising variety, you may want to reproduce it without mating and preserve it before using some of its plants for second-generation seed production.


The first year: Remove bulbs from selected garlic plant strains. Harvest the seeds in the fall.

Second-year: In January or early February, begin treatment with bleach and a four-week cooler from seed. In February or early March, sow the seeds indoors in seedboxes. As soon as possible, move the plants to natural light and garden beds. Depending on growing conditions, intermediate steps may include planting in small pots and moving into a greenhouse or cold frame.

When the plants begin to age in late summer or early fall, harvest the rings for replanting. Sow the rounds in the fall when you usually sow a crop of garlic. If the plants have not yet formed a circle in early fall, leave them in the ground or, if necessary to protect from extreme cold, move to a cool greenhouse or cold frame.

Third-year: Most courses will result in fully developed plants and split bulbs. Harvest the same as the rest of your garlic crop, or use plants for the second generation of seed production, or a combination of the two. In the fall, plant cloves of particularly strong or promising varieties to preserve varieties and increase planting material.


Growing garlic from seeds provides the potential for the production of new varieties that improve and expand the genetic diversity of garlic. It also allows for the possibility of growing more robust and productive plants free of pests, viruses and other diseases.


In later generations of seed-producing plants, producing garlic seeds and growing seeds in plants becomes much easier, and perhaps no more difficult than producing onion seeds. Some varieties produced by subsequent propagation seeds will not require the arduous task of removing the follicles to produce the seed.

The seeds of the plants produced by the seeds of later generations have a much higher germination rate and produce a much higher percentage of the plants with strength and worthiness. It may become possible to constantly sow seeds in late winter or early spring and to harvest fully developed bulbs in the same year. Sowing the seeds directly into the ground is a viable possibility. Our first efforts in this direction confirm the potential.

Selective breeding by those inclined to this extent can further refine the desirable characteristics of newly developed cultivars. It may be possible, for example, to develop new varieties that are resistant to viruses and other diseases, or a cultivar that contains large pods of porcelain garlic but the complex flavors of purple striped garlic or the Rocambole cultivar can be grown successfully in warmer climates – etc.

We hope this article inspires others to produce garlic from seed. We also hope that Seed Saver’s Exchange members will someday donate real garlic seeds, bulbs of new varieties of merit and bulbs of garlic varieties capable of producing seeds without removing the bulbs. It will take time and team effort, but we think we can achieve it – and we think it’s definitely worth it.

We started a topic on the Savers Seed Exchange Forum to share reports, questions, and information about garlic seeds. Unfortunately, the Seed Savers Exchange has cleared all of its forums and deleted them all.

Source: Gardenerspathworld

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