Can I Plant Garlic From The Grocery Store
Garlic is an excellent addition to the garden. It’s a perennial crop that grows well among other plants, it produces food for your table and it improves the soil. Additionally, garlic is quite easy to grow; you can harvest huge bulbs of delicious garlic with just a little effort. But can you grow garlic from the grocery store? In short, no. Here’s why:
No, you can not plant grocery store garlic directly in your garden and expect to harvest garlic the following year.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a bulb plant that grows underground. It takes several months for garlic plants to mature and develop into bulbs, which are harvested at the end of their growing season.
Because grocery store garlic comes in individual cloves, it will not produce a harvestable bulb unless you plant each clove in fertile soil with adequate drainage. The best time to plant garlic cloves is during fall or early spring when temperatures are cool and soil moisture is high enough for them to germinate easily.
In order to create an environment suitable for growing this hardy crop, prepare your garden bed by loosening the top 6–8 inches of soil with a tiller or other digging implement; add plenty of compost or aged manure; rake out rocks and other debris; then water well before planting your seeds (cloves).
Grocery store garlic heads are grown from hybridized seed. Hybridization is often done to improve the flavor of garlic but this means that second generation seed will not be true to type.
Garlic heads available in grocery stores are grown from hybridized seed. Hybridization is often done to improve the flavor of garlic but this means that second generation seed will not be true to type. You may hear people talking about heirloom or organic garlic, but these terms do not refer to how the garlic was produced. Heirloom and organic seeds are open pollinated (OP). While they will not produce identical plants every year, they can be saved and replanted without fear of genetic modification or cross contamination with other varieties.
Hybridized (hybrid) seeds have been genetically modified in order to produce a specimen that has desirable characteristics such as faster growth or higher yields per acre; however there is no guarantee that what you get will resemble anything close enough to its parent plant for your purposes.
You will have much better luck planting a variety of hardneck garlic that interests you from a reputable grower!
Planting garlic from the grocery store is a risky endeavor at best. There are several things to keep in mind when considering growing hardneck garlic from grocery store bulbs.
- Hardneck garlic is more cold-hardy than softneck varieties, which makes it easier to grow in colder climates and seasons.
- Hardneck varieties have a longer shelf life than softneck types because they have a larger number of cloves per bulb and less moisture content overall.
- Hardnecks are also easier to grow because they produce fewer and larger bulbs (as compared with softnecks), require less care during planting time and do not need priming or babying like softer varieties do before being planted out into the garden soil after sprouting new shoots above ground level through an entire winter season––and possibly even two winters depending on your specific climate zone.* The flavor of hardneck varieties tends towards being stronger than those grown from imported grocery store bulbs as well! They’re also much more expensive if you buy them directly from growers online or through local farmers’ markets; so if these factors don’t matter very much then consider planting some heirloom seeds instead!
Don’t waste your time and money trying to plant grocery store garlic in your garden.
It is not the same as garlic that is grown for seed, flavor or health benefits.
The grocery store variety is a much softer and smaller bulb with larger cloves than what you typically find in the garden center. These bulbs will have fewer cloves per bulb and less time to grow before the first fall frost.
If you are looking for a long-term food source, this isn’t it!
The bottom line is that if you want to grow garlic from cloves, buy garlic seed from a reputable source. It sounds like you might be interested in some of the hardneck varieties, so check out this site for some great seed options: https://www.highmowingseeds.com/garlic-flowering-alliums-c-4_152_153
Don’t forget to consult your local Cooperative Extension office for more information about growing garlic in your area!