Can I Plant Grocery Store Garlic
Garlic is one of the most important and widely used seasonings in the world, but it’s also a famously picky crop—a single clove of garlic can produce dozens of other cloves if grown right, but a bunch of garlic purchased at the grocery store may not grow at all. If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s possible to plant garlic from the grocery store and successfully cultivate a crop, here’s the answer: It depends.
You can’t take any old grocery store garlic and plant it in your garden with expectations that something will grow. However, there are times when store-bought cloves might sprout—but even then, it’s unlikely that what does grow will be strong enough to thrive into a full-fledged harvest. Still interested in growing your own garlic? Read on for all the info you need to get started.
It’s not likely that you will be able to grow garlic from grocery store garlic.
Garlic is a perennial plant, which means it can be grown year after year. It is also grown from bulbs and cloves, but garlic is not typically grown from seed.
The grocery store garlic you buy has already been harvested and stored. This means that the cloves are no longer connected to their roots (called the scape), so they cannot grow into new garlic plants on their own. However, if you wish to try growing your own garlic from grocery store garlic anyway, here’s how:
Even though the grocery store garlic is probably “real” garlic and not garlic sprays, it has been treated with a chemical that prevents it from sprouting.
You can, but it’s not going to sprout. Grocery store garlic is treated with a chemical called nisin disulfate, which prevents the garlic from sprouting. While this may be an attractive quality for those who want their garlic ready-to-use, it’s bad news for those who want fresh, local food.
The best way to preserve your grocery store garlic is by freezing or dehydrating it. Garlic that has been frozen keeps its flavor and potency as long as three months after being taken out of the freezer—and it doesn’t need any additional preparation before use! If you want fresh-tasting garlic without all of the chemicals and preservatives found in most grocery store varieties, try growing some yourself!
To grow your own garlic you can order or purchase from a nursery certified fresh hardneck garlic.
You can grow your own garlic by ordering or purchasing from a nursery certified fresh hardneck garlic.
There are many places to order, buy from, and purchase garlic:
- From a local nursery
- From a seed catalog company, such as Johnny’s Selected Seeds (www.johnnyseeds.com) and Territorial Seed Company (www.territorialseedcompany.com). You can also find other mail-order nurseries that sell seeds online through Google or other search engines. All you have to do is enter the phrase “mail order” and write in the specific type of seed you wish to buy as well as any other keywords related to your query like “free shipping.”
A hardneck should have large cloves and should be firm.
When shopping for garlic to plant, look for the largest cloves you can find. The larger the clove, the more bulbils (little baby bulbs) it’s likely to produce once planted. Bulbils are how garlic reproduces—they develop into new plants once they’ve reached soil and water. These smaller cloves are also easier to peel and crush when preparing your recipe.
The best way to tell if your garlic is fresh is by feeling its firmness; if it feels soft or squishy in any way, don’t buy it! The inside of a fresh bulb will be tight and firm with no signs of mold or decay; only older bulbs will show these signs.
If the hardneck isn’t firm it is old and was probably kept in storage for a long time with poor conditions.
If the hardneck isn’t firm it is old and was probably kept in storage for a long time with poor conditions. If you have soft garlic, throw it away. Don’t try to plant it—it’s not going to grow. As soon as a garlic clove has been taken from its growing environment, it begins to dry out. Garlic that has been kept in storage (store bought) will be softer than fresh-from-the-garden garlic, which can be planted right away if you want to grow your own crop of hardnecks or softnecks later in the year when they’re needed for harvest.
The best time to plant hardnecks outside is in the fall about eight weeks before it freezes in your area.
The best time to plant hardneck garlic is in the fall, about 8 weeks before it freezes in your area. Planting in the spring results in smaller bulbs and planting too early may result in the garlic not getting enough time to mature.
Planting too late may also result in the garlic not getting enough time to mature, but since most varieties of hardnecks grow just fine when planted later than recommended, you can plant them as late as you want as long as they are still growing actively (not dormant).
The cloves aren’t planted deeply but just under the soil line.
If you want to plant grocery store garlic, you can, but there are some things to keep in mind. The cloves aren’t planted deeply but just under the soil line. The best time to plant them is in fall or spring when the ground isn’t frozen and also not too wet from winter rains (that makes it hard for them to push their roots deep into the earth). In summer, if your climate stays cool enough for growing vegetables or herbs, then you can plant them then too.
A new plant grows from each hardneck clove.
Each hardneck clove will grow a new plant. These plants will produce more cloves, which you can continue to harvest for the rest of your life–and if you have a green thumb and patience, each year your crop will increase as well.
It’s easy to see why grocery store garlic is such an appealing option for anyone looking to grow their own food: it’s cheap and readily available! If you want additional plants that are guaranteed not to be hybridized or genetically modified (GMO), then buy organic seed garlic from your local farmer’s market or health food store.
These new plants will produce more cloves so you can increase your crop as you go on.
Plant more cloves. The more cloves you plant, the greater your harvest will be. If you want to maximize your garlic production, plant as many cloves as possible in a single planting hole. You can do this by planting two or three cloves together so that they grow into one big clove with lots of little cloves on it (called a “bulb”). You can also divide the one large bulb into several smaller bulbs—each with their own set of little bulbs—by cutting it apart before planting them in separate holes.
If possible, wait until fall to plant your grocery store garlic so that it has time to store up energy through photosynthesis and build strong root systems before winter sets in. This way, when spring arrives and temperatures start warming up again, these new plants will produce more cloves so you can increase your crop as you go on.
You should buy organic seed garlic not grocery store garlic to plant.
There are many reasons you should buy organic seed garlic rather than grocery store garlic:
- It’s healthier. Organic garlic is not irradiated, so it retains more of its nutrients and flavors than regular supermarket varieties.
- It’s better for the environment. Non-organic farming can be harmful to animals, water quality and soil health. By going organic you help protect our planet from these negative effects of conventional agriculture!
- It’s cheaper in the long run because you’re getting more bang for your buck!
- You’re supporting local farmers by buying locally grown foods like garlic (and other vegetables). This ensures that they get a fair price for their hard work while also providing jobs in small communities across America – win-win!
If you think by now that maybe the whole world of garlic has become too confusing, don’t worry—you’re not alone. In fact, the proliferation of new foods and additives and chemicals can make it difficult to figure out what’s worth buying in the grocery store sometimes, let alone what’s safe to plant and grow at home. But if you’re still determined to try your hand at growing your own crop of garlic from bulbs bought at the store? Well, we say go for it! You just have to be willing to do a little more research beforehand. And when it comes time for planting those cloves? Just be sure they’re from hardneck plants—and that you pick up some organic seed garlic so that you can actually harvest them when summer comes around again!