Have you been wondering what happened with my attempt to produce true garlic seed? Here’s how it went …
(Reminder: True garlic seed is different from the bulbils that appear in mature garlic scapes. You can read a true garlic seed primer and a garlic bulbil primer in past GTS posts. Or read Ted Meredith and Avram Drucker’s introduction to producing true garlic seed.)
July 11, 2012 – Harvest Scapes and Remove Bulbils
I already posted about this step in my true garlic seed primer. In this case though I removed the bulbils from harvested garlic scapes sitting in a bucket of water.
August 7, 2012 – Garlic in Bloom
August 17, 2012 – The Bulbils That Got Away
It’s hard to remove every last bulbil the first time, especially the littlest bulbils. I tried to check regularly and remove any bulbils I missed. A few got away.
These garlic scapes were harvested at the same time as those for garlic seed. Their bulbils are fully formed and their flowers have long since dried up.
August 26, 2012 – Swollen Garlic Ovaries
This is when I got excited.
End September, 2012 – Harvest Seed Heads
At this point the garlic stems had dried up and the flowers were drying down though I still couldn’t see any mature seed.
I cut the seed heads and put them in paper bags.
NOvember 28, 2012 – Garlic Seed
Yesterday I opened up my paper bags and found …
These garlic seeds came from a rocambole garlic named Quebec. Quebec is a variety we’ve been growing for years. My co-farmer Fred originally picked it up at farmer’s market but otherwise we don’t know anything else about its history.
January to March 2013 – Starting TRue GArlic Seed
Though I am pretty stoked, getting the garlic seed is only the first step. In January or February, I’ll follow Ted Meredith and Avram Drucker’s indications to bleach and cold treat the seed. I’ll seed them in March in the greenhouse and wait to see how many germinate. ( First generation true garlic seed reputedly has low germination.)
Summer 2013 And Beyond …
From there …
Well, I’ll keep you all posted!