Garlic is a staple in almost every culture, so it’s a must-have in the kitchen as well as the yard. You can’t beat the taste of garlic grown in your own backyard.

A green branch may appear on a garlic clove that has been laying around for too long, even though the cook has used it frequently before. This raises the question of whether or not store-bought garlic can be grown.

It is possible to cultivate garlic from store-bought bulbs. However, if you have a bulb of fresh garlic that has already started to sprout in your kitchen or you may easily produce your own fresh garlic by purchasing a bulb from the supermarket.

You’ll never go back to buying garlic from the supermarket after experiencing backyard fresh garlic. By reading this guide, you will be able to know, Can You Plant Garlic from the Grocery Store: How to Guide.

Can You Plant Garlic from the Grocery Store: How to Guide

Garlic bulbs that are specifically designed for outdoor cultivation are readily available. On the other hand, you can grow your own fresh garlic. There is a bit of a wait for garlic, but it’s worth it. If you have a garden, you’ll never regret planting your own garlic.

How to grow grocery store garlic in your home garden?

Don’t think that this is so difficult. Try these steps and grow garlic at home.

1. Choose the best variety

Many gardeners may be confused about what kind of garlic to buy for planting. Garlic sold in supermarkets is frequently imported from China and has been chemically treated to keep sprouts from forming. Typically, treated bulbs don’t grow.

So, buy fresh and organic garlic from a store that carries only the best produce. They should be large and healthy bulbs that haven’t been damaged.

What are the types of garlic?

There are 2 types of varieties of garlic.

  • Softneck Garlic

There are two typical garlic types: artichoke and silverskin. Both of these typical garlic kinds are sold in the market and you have more than likely used them.

There are as many as 20 cloves in each of the many overlapping layers that give artichokes their common name. They are white to off-white with a thick and hard-to-peel outer covering. ‘Applegate’, ‘California Early’, ‘California Late’, ‘Polish Red’, ‘Red Toch’, and ‘Galiano’ are some of the artichoke garlic varieties.

Silverskins, which have a high output and can be grown in a variety of conditions. ‘Polish White’ is a good garlic variety for silverskins. ‘River Giant’, and ‘Chet’s Italian Red’ are other silverskins garlic.

  • Hardneck Garlic

Large cloves that are easy to peel and have a more powerful flavor make ‘Rocambole’ the most prevalent form of hardneck garlic. There is a short shelf life because to the easy-to-peel, loose skin. In contrast to softneck garlic, hardnecks have flowering stems or scapes that become woody after they’ve been harvested.

Gardeners can plant hardneck garlic cultivars such as ‘Red Chesnok’, ‘German White,’, ‘Polish Hardneck.’, and Persian star’.

Softneck and hardneck garlic are the two types of garlic that can be found in the market. Warmer regions benefit from softneck garlic, and cold climates benefit from hardneck garlic. In most temperate regions, both plants, on the other hand, can be grown as well.

Softneck garlic is the most common type of garlic found in supermarkets because it is simpler to cultivate in areas where the winters are harsh.

2. Choose a suitable location

The ideal location for planting grocery store garlic should have a lot of sunlight and nutrient-rich soil that drains well. It’s possible to succeed in partial sun, but not in total. At least 6 hours of sunlight is needed to grow them healthy. So, Keep in mind to choose a sunny location. You can also grow them in raised beds.

Garlic can also help keep pests away from your plants if you plant it in your garden or at the base of trees where it has adequate sunlight and freedom to thrive.

3. Prepare rich soil

Make sure the soil is well-drained and fertile before planting garlic. Sandy loamy soil is best to plant garlic.

Consider using a raised garden bed or a container if your garden has inadequate drainage. If you want to increase the structure of your garden soil, you can add a lot of organic matter.

Mix 1 1/2 pounds 16-16-16 fertilizer with 2 inches of compost for every 50 square feet of bed. Use a spade to incorporate the amendments into the top 6 inches of soil. Sow in compost-amended soil

4. Prepare garlic cloves

Using a sharp knife, cut the garlic bulbs into individual cloves, but keep the papery peel on each clove intact. Select only the larger outer cloves for planting and discard the tiny interior cloves.

5. Plant garlic cloves

Garlic planting is best done in the fall, however, this is very dependent on where you live. Most supermarket-bought softneck garlic needs a touch of cold to grow into bulbs and leaves. The best time to plant it is when the ground is still cold, either in spring or in the coolest month of fall.

Make sure the pointy end of each clove is about 1 to 3 inches below the soil surface when planting. Use only one clove for each hole. You can use raised beds if it rains frequently to avoid rot.

 The cloves should be placed 3 to 4 inches apart.

Cover the soil with 4 inches of mulch after planting. Shoots should appear in less than three weeks and persist into the winter.

How to care for grocery store garlic plants?

Follow these caring tips that help your garlic plants produce the best harvest.

1. Watering

During the growing season, garlic prefers soil that is slightly wet. Overwatering can lead to root rot.

Depending on your location and environment, you may require a different amount of water. You may only need to water your plants once a week in some areas. Make sure the soil drains correctly and is never moist so that garlic can thrive.

Water your plants until the weather normally ceases, and then begin again in spring once the snow has melted, if necessary.

2. Mulching

You can use a 2-3 inch layer of mulch such as straw in order to cover the bed. In colder climates, you may want to use a little extra.

Remember to remove the mulch when temperatures rise up so that the garlic can thrive in the absence of a blanket of ice.

Evaporation, cold protection for the cloves, and the prevention of weeds are all benefits of mulching with any organic mulch. Garlic dislikes competing with weeds in the garden.

3. Removing weeds

Keep the weeds at bay. Garlic is not a fan of being crowded or having to compete with other plants for nutrients.

4. Checking for pests and diseases

Insects and mice may come to consume the garlic or build a nest in the plants.

Aphids appear to prefer the leaves of garlic and the flowers. In order to get rid of them, simply rub your fingers over them and crush or use a pesticide.  

5. Fertilizing

Early spring is the best time to apply more fertilizer to garlic. Every 50 square feet sprinkle 1/4 pound of 21-0-0 fertilizer between the rows of garlic.

You can use organic liquid fish or kelp fertilizer every six to eight weeks.

When to harvest grocery store garlic?

Summer is the best time of year to harvest garlic and usually, it can take up to seven or eight months for a bulb of garlic to mature, so be patient. When the bottom leaves begin to dry out and turn yellowish-brown, carefully remove the soil and inspect the garlic head.

Stop watering for a week or a few days to let the soil dry up completely. With a spade, dig around it and lift it out. A garden tool scarring the garlic would be a bad idea. Avoid rinsing off extra dirt with a brush.

Where to store grocery store garlic?

Roots can be stored in a cool, dark room with sufficient air circulation if they are left intact. Garlic leaves are a good place to hang them up. During the curing process, the stems are depleted of any remaining nutrients.

Store them in a dry cupboard in a paper package or net bag once they have dried for about two weeks. There must be at least 30 days of curing before preparing elephant garlic. Temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for storing them (15-18C).

Remember to save the best cloves for your upcoming fall crop.

What are the drawbacks of growing grocery store garlic?

It is fairly uncommon for home gardeners to try and plant garlic that they bought from the grocery store at some time.

If you want to plant grocery store garlic, there are some things you should examine first before planting that may change your decision.

1. Gardeners are dissatisfied with the size of garlic.

They are typically dissatisfied with the results since the garlic grows into little bulbs or does not grow at all.

Sometimes a gardener does have success and they are able to harvest good garlic. This is mainly green garlic (similar to green onions) where the garlic plants are consumed when they are still young and a bulb is not required.

2. It leads to produce small plants.

Grocery store garlic tends to be in fairly bad shape once it is made available to customers. It has normally been stored for a very long time (often over a year) before being sold, is very dry, and is occasionally sprayed with pesticides in an attempt to postpone sprouting or to manage pests.

As a result, the seed stock produced is of extremely low quality. Cloves that are planted are generally weak and struggle to establish large plants. This leads to undersized bulbs (typically single cloved bulbs called rounds) and a dismal crop.

3. Most grocery store garlic has concerns with illnesses.

Not only illnesses, viruses, and parasites (nematodes) might also potentially enter your soil. The garlic bulbs might look ok, but, these microscopic invaders can easily stay hidden until the appropriate conditions exist.

Many of these garlic bugs can infiltrate your soil once the garlic seed is sown and infect your growing plants. Some of these pathogens and parasites can remain in your soil for many years (or even decades) after they’ve been introduced.

4. They fail to thrive in the local climate.

Aside from that, California and China have warmer conditions when it comes to growing garlic than many other states and countries. As a result, the garlic sold in supermarkets is likely to fail to thrive in the local climate. Choosing the wrong type of garlic for your climate can result in a waste of time and disappointment when harvest time comes around.

If at all feasible, use garlic seeds from reputable suppliers that you are confident will thrive in your region’s climate. If you insist on trying to cultivate grocery store garlic, do so in a spot that won’t see any more garlic or onions in the near future. So that in the event of an invasion of pests or diseases, you’ll still be able to grow garlic elsewhere.

Watch garlic experiment : Grocery store garlic vs Seeds | Video

Top 5 FAQs & answers related to can you plant garlic from the grocery store

Are Garlic Scapes healthy?

Garlic scapes are a great source of fiber and Vitamins A and C, as well. Nutritionally, they are similar to garlic cloves, with beneficial antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and fight or prevent certain illnesses.

Does garlic fresh safe to eat from the ground?

When garlic is harvested, it is safe to eat as long as it is thoroughly cleaned and peeled. On the other hand, the longer shelf life of dried garlic cannot be achieved by using uncured fresh garlic. If you plan to use up your garlic harvest fast, it’s best to utilize it straight from the ground.
Garlic requires six to eight hours of direct sunshine each day to grow properly and strongly. It does best in full sun.

What can plant with garlic in the garden?

As a general rule, consider plants that require a lot of sunlight to thrive. In this category, you’ll find anything from tomatoes to cabbage to peppers to spinach to strawberries, and even roses love garlic.
As a natural pesticide that attracts beneficial insects like wasps and lacewings as well as repelling pests, garlic is an excellent choice.

Seed garlic vs. grocery-store garlic, which is best to grow?

Shopping at the grocery store has its advantages and disadvantages. To avoid sprouting, opt for organic store-bought garlic, as homegrown varieties are more difficult to cultivate and may have been treated with fungicides or sprayed.
Softneck garlic, which has a mild flavor, may be found at most supermarkets.
There is a wide range of garlic seed/cloves to choose from at your local garden center, as well as a guarantee that it will sprout.

Before or after it blooms, do you harvest garlic?

Early summer is the prime time for harvesting garlic. Harvest time for fall-planted and spring-planted garlic varies slightly, with the latter taking a little longer to mature. Wait until the leaves begin to wilt and turn yellow, and then use a trowel to remove the bulbs from the ground.

Conclusion

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