Blooming Garlic

Despite the cool PNW weather and all this rain, my garlic is growing great guns and I am anxiously waiting for the harvest so that I and my friends and family can enjoy this year’s garlic crop.

In the mean time there is some quick and easy items maintenance to be taken care of.

On top of making sure that the garlic bed is kept free of weeds, which should be easy if properly mulched, it is now time to cut off the flower stocks; the romcambols.

Your garlic has used the winter months and rain to set its roots. It has set cloves and will use the summer weather (fingers crossed) and the fertilizer that you give it to grow nice big garlic heads. They’ll need all of their energy for this so we don’t want the plant to use its energy to power the rocambols that have started to grow.


Garlic plant with curled rocambol

The really cool thing about garlic flower stalks is their growing formation; some curl and loop, others grow straight up, depending on the variety of garlic.

There are two sides of this issue; some think you can leave the flower stalk and it won’t impact the garlic, others believe, as I do, that the energy used to support that flower could be put to better use.

I have also found one or two uses for the flower stalks. I cut them off and once collected, cut them into pieces which I scatter about the yard for snail and slug control. If you look at a garlic plant you will rarely if ever, see a slug or snail on the plant.  It has also kept the leaf chewers from reducing my hostas to lace. I’ve also used the flower stalks from garlic and onions to keep cats out of my raised flowerbeds.


Harvested flower stalks

You can also cut the rocambols up and use them for cooking. They have a great garlic flavor which should help sustain you until your garlic is ready for harvest, curing and eating!

Next time; Time for the Harvest!

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