Fruit/Vegetable Anomalies #4 Garlic

 Another addition to the wonky vegetable series. See here, here and here for previous instalments.

This time it is a recently harvested garlic plant. This year's main garlic crop (Early Purple Wight) was planted out in March after pre-spouting in an unheated greenhouse during February. The crop was lifted towards the end of June. Unfortunately, more than half the harvested bulbs suffered a fungal attack leaving our crop severely depleted.

One particular plant had developed an extra bulge just above the main bulb (Photo 1) ...

Photo 1: Malformed Garlic?

... which turned out to be bulbils, a vegetative means of reproduction that are clones of the original plant.

Photo 2: Garlic Bulb and Bulbils

Softneck garlic (e.g. Early Purple Wight) are prone to producing bulbils. It may be indicative of a stressed plant. It is standard practice to remove any above-ground bulge at the earliest opportunity so that the garlic plant can put all its energy into the below-ground bulb. I obviously missed this one. Bulbils are perfectly edible (milder garlic flavour) or you can save them for planting out the following season.

Fortunately, Mary rescued some older garlic bulbs (possibly up to 4 years old) that had been planted with the roses to deter aphids. This crop (Photo 3) has been processed and frozen for future use ...

Photo 3: Up to Four Year Old Garlic?

... and the rose bed replanted with fresh garlic.


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