When and How to Remove Garlic Shoots for a Good Harvest: Tips for Gardeners

In summer, arrows appear on garlic seedlings, which spoil the harvest of the plant. Winter garlic varieties often produce arrows in the summer that interfere with the growth of the plant. These arrows need to be trimmed to get a good garlic crop.

Why remove garlic shoots

It is necessary to remove garlic arrows in order to ensure that the cogs were large and juicy. Garlic shoots draw the juices out of the garlic, causing the cloves to grow small and spoil quickly. The plant consumes a great deal of nutrition for seed growth.

It is not difficult to recognize an arrowhead – unlike flat leaves, it has a tube shape. The arrow germinates in early to mid-June, and by the end of June, a flower with seeds appears at the end of the tube. Only winter garlic varieties have arrows, that is, those that are planted in the fall and overwinter in the ground.

When not to remove the shoots

Garlic arrows can not be removed if you want to get the seeds of the plant for planting. In that case, leave the arrows on a few plants and wait until mid to late August. Then the seeds in the flower at the end of the arrow will mature and can be collected. Wrap these seeds in the paper and store them in a dark place until March. In March, you can plant garlic in the ground from seed.

When and how to remove garlic shoots

Remove garlic shoots is definitely necessary, but when to do it – the opinion of gardeners is divergent. Some say that you must remove the arrows immediately after they appear, but then they will quickly grow back.

Most farmers believe that you should wait until the arrow begins to curl, and then it can be cut. It will not grow back. It is recommended to cut the arrow with scissors at a height of 1 cm from the base – this is the least traumatic way for garlic. This is best done on a sunny morning so that the cuts dry quickly.

What to make with garlic shoots

Garlic shoots can not be thrown away, but used in cooking. Garlic shoots just wash, slice and fry in vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes.

Such greens can be added to porridges, soups, scrambled eggs, and meat dishes, and also used as a side dish. Garlic shoots can be pickled for the winter. The marinade is prepared in the same way as for cucumbers.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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