We offer bulbils for most of our garlic varieties. Bulbils are available for sale May 1 - June 30. After that date they may not be available as we begin cutting scapes off the garlic plants.
Bulbils can be found in the Product section, just look in the individual varieties that you are interested in.
Growing garlic from bulbils is an excellent way to quickly increase the amount of garlic that you are able to grow, but more importantly it improves the vigour of the garlic plants and helps reduce garlic viruses in your crop. As well, soil-borne diseases can be avoided as long as you are careful to keep the bulbils away from the ground. Garlic is adaptive to it's environment, and growing from bulbils allows the garlic to adapt more quickly to your local conditions.
My preferred method of growing garlic from bulbils is to plant in raised beds in short rows running across the bed. Small bulbils can be crowded together, while larger ones like an inch or so of space between them. Leave a few inches of space between each row to facilitate weeding with a narrow hoe.
Plant the garlic bulbils about one inch deep and cover with soil. Sometimes we add about an inch of organic potting soil over the entire bed to help with weed suppression. We like to plant quite heavily because during the first year plants seem to like being crowded.
Fertilize as required and water often, as they do not tolerate getting too dry.
Keep the beds as weed free as you can, and they will be ready for harvest around the same time as garlic grown from large cloves.
By harvest time the plants have produced small bulbs with cloves, or more commonly single rounds. Rounds will generally produce a bigger bulb when they are planted, but in time they all get up to size.
We try to harvest while the plants are still green as this facilitates getting the bulbs out of the ground. We dig up clumps of plants and gently shake the soil out of the roots.
One important observation - plants that have produced a scape will have a bulb with cloves, while a plant without a scape will produce a single round. Both kinds are perfectly fine for planting, just make sure to separate the cloves as you would for a full size bulb.
First year bulbs will be any where from the size of a pea seed to about an inch in diameter.. The Porcelains tend to be small while Rocamboles and Marbled purple Stripes can be at least an inch in diameter.
By this time most plants will produce a bulb with cloves and there will be fewer rounds. We tend to replant these rounds or clove on a four or 8 inch spacing, depending on how large a bulb that they will produce.
Second year bulbs can be anywhere from an inch in diameter to full sized, depending on the variety. Porcelains tend to take 3-4 years to reach their full potential, while Rocamboles in particular can be full sized and ready for market at the end of the second year.
It's a good idea to renew your crop every few years if you have the time and space to do so. We try to do a few varieties every year so that we are not doing them all at once.