It is just about that time of year again!
Right around the end of May to the beginning of June, garlic plants send out a shoot from the top-center of their leaves.
If you want to grow large garlic bulbs, your best bet it to snap off these little shoots. Doing so basically tells the garlic plant to focus its growth on the roots rather than reproduction.
Below is a picture of one of the shoots beginning to emerge from the center:
I wait until the center shoot is long enough to start to curl a little bit and then I snap them off.
Why wait? Because they have a use. Collect all the shoots and make a stir-fry with them. They add a pleasant garlic flavor to whatever you are cooking. Here is what I consider a full-grown shoot that was ready to snap off:
Now, wait a couple more months for your garlic to focus its growth on the roots (aka the garlic cloves) and come the end on July (or when the bottom leaves start to brown a bit) it is time to harvest your beautiful garlic bulbs!
Remember to dry them out and save some for planting again (more about that to come in a future blog)