Growing Garlic Greens

If you don't use as much garlic as you buy, sometimes the cloves will sprout on your countertop. Some cooks say that once this happens, you shouldn't use the cloves anymore. They say the sprouts are bitter, or that garlic flavour will be lacking in the clove. I usually just use them anyway, but when the sprout is bigger than the clove, they don't seem appropriate for pasta. I thought that planting them in a pot might make a nice winter project for our two-year old. 

We placed the sprouting cloves (not very gently) sprout side up in some potting soil and gave them a little water. Then we put them on a shelf (out of reach) in our south-facing living room, where they would get a little warmth and light. 

The garlic greens grew a noticeable amount every day. By the end of the week, they were about ten inches tall! So we had proved that they would grow, and the next step was to see if they were as tasty as I had heard. 

We sliced a few up and put them in scrambled eggs. Our two-year old didn't eat them and my husband had a cold and couldn't taste them. I liked them more than I usually like scrambled eggs, though - they had a nice, mild garlic flavour throughout. So I will call the project a success!

I'm not sure if the greens will regrow from the bottom, or if I'll have to plant more cloves, but I will keep growing them. Apparently garlic greens are a good substitute for wild onions in recipes, and they are a staple in some types of ethnic cooking. They go well with eggs and cheese. Yum!


  1. I have the other problem. I use it up before I have time to go to the store to get more.

  2. This year I planted all the smallest cloves of my seed garlic in a separate area just so I could harvest them green. I love them at that stage.

  3. Great idea for the little one. Now I'll go check the garlic.


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