Planting Grocery Store Garlic December 17, 2014 02:19

Time and time again, people try to plant garlic that they bought from the grocery store as seed garlic and then are disappointed with the outcome. A small number of people have had success doing this, however this is rare and in general is not a great idea. 

Grocery store garlic is often sprayed with chemicals to delay the bulbs from sprouting. These garlic also have a number of potential problems when trying to use for garlic seed. They are almost entirely grown in California and China where they have issues with diseases, viruses and parasites (nematodes) that could potentially invade your soil. The garlic bulbs might look ok, however these microscopic invaders can easily stay hidden until the right conditions arise. Many of these garlic pests can enter your soil once the garlic seed is planted and infect your growing plants. Once present, it can take many years (even decades) for many of these pathogens and parasites to disappear from your soil.

In addition, California and China have much warmer climates than Canada, which means their garlic is not adapted to our Canadian climate and will likely grow poorly in most situations. Not growing the right garlic for your climate, often results in a waste of a gardener's or farmer's time and a huge disappointment when it comes time to harvest.

It's best to stick with trusted garlic seed sources that you know will work for your region and climate.