The production of bulbils is one of the three methods of reproduction used by garlic. The other two are by production of true seeds and by cloves. Bulbils are not seeds. Cloves are not seeds. The bulbils are produced asexually. The bulbil will produce a clone of the original parent if planted and grown. Almost every garlic plant can produce bulbils under certain conditions. They might be found, for example, at the end of the pseudostem in a pod that eventually breaks open, individually at the end of a cut pseudostem, pushing out the side of the pseudostem near the ground, or from a forced pseudostem of a non-bolting variety.
Bulbils are used most commonly for garlic crop planting to spare the use of cloves, and to grow green garlic to harvest or snip off for use in foods. The smaller ones are also used as toppings on salads by people who like the crunch and flavor.
The three common categories for describing the size of individual bulbils are rice, corn and marble.
Czech Broadleaf (Hardneck)
After planting the bulbils, the next year they are usually harvested as rounds. These one year old garlic plants frequently produce a single cloved bulb, and these are called rounds. They may also produce a multicloved bulb that is smaller than a fully matured bulb. Some huge bulbils have been know to produce a large multicloved head in one year. Others may take two or three years of harvesting and replanting before a large head is produced. We've spoken with people who leave the rounds in the ground for multiple years. We have found that it is very inefficient to pull weeds around garlic plants that look the same as the weeds, so we harvest them at the end of each season and replant a few months later in a newly worked bed.
Vostani green plants after planting a whole pod the previous fall.
Vostani rounds at the end of the first year.
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We are especially interested in true seed, bulbils and rounds, clinical trials of garlic and cancer research, garlic planting equipment both manual and powered, rare garlic plants and garlic growing in unusual places, but we are open to other ideas as well.