Green Garlic

Green garlic (also called spring or baby garlic) looks very different to normal garlic. It has a small bulb without individually wrapped cloves – sometimes there is hardly any bulb at all, just a white end to the stalk. The appearance is closer to a scallion or spring onion.

So what is green garlic? Is it real garlic or (like society garlic) a different plant?

What Is Green Garlic?

Green garlic is true garlic, it’s simply garlic that’s been harvested earlier than normal. Picking it early means that the bulb and the cloves inside have barely begun to form.

The result is a garlic head that gives a milder, less pungent flavour than the normal cloves. This can be trimmed and used to give a subtle hint of garlic to cooked dishes. It can also be sliced and used raw in salads or chopped and sprinkled over soups.

Green garlic is especially popular in the Gujurat region of India where it is used in many traditional recipes for Uttarayan (the kite festival).

Be aware that green garlic doesn’t doesn’t last anywhere near as long as the ordinary version – which gives you an excuse to eat it!

How To Grow Green Garlic

No special techniques are required to grow green garlic – you simply harvest it early.

Growers sometimes like to deliberately oversow garlic. They then pick some of it early, which provides them with a green garlic crop whilst thinning down what remains to allow it to develop into full size plants.