Announcement Module
No announcement yet.

Growing Garlic from True Seed

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
Conversation Detail Module
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    The seed pods were super dry today so I threshed them. I found one more seed for a total of 3 seeds. I saved the chaff and intend to plant it, just in case I missed something.

    I have planted a total of 4 beds of garlic in gardens ranging in altitude from 4200 to 8000 feet, and sent bulbs (known to produce seed) to two collaborators interested in growing true seeds. I'm hoping that with the wide variety of environmental conditions that it will trigger various cultivars to set seed.
    Last edited by josephsgarden; 10-25-2012, 03:35 PM.


    • #47
      Today I planted garlic bulbils from GRIN which are known to produce true seeds. Accession Numbers: PI 540316, PI 543019, PI 540337, PI 540357, W6 26171, and Z058. The bulbils are very tiny, so flowers are not expected for two growing seasons. Z058 was poly-phenotypic. Six collaborators are currently working on this project with me.

      Last edited by josephsgarden; 11-18-2012, 08:45 AM.


      • #48
        I've been threshing and winnowing the GRIN garlic before planting or sharing. I found one seed in PI 540319!!! That makes 4 seeds total for the year.
        Last edited by josephsgarden; 11-18-2012, 09:27 AM.


        • #49
          True Garlic Seed from Rocambole Quebec

          This summer I also tried growing true garlic seed after reading Ted Meredith and Avram Drucker’s article.

          I managed to produce about 150 seeds most of which came from a rocambole called Quebec (I don't know anything else about this strain.)

          I wrote a blog post about my experience here:

          Until I actually saw the mature seed, I didn't think it would work ... now starts the hoping for germination!

          Dan Brisebois
          Tourne-Sol coop farm
          Les Cedres, Quebec


          • #50
            Great work Dan! I'll eagerly follow your progress.


            • #51
              True Garlic Seed from Rocambole Quebec

              Wow, Dan. That is absolutely outstanding!

              The only reported successful attempt at producing true seed from a Rocambole as far as I know was from the cultivar Rocombole Music (from eastern Washington State, not the Porcelain Music). I confess that I had wondered if this was an accurate reportage, as it was the only Rocambole, as far as I know, that has ever putatively produced seed.

              As far as I know, we don’t have the Rocombole cultivar Quebec in the US (at least, not under that name) but your photos of the umbel capsules definitely have the classic Rocambole structure and coloration at maturity. And your seeds definitely look fully mature and well-developed.

              This is quite exciting!

              It also makes one wonder about the prospect of crossing Purple Stripes with Rocamboles and what type of wonderful garlic might be possible with such crossings.

              Have you conveyed your results to Paul at “The Garlic News?”
              In case you haven’t already, I will be sending him links so he can let folks know of your success in an upcoming edition.

              A big congratulations to you!

              If I can be of any assistance in your grow-outs of the seed, please don’t hesitate to ask.



              • #52
                What is the possibility of obtaining true seed from Porcelain, Creole, and Rocambole garlic if they are de-bulbiled and grown in the presence of garlics that produce fertile pollen like some of the Purple Stripes? Is the lack of seed production mainly due to them being male sterile or is it some other factor?


                • #53
                  I'm thrilled to hear that getting Rocambole seed is so uncommon. I think that Quebec is probably a renamed Rocambole that somebody was growing. I also got a few seeds from the Rocambole Puslinch but nowhere near the 100 or so from Quebec.

                  I have past my results along to Paul Pospisil.

                  I'll share my results as I get them.



                  • #54
                    Hello Oxbowfarm--

                    These are excellent questions, and some I have also had. The short answer is that I don’t know what the absolute limits of seed production are in the various horticultural groups. The understanding in the scientific community of what is possible regarding seed production capability has changed substantially, and continues to change. With improved techniques, the limits are considerably less narrow than was once thought.

                    Some garlic cultivars are male sterile but female fertile, and seed production is certainly possible from these. In the US, before agribusiness interests terminated research funding, one strategy was to facilitate production of F1 hybrids by using male sterile but female fertile cultivars.

                    It seems likely that if a cultivar is female fertile sexual reproduction would be possible even if advanced in vitro methods were necessary for success. For us as growers, such methods are perhaps beyond what we would attempt, so our efforts would be limited by the plant’s ability to support seed production. Some cultivars, for example, may have potentially viable flowers that senesce quickly, thus making successful seed production problematic. It is also possible that some might yield seed that is not viable. Germination is already very low in first generation seeds, with a significant frequency of genetically deficient plants (e.g., no chlorophyll, etc.)

                    Producing seed from Porcelain garlics is certainly possible. The Porcelains Floha, Rosewood (PI 493099), and Krasnodar White are documented seed producers. Krasnodar White cultivars from seed are by far the most vigorous we have produced. These generally seem to resemble the mother plant. One of the smaller of the cultivars currently displays some characteristics resembling a Marbled garlic, but it is yet unclear if this is stable and perhaps the result of crossing or is simply stress related.

                    The Volk study (referenced previously in this forum thread) indicated notable genetic diversity within the Rocambole group, including perhaps sub-groups within the larger Rocambole grouping. It is quite possible that some cultivars in the Rocambole group are more amenable to seed production than others.

                    Creole garlics tend to grow larger in more southerly latitudes but bolt less reliably. In northern latitudes, they are more strongly bolting, but the plants are generally weaker and smaller. These are ancillary issues along with the core issue of female fertility.

                    The recent reports of multiple successes with Rocambole garlics are most encouraging, and do make one wonder where the limits lie and what other horticultural groups and cultivars might be viable.

                    Seed production from even the “easiest” seed producers is a significant challenge and first timers may wish to seek success from some of the less difficult cultivars first, but seeing what might be possible in other horticultural groups is exciting too. When male fertility is uncertain, it might be wise to include cultivars with known or assumed male fertility (Marbled, Purple Stripe, and some of the yet unclassified recent introductions mentioned elsewhere in this thread) in close proximity, perhaps employing the severed scape method and placing them in the same container.

                    One of our hopes in writing our article on “Growing Garlic from True Seed” was to interest as many folks as possible in this effort so that we collectively could probe the limits, refine methods, and share information. It pleases me very much that we seem well on our way in this regard!



                    • #55
                      Hi Dan—

                      If you happen to discover any alternate names for the Quebec, I would be interested in knowing. In the US, Puslinch is sometimes marketed under the name Ontario Giant. Getting any seed is a victory.

                      Even with the same cultivar, seed yield can vary significantly from year to year for any number of reasons. It would be interesting to see if the relative yield of the two cultivars holds for you next year.

                      Thank you for your efforts and information.



                      • #56
                        I have garlic germplasm to share of varieties that are known to have produced seed in the past: Accession numbers: PI 540337, PI 540319, PI 540316, PI 540357, W6 26171, Z058. They are small to tiny bulbils, so I expect it to take two growing seasons before they flower.

                        I also have a few cloves of Brown Tempest to share. I expect them to flower this summer. I haven't grown this variety before. Brown Tempest seems to be a clone (Group J) of PI 540335 which produced seed for Jenderek (2004).

                        Send me a personal message if you'd like some.


                        • #57
                          Hello Joseph,

                          I own and manage a garlic farm in Canada and have been interested in growing from seed for several years. Ted has graciously given us permission to quote extensively from his book on our website and it is through him that I became inspired by the prospect of developing new cultivars. Our focus at the farm is on growing and selling seed garlic to gardeners and other farmers, so the possibility of growing from true seed is especially enticing. Would you be willing to ship your seed producing garlic germplasm varieties to Canada? Since you are shipping bulbils, and not bulbs, there would not be any border issues involved.

                          I could not find a way to send you a personal message which is why I'm replying in the forum. My website is available in my profile and contact info is available there if you would like to contact me directly.

                          Thank you, and great work!


                          • #58
                            Ivan W. Buddenhagen of south-west Oregon has been working on growing true garlic seeds for more than a decade. His web site listed cultivars for sale in 2011, but hasn't been updated since then. He places his garlic into the Rocambole group.


                            • #59
                              true seed project for NM

                              Good day all,

                              I had been working over three years to assemble high- & dry-land and upstream (towards SW & Central Asian) material from the restricted-access SSE-backup collection in New Mexico which was recently abruptly spirited away and hidden out of reach.

                              My objectives had been: selection of cultivars with development of practices to set up food-insecure households with year-round garlic self-sufficiency; salt-tolerance trials; and testing my intuition that stress conditions might induce true seeding. The curator of that collection was wholly dismissive.

                              I lost a couple of crops to different combinations of high salinity, high heat, extreme drought, and irrigation constraints. I squeezed a couple of crops into close quarters when collaborators and extra space were not available. I am down to working with about 20 varieties of market cultivars which remained behind in the hands of the collection's NM caretaker, none of which is on any true seed list.

                              I am now looking to assemble all the true seed candidates (my list has ~110), grow out sufficient material for parallel trials and back-up, and start close-quarters open-pollinated true seed work. While some of our conditions are similar to Central Asia, some are changing quickly for the worse. Those include rising summer low temperatures, increasing drought and failed monsoons, decreasing water quantity but especially quality, and therefore rising soil salinity.

                              I would be very grateful to participate in any sharing of germplasm, and when enough is available will offer around my material. I will of course make available my insights and outcomes. I have just used SSE online yearbook's email button to send that awkward automatic email to candidate garlic listers. After exhausting SSE's network, I will request remaining material through Simon and Hellier who have agreed to assist the project.

                              My own plant work has largely been collecting, grafting, rooting, growing hundreds of fruit, nut, berry varieties from private and repository collections, with outcomes ranging from total loss to 95% take in different years followed by many seasons before compatibility, character, and performance are proven worthwhile. I did have some fleeting success on potato true seed. Garlic true seed will be a welcome change!

                              Thanks kindly,

                              Patrik Schumann


                              • #60
                                Patrik: Looking forward to collaborating with you. I'll get some bulbils and cloves in the mail in the next few days from varieties that are know to have produced true seeds in the past.

                                I am likewise doing mass-plantings of multiple varieties in close proximity to each other to encourage promiscuous pollination.

                                In my garden, different varieties of garlic can vary by up to 2 months in flowering times. To try to set up conditions for these garlics to cross pollinate, I did fall plantings, and spring plantings expecting that the spring plantings will flower later than the fall plantings. I also planted into different micro-climates: North side of building in damp conditions: In center of sunny field that is only watered once a week. etc...