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Growing Garlic from True Seed

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  • Growing Garlic from True Seed

    As mentioned in our article in the Spring 2012 Edition of the Heritage Farm Companion we are initiating a thread on growing garlic from true seed.

    I am interested in what others have to share regarding experiences, methods, and techniques. I will also try to answer questions as best I can.

    As mentioned in the Spring Edition, the article's full text and photos as well as technical references are also available online. The link has subsequently changed, however. The new link is http://garlicseed.blogspot.com/p/gro...true-seed.html

    We very much want to encourage others to grow garlic from true seed for all the reasons mentioned in the article.

    Ted

  • #2
    I loved reading about getting true seeds from garlic, because I have been doing almost identical research in breeding new Potato Onions by using true seed. Many of the things in the article have direct reference to Potato Onions. You can reference my my article on Potato Onions and true seeds by going to here or here.

    Comment


    • #3
      It was a good article. Half way through I was gung ho to try it, but something by the end made me change my mind. I can't remember now what it was but I felt it made more sense to keep propagating by cloning.

      Comment


      • #4
        Parallels with potato onions

        Excellent information Kelly. The parallels with potato onions and garlic are quite interesting.


        Originally posted by kellysgarden View Post
        I loved reading about getting true seeds from garlic, because I have been doing almost identical research in breeding new Potato Onions by using true seed. Many of the things in the article have direct reference to Potato Onions. You can reference my my article on Potato Onions and true seeds by going to here or here.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ted -

          Thank you for your most informative article, I had been wondering what was the state of the garlic from true seed projects we learned about in Tulsa a dozen or so years ago.

          I hope your book is selling well.

          Bob Anderson

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Bob--

            Great to hear from you.

            The Tulsa Conference was indeed outstanding with a wealth of information. Besides the experts, I talked to one other garlic grower who had produced seed, though I don't know if he had successful grow-out.

            I was hoping there would be others out there with experience to share to add to the information in our article. It is quite exciting and there is much to learn. This year our viability rate for first-generation seeds was only about 3% instead of the 13% or so we had in the past. We consciously only modified a couple of variables so we will need to assess if that was a factor. It is admittedly a challenge in the early stages, but the far higher viability and ease of production in subsequent generations is very much an encouragement---not to mention new cultivars and disease-free plants.

            And thank you, yes, "The Complete Book of Garlic" is selling very well and continues to increase as more folks learn of it. Your expertise and information on hot climate garlic growing was very helpful.

            My thanks to you for your continuing interest and support.

            Ted Meredith

            Comment


            • #7
              I have been told that the trick to getting garlic to set flowers is to make them need to in order to survive, water randomly and do other things that will make it think it needs to make seeds and it can trick some of them to go to seed that would not normally do it

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              • #8
                Although stressing plants sometimes causes them to flower and go to seed more quickly, that is not a key factor for successful garlic seed production. Plucking out the bulbils that compete with the flowers for energy is a primary critical element. Various factors are detailed in the published article at http://garlicseed.blogspot.com/p/gro...true-seed.html

                Ted

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ted,
                  You just sold another book, my garlic growing father keeps ignoring my requests to return my copy. Have you by any chance tried using floral preservative in your scape buckets? Commercial product recipes include a food source for the cut stem, materials to minimize stem plugging from bacteria populations and some have pH buffers also.
                  Paul

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Paul--

                    Thank you for your kind words and for your interest and support.

                    That's a very interesting suggestion. It could be especially helpful with the Purple Stripes with their somewhat weaker scapes. I will pass that on to Avram. He pretty much does the seed production as my summers in the Seattle area are usually too cool for reliable seed set.

                    Thank you for your input.

                    Ted

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ted,
                      I have followed your recommended basic steps on some Guatamalan garlic I received from Bob Anderson.
                      Here are the results so far? Any thoughts? Would they make it this far if they were not pollinated?
                      Terry

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Terry--

                        Great to hear that you are giving true seed production a go.

                        From the photo it looks like the umbel has at least some swollen ovaries. This is definitely a positive indicator, but is no guarantee that you have seed set. Time will tell.

                        As I recall, the Guatemalan is a Creole. I am not aware of any successful seed production efforts with a Creole, but most of the seed experimentation that I am aware of has been in more northerly temperate climates. Getting seed from a Creole would be quite noteworthy.

                        Of the bolting garlics I believe that some of the Marbled do well in your climate and they may be a good bet to try for seed production.

                        The prospect of true seed from a Creole is exciting.

                        Please keep us posted on your results.

                        Ted

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ted, have you tried starting production from bulbils before going on to flowers?

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                          • #14
                            For the seeds.

                            I have been interested in trying to cross breed garlic ever since I picked up the book BREED YOUR OWN VEGETABLE VARIETIES by Carol Deppe.
                            I am glad to see the information that you have provided that looks to help me be more successful this year.
                            I have 12 verities growing this year. Three of which I will try and get seeds from Metechi, Czar Red, and Rose Wood.
                            Some of my questions are,
                            1. I am not understanding if I only had one cultivar growing in my garden then there really is not a cross to create a new cultivar
                            but I would think the same cultivar. Metechi X Metechi = Metechi.
                            To create a new cultivar would you need to have at lease two different cultivars.
                            2. Also I'm not sure I understand the findings from Dr. Gayle Volk of the Garlic Seed Foundation
                            as I understand it I think Porcelain garlic by any name is still the same genetic DNA of all Porcelain garlic.
                            And this applies to all of the varieties different names but the same DNA.
                            In order to get a cross would I not have to do a controlled cross of say Metechi with Rose Wood to
                            create something different.
                            3. One of the other varieties I have is a Rocambole cultivar Killarney Red. In THE COMPLETE BOOK of GARLIC it appears
                            to show purple anthers. Any suggestions on performing a Rose Wood X Killarney Red.
                            4. Is it better to perform a controlled cross the second or third year?
                            5. How do I tell if I have produces something different and not just a garlic that I have not seen but is growing somewhere else?
                            I am going to mark eight plants of the four cultivar and try to get seeds this year.
                            Thank you for your time, and please understand I am new to this breeding thing and just looking to learn all I can.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Garlic seed saver questions.

                              I have been interested in trying to cross breed garlic ever since I picked up the book BREED YOUR OWN VEGETABLE VARIETIES by Carol Deppe.
                              I am glad to see the information that you have provided that looks to help me be more successful this year.
                              I have 12 verities growing this year. Three of which I will try and get seeds from Metechi, Czar Red, and Rose Wood.
                              Some of my questions are,
                              1. I am not understanding if I only had one cultivar growing in my garden then there really is not a cross to create a new cultivar
                              but I would think the same cultivar. Metechi X Metechi = Metechi.
                              To create a new cultivar would you need to have at lease two different cultivars.
                              2. Also I'm not sure I understand the findings from Dr. Gayle Volk of the Garlic Seed Foundation
                              as I understand it I think Porcelain garlic by any name is still the same genetic DNA of all Porcelain garlic.
                              And this applies to all of the varieties different names but the same DNA.
                              In order to get a cross would I not have to do a controlled cross of say Metechi with Rose Wood to
                              create something different.
                              3. One of the other varieties I have is a Rocambole cultivar Killarney Red. In THE COMPLETE BOOK of GARLIC it appears
                              to show purple anthers. Any suggestions on performing a Rose Wood X Killarney Red.
                              4. Is it better to perform a controlled cross the second or third year?
                              5. How do I tell if I have produces something different and not just a garlic that I have not seen but is growing somewhere else?
                              I am going to mark eight plants of the four cultivar and try to get seeds this year.
                              Thank you for your time, and please understand I am new to this breeding thing and just looking to learn all I can.

                              Comment

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