True Garlic Seeds for 2020
Update for March 2021: Most of the seeds collected from the 2020 season have been retained for the Garlicana breeding project. The seeds offered here are a surplus. There is a very limited amount 2020 TGS available by inquiry only. There remains some freezer stored seed from the previous season. There has been a lot of demand for the seeds. Honestly, the best way to procure them is to grow varieties that readily produce an abundance of TGS with the least amount of fuss and collect them yourself.
In February 2020, seeds collected in 2019 were cleaned and weighed. Around 10,000 seeds were procured, a third of which are being started here. The remainder are available for purchase. In addition there are still freezer stored seeds available from what was collected from the 2018 season. There’s been a lot of inquiry from those who wish to grow out garlic like they would onions from seed or develop locally adapted varieties. The former is just not realistic and the latter occurs from selection of resultant progeny over successive generations. I cannot suggest that any of the seeds offered will or won’t be better for one climate or another. There are varieties that came out of this breeding project that have performed far better in colder locations than here in SW Oregon and others from the same parent that fared poorly in the same places. TGS is a multi-year and often labor intensive process requiring patience and perseverance. Like any breeding project it can be both discouraging and very rewarding, though always an experience of learning.
A note on IPR. Varieties that come out of the breeding project are generally pledged to OSSI, the Open Source Seed Initiative. Most of the seeds offered are derivatives of such, therefore must remain in the commons. If you work with these seeds, none of the resultant progeny may be patented, privatized, whatever. The aim is to increase genetic diversity and at some point down the line, there may be novel traits like white rot or fusarium resistance. Everyone ought to be able to further work with and improve upon these hypothetical accessions. As much labor is necessary to produce new varieties, i reject IPR. I do however, have immense respect for my brilliant colleagues who are working in the private sector who are leaps and bounds ahead and who’s financial backers understandably would like to see returns on their investments. Given the vulnerability of garlic to a host of pathogens, lets hope that when that tide of innovation rises, that the boats of small organic farmers and gardeners the world over lift too.
Much thanks to Andrew and Sarah at Adaptive Seeds for their hospitality and letting me use their seed cleaning equipment, including the amazing Winnow Wizard designed by Marc Luterra. Hopefully the Winnow Wizard blowing lighter seeds will help to improve germination. Either way between that and the array of screens available greatly reduced the time and tedium of winnowing thousands of seeds from dozens of samples.
True Garlic Seed has a low germination rate. With each generation germ rate improves but expect as low as 10% and as high as 40%. Seeds require vernalization. We soak seeds in a 1% bleach solution followed by a rinse and a month under refrigeration before seeding into flats or plugs. Germination is inconsistent and can occur from a few days, a few weeks and even a few months! It is recommended to read this article before endeavoring on this. TGS is not a commercially viable means of propagating garlic. It is experimental and offers the possibility of introducing variation into a gene-pool limited by millennia of asexual propagation, of obtaining virus free stock, potentials for disease resistance, of combining traits that cross groups or defy categorization, in short, creating something new.
We come up with names for garlic clones when offered for sale but prior to that Ted Meredith came up with a naming convention used to track seeds/progeny. So if the following names make no sense, it may be worth looking at this.
Seeds should be vernalized immediately upon arrival.
Prices are $19 for .18g+ or approximately 100 seeds. Shipping is $8 for USPS priority mail or $4 for 1st class mail. Garlicana is not set up for the phytosanitary inspection required for international shipping.
A note on quantities. After having repeatedly counted and weighed 100 seeds, it varies between .16g. and .19g. thus the approximation.
This remains very experimental and until recently the seeds were coveted, every one replanted. A few generations in, the seed yields improved and enough is produced to make available. At this point, Garlicana is the only farm based garlic breeding project offering seeds to the general public. I cannot guarantee your results or even your germination (though be patient, i’ve had garlic seedlings pop up in repurposed potting soil months later). The seeds you receive are a culmination of years of work and i am interested to know how these do for you.
S11/12 Ivan S15 A&B and S12/13 Ivan S15 A&E S18 mix
Seeds given to Ted Meredith and i by Ivan Buddenhagen have resulted in dozens of clones but we have retained three lines. This is a mix derived from four clones (around twenty plants) from two lines. So while these seeds are 3rd generation progeny, it’s unknown how many generations out Ivan had taken it before we received them. The clones are, for the most part, not that different from each other. Anything that was unimpressive was dropped. The bulbs are large, symmetrical, appearing Purple Stripe though not as quite colorful inner wrappers as we had hoped for. The plants are vigorous though late to mature, have very good flavor and as of March are still of fine eating quality, albeit better cooked than raw. What is most remarkable though is that the umbels are huge and don’t seem to require bulbil removal to flower and produce seed. That said, the bulbils readily shed if you bump up against them and in the interest of not creating a carpet of garlic plants the following season, it’s advisable to collect them anyway. Seed yields from all of these have been high and germination above average. Sold out
S19 Azataza #16
The Azataza line have been some of the most vigorous and diverse of all the seed lines. They have not been the easiest to procure TGS from and the germ is generally even lower than the normal poor germination rates but the results have been very impressive. It’s been challenging to decide which of the Azataza 2nd & 3rd gen progeny to deselect. The #16 expresses mostly Porcelain traits. one left in stock
S18/19 K3 B mix (S10 K3. S14/15 B. S18/19….S..)
This may sound a little confusing but these seeds are 4 generations out from the original parent, Krasnodar White, a Porcelain type from SW Russia. The were four 1st gen progeny, K1-K4. #3 was named Arsia. Out of all the seeds that matured into bulbs from Arsia, only two were selected for further propagation, A & B. The latter is named Ceraunius (or S14/15 B). 400 seeds from this were started in 2018 and only 30 seedlings were transplanted. These matured into bulbs in 2109. Of those, seeds were collected from 5 plants. Usually, the bulbs are selected and TGS occurs in the following season but this was an experiment in saving a year. So the unamed parents were 3rd gen and the seeds in this mix will become 4th gen progeny. It is unknown what the seeds will turn into. The previous generations have expressed Porcelain and Rocambole traits with some darker red coloration.
S18/19 Ozo mix
These seeds were collected from 2nd gen progeny of Kishlyk. 1st gen parent was Ozodlyk, 2nd gen was, like the above mentioned seeds, plants started from seed the previous year. Interestingly, the bulbs from which these seeds are derived were quite large, whereas usually the energy needed to mature seeds results in diminished bulb size. Also of note, the pungency of the cloves was mild. A selection of these bulbs is being trialed and it will curious to compare notes.
As the seeds are drying out in their umbels, inevitably pods will open up and drop seeds onto the table. Even picking them up to thresh will result in fallen seeds. There were 20 accessions from which TGS was collected and this mix is an assemblage of all the seeds that have dropped including those not included in the offerings above. Given that the 77A lines are the most prolific, we assume they will feature heavily in this mix.