How can I reuse or recycle garlic?

garlic250.jpgWe’ve had an email from Jon Arkin:

I bought a big net of garlic from the market at the weekend because it was going cheap. I now know why, half of them have started sprouting.

I’m going to try to use as many as I can but will have to compost the rest – or are there any other non-culinary uses?

You could try planting the sprouting cloves in your garden – give them six months or so and they become new bulbs – but when I did this a few years ago, the resulting bulbs were tiny and not really worth the effort (although this might be because we have a north-facing garden and had a rather lax attitude to watering). And I suspect there may be issues with planting out commercially grown garlic like there is with planting old shop-bought potatoes.

I believe it can also be used to keep insects (and vampires) at bay but don’t know any more about that other than what I’ve learnt from bad 1980s horror films.

So any ideas or more info about the things I’ve mentioned?

(Photo by chidsey)

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle garlic?”

  1. Bobbie says:

    I’ve found that garlic takes a couple of seasons here in Texas where we have very hot long summers and short winters. Maybe if you gave it a couple of years you might get some yummy garlic.

    I haven’t tried this, but what about using the sprouts like chive?

  2. Andy says:

    You can prepare all the cloves by chopping finely or crushing it up into a jar, add a little cider vinegar or cooking oil and preserve in the fridge fo future use

  3. john b says:

    Garlic needs a period of cold in order to grow properly (vernalisation). For best results plant out in September/October and harvest in July.

  4. Katz says:

    You can put then in a jar with water & leave them to sprout.
    The green bits could be used in salads, and other dishes (like stir-fry) as they still have garlic odour and taste, but not that strong.

  5. AliceJ says:

    I just cook with them anyway. Chuck the sprouted bits in with the rest of it. Still tasts garlicky!

  6. Kaz says:

    Make garlic water by setting the cloves in water, and then use as an insecticide in the garden. I wish I’d done this earlier on in the year with the roses. I was recently told that using cloves of garlic as companion plants to those you want protected from insects is effective – the flowers will repel insects from your delicate blooms.

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