Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Garlic from seeds
This may not work at all. I've never done it. Gardening is always an experiment.
The potential advantages of seed are many. In the millenia of cloning, genetic diversity is lost. There is some mutation and adaptation via rogueing, because sports also form. But overall, the genetic diversity is decreased, and the ability to adapt more quickly to environmental challenges or growth in new areas, becomes decreased. In addition, if seeds can be formed, so can hybrids. Hybrids give us more choices, and increase potential adaptation and development of variety, such as larger bulbs, or growing faster. Again, based on reading multiple articles, once a new generation of garlic is produced by seeds, subsequent generations are easier to produce. Finally, it's mentioned that viruses are passed through cloning, but not through seed production. I've seen that said for other plants too. I don't know if garlic varieties are virus infected - probably not as bad as with plants that are grafted (fruits, roses) or have long lives (figs), but it's been proposed that producing virus free seed-produced plants would mean more vigor and higher production.