Spring Splitting and Roguing at 5th Leaf

Roguing and splitting is an essential activity when garlic has reached 4 to 5 leaves. Sick plants are easily visible compared to neighbouring plants and twins or triplets need to be culled or separated so they can produce viable bulbs.
Roguing plants is an important task for soil health primarily. These sick plants will never produce healthy bulbs and leaving them risks disease accumulating in soils. Remove not only the plant – but all surrounding soil.
Splitting is also essential. Even though we can be so careful when cracking and planting, it is always possible for one clove to have many shoots. And if you do have twins or triplets – they will never produce full healthy bulbs if left as is.
I use two approaches:
  1. If there is one very large shoot and the twin or triplets are small – I prefer to remove and discard the twin without disturbing the roots of the larger plant. This will optimise my bulb size.
  2. If the twins or triplets are all the same size – I remove the full set, separate and replant in the space created by roguing.

Decide if you want to replant all or simply remove a small side twin but leave the larger plant’s root in place. The two techniques shown in the photos are what I do when I’ve decided to sacrifice a small twin or lift, separate and replant.