This satisfying hack helps you separate garlic cloves more quickly

garlic bulbs

Efficiency is key when you’re cooking, especially after a tiring day of work. Unfortunately, garlic — beloved garlic! — can grind your kitchen to a halt when you’re using it in large amounts.

Before you get to the peeling and the mincing, you’ve got to separate out the individual cloves, which can take some time if they’re tightly packed within the bulb. But one TikTok gardener shared a super-easy and somewhat amazing trick to quickly bust up the bulb.

MORE: How to get garlic smell off your hands with one simple trick

GardenTok creator Annabeth (@annabethblooms) shared the tip as a way to easily plant cloves that will grow in your garden, but it should work just as well on the kitchen counter, too. And if you’ve got some anger to work out, even better: This simple technique requires a few solid smacks to reach its satisfying conclusion.

Purple and white garlic on a wooden board with green sprigs

MORE: How to grow garlic

There’s not much to it, as you’ll see. With just a couple of whacks on the top of the bulb, the hard stem within bursts right through the bottom.

“Yes!” exclaims Annabeth as a bulb easily pops apart. Watch below:


Testing out a garlic planting hack 🧄🌱 What do you guys think?! Can’t believe it actually worked!! #garlic #garlicplanting #hardneckgarlic #fallgarden #fallgardening #gardenersoftiktok #zone5b #zone5bgardening #zone5 #zone5gardening #gardentok #gardeningtiktok

♬ original sound – Annabeth

Yep, that’s it. Turn the bulb upside down, then give the protruding stem a couple of sturdy taps. Pick apart the bulbs to use as you wish, whether in a recipe or in the garden.

MORE: How long does garlic last?

A couple of caveats: This only works with hardneck garlic varieties, which sprout scapes — green shoots from the top of the bulb. Scapes are delicious, by the way, resembling scallions or chives with a subtle garlic flavor.

The garlic bulbs found at grocery stores are typically softnecks, which grow more quickly and keep longer. Hardneck varieties would more likely come from a specialty grocery, or perhaps from your backyard!

Farmer holding a small basket, planting garlic cloves in rows

MORE: Why are my garlic cloves so tiny?

If you choose to go the DIY route, don’t use grocery-store garlic cloves to plant. Instead, buy bulbs from a garden retailer to ensure they’re hardnecks, and check to see if hardnecks will thrive in your climate (they’re hardy and tend to like cooler climes).

Now, who’s getting hungry? Anyone for Italian?

Food, Gardening, Home, Time-Saving, Tips & Advice
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About the Author
Kathleen St. John
Kathleen St. John is a freelance journalist. She lives in Denver with her husband, two kids and a fiercely protective Chihuahua.

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