The Garlic is Taking Off-- It Must Almost Be Spring!

GottaGo

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My garlic is about 12" up already, it's in the same bed as the lettuce mix. Since I don't do it in huge volume, I use a raised bed down by the house for it. If my 'dealer' has a decent crop this year for softnecks, I'll likely replenish me seed stock and go for a larger bed in the fall.
 

ducks4you

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I don't envy you that task. Over several years, DW & I eliminated all of the perennial weeds from our gardens... it takes a lot of persistence. Then inadvertently spread hay all over the garden that was contaminated with creeping Jenny, yellow dock (which I think is the same as curly dock), ragweed, and crab grass. :ep :th The process of elimination continues. The dock quickly overtook the part of the garden that I abandoned, I need to keep that area mowed to prevent seeds spreading from there back into the cultivated area.
I have a solution, bit it is time consuming. If I cut paper, like paper grocery sacks and fit them around the garlic, nothing else will grow next to them. It only has to last until July. If I get to it I will post pictures.
I like the suggestion from a local nursey, to leave the garlic out to see daylight for one month and then replant to create good roots.
 

Zeedman

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I like the suggestion from a local nursey, to leave the garlic out to see daylight for one month and then replant to create good roots.
Well, you should never leave garlic out in the sun, as it can get sunscald. The optimal planting time is after the killing freeze, but at least a month before the ground itself freezes... mid-October here, probably not much different where you are. Planted too early, the cloves will sprout & expend much of their energy, only to have the tops die off in Winter. Ideally the cloves should have just enough time to develop a good root system (to keep them from being frost heaved) but not sprout until the following Spring. Treat garlic as if it was edible tulips. :D
 

Zeedman

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The storage life of last year's garlic has been incredible! Stored in ice cream pails on the basement floor, some cloves have only now begun to sprout - and are still as firm as when the bulbs were broken open 6 months ago (and 9 months after harvest). This appears to be the ideal storage conditions for loose cloves; even naked cloves have hardly shriveled.
20230421_153816.jpg

I'll be giving some cloves away for Spring planting 10 days from now, and will try planting a few myself. "Ron's Single Center" (above) is an artichoke type (soft neck). The photo below is "Krasnodar Red", a marbled purple stripe (hard neck) variety:
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When potato onions are Spring planted, they seldom flower... it will be interesting to see whether "Krasnodar Red" forms a scape.
 

ducks4you

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YOU just answered my next question, "how to store garlic."
Do you leave the top of the ice cream pail off, or do you keep them a closed ice cream pail container?
This year, by the look of things, I should have a BIG garlic harvest.
Between the Amish garlic that I bought and the garlic I purchased online and the garlic that @flowerbug sent me, I will NEED to store.
Thanks for sharing! :hugs
Is there an advantage to starting Spring garlic?
 

flowerbug

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The storage life of last year's garlic has been incredible! Stored in ice cream pails on the basement floor, some cloves have only now begun to sprout - and are still as firm as when the bulbs were broken open 6 months ago (and 9 months after harvest). This appears to be the ideal storage conditions for loose cloves; even naked cloves have hardly shriveled.
View attachment 56554
I'll be giving some cloves away for Spring planting 10 days from now, and will try planting a few myself. "Ron's Single Center" (above) is an artichoke type (soft neck). The photo below is "Krasnodar Red", a marbled purple stripe (hard neck) variety:
View attachment 56555

When potato onions are Spring planted, they seldom flower... it will be interesting to see whether "Krasnodar Red" forms a scape.

open lid or closed? i've been storing mine open lid because closed seems to invite them to sprout.

i also have some bulbs wrapped in towels i've not looked at recently... all my garlic through the years the best storage has been in an open container so there is no moisture build up and in the dark. once the garlic is peeled and in the fridge it will start sprouting (sealed in a jar).

i have what is left of last year's broken up bulb and what i did not manage to give away at the seed swap in a small yogurt container here. it's still good and only a bit sprouted. it remains edible as long as it doesn't actively rot in any form so i don't get too concerned about it.
 

Zeedman

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The pails were stored open in my unheated basement, and right next to a 5 gal pail of apples (which lasted until February). I too suspect that the cloves would have sprouted in a closed container. Hopefully the apples were not responsible for the long life of the garlic, but I'll repeat that arrangement this year- no sense taking chances. :rolleyes:

I'm astonished that there appears to be virtually no drying, even of cloves which lost their skins... the humidity at ground level on the concrete floor must be constant. And because cold air sinks, the temperature must be fairly constant too. Still, even though the basement is unheated, I spend enough time there that I never thought of it as a root cellar.

I've never tried Spring planted garlic... it never lasted that long before. And it is so contrary to conventional wisdom that it would would be like Spring-planted tulips. Up until now, my cloves would begin to sprout around December, so I would dehydrate them before they spoiled. Spring planting should be interesting.

I was also able to over-winter some of the top-set bulbils downstairs, for one of the rocambole varieties. This is really encouraging from a preservation perspective; it means that I can save backups, should something (like bad weather) destroy the Fall planting. And being able to save bulbils over the winter means that I have backups in case disease strikes the Fall planting (as it did in 2013).

BTW, out of curiosity, I tried eating a piece of one of the garlic cloves raw to see how the flavor had fared.
🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Wow!!! That raw garlic might even be a challenge for pepper heads. I think it sanitized my mouth, before I was forced to spit it out. Can't remember which variety it was, so maybe it sanitized my brain too.
 

Branching Out

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Last fall I planted a couple of Turban hardneck garlic varieties for the first time, and when I checked yesterday they are each beginning to scape. There is Shandong which originates in China, and Thai Purple which they indicate was sourced from a market in Bangkok. Hood River Garlic company says that the Turbans are a sub-species of artichoke garlic, and they find that they do well in the Pacific Northwest. My goal in growing Turbans was to create a longer harvest window, so as not to be overwhelmed by all of the garlic maturing at the same time. Next up will likely be Japanese, which is an Asiatic garlic.
 

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