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Old June 26, 2016   #1
4season
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Default why are there little cloves about 4 inches above ground ?

On a couple of garlic plants there are one to four little cloves on the stem. Last year there were a few too but I don't remember any in years before that. No flowers or bulbils either.
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Old June 26, 2016   #2
Kazedwards
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Could you post a pic?


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Old June 26, 2016   #3
4season
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I knew someone would ask.
Found camera and cable, photo to desktop. (My windows 10 doesn't let me use the photo folder, I want XP back)
Most of the cloves are small, we have a friend who has grown for years and her garlic stayed small this year too.
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Old June 26, 2016   #4
henry
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Some softneck varieties if they've been stressed do develop a secondary bulb above ground, that contains bulbils.
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Old June 26, 2016   #5
Ricky Shaw
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I get them more in years when there's been a start, then a restart. We had warm weather in December, and I have some this year again.
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Old June 26, 2016   #6
4season
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I don't remember weather, but there was drought stress even with mulch and drip tape.
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Old June 26, 2016   #7
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Interesting. This was my worst year for garlic in a decade (I didn't get any of these stem bulbils this year, but I have seen them once or twice in the past).
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Old June 26, 2016   #8
Ricky Shaw
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and like this.
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Old June 26, 2016   #9
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Is it a soft neck variety? Some soft necks will try to through up a scape if really stresses


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Old June 26, 2016   #10
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I don't know if I'd attribute this trait to stress. It might be that the garlic is getting conditions to which it is better suited, so it tries to do the normal garlic pattern of trying to flower...
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Old June 27, 2016   #11
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Stem cloves occasionally form on soft neck garlic, but their appearance in large numbers seems to be stress related. Due to heavy rains, my garlic last year spent much of May & June in muddy soil, and all the artichoke garlic had more stem cloves than normal. For some varieties, every plant had stem cloves, and sometimes in more than one location. The bulbs themselves were much smaller than normal. Last Fall, I moved the garlic bed to a location with better drainage, and have virtually no stem cloves this year. I planted many of the stem cloves from last year, to see if they will grow into stronger stock.
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Old July 10, 2016   #12
guruofgardens
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Thanks, Zeedman. I had never heard of/seen stem cloves before.
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Old July 11, 2016   #13
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The stem cloves I planted last Fall had very good winter survival, and have grown into fairly good-sized plants - larger than most of the hardneck bulbils that were planted at the same time. It is my hope that stem cloves represent a chance to "clean up" soft neck varieties which may have accumulated soil-borne diseases over the years... time will tell.
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