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Old July 5, 2016   #1
Tormato
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Default Harvesting garlic bulbils

This is my 1st year not cutting off the scapes.

So, when are the bulbils ready for harvest? The sheaths surrounding them are just starting to break open.

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Old July 5, 2016   #2
bower
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I would say you can harvest them now. Personally I'd pick a dry day, and snip but keep a bit of the scape on them, lay them in a dry coolish place indoors on a tray and let them finish opening slowly drying down still on the scape. That's what I'm going to do this year, similar to the first year I got bulbils and I think they were my best quality.
Some people harvest the whole plant and hang it, but (in our climate anyway) it's overkill. Yes the bulbils keep growing but the moisture in the scape is enough for that. The ones that were hung whole at the farm had some green sprouts on them, and I had the same thing when I put cut scapes in water. I think the moisture in the scape is more than enough to let them grow full size, and you want them to start curing or drying a little at some point to be ready for planting. When they're fully opened, you may snip off the last bit of the scape to get them to start drying.
On the other hand while many methods work more or less, someone more experienced than I may be able to tell you the BEST method.
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Old July 5, 2016   #3
Father'sDaughter
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I harvested bulbils a couple of years ago but never did get around to planting them. I pretty much did it the way Bower described and waited until the flower was dry before gently prying the bulbils out of the flower.
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Old July 5, 2016   #4
rxkeith
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hey gary,

i go along with getting them in now if the wrappers are starting to split. get them out of the elements so they can dry. i keep the head pretty much intact until just before planting them or mailing them out to people. i would think they keep better that way.

what varieties do you have?



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Old July 6, 2016   #5
bower
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I think the same about keeping the head intact until dispersal time. I had a lot of losses the other way, in the ones that didn't cure properly or dried too much.
If you have more than one variety you may want to keep them on separate trays - some of the big boys may pop off spontaneously.
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Old July 6, 2016   #6
henry
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When the wrappers have opened is when I harvest them.
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Old July 6, 2016   #7
bower
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So pretty!!!!
What varieties are those, Henry? Beautiful bulbils... and flowers!
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Old July 7, 2016   #8
henry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
So pretty!!!!
What varieties are those, Henry? Beautiful bulbils... and flowers!
Glad you liked them they are-
German Red
Duganskij
Music
Korean Purple.
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Old July 7, 2016   #9
meganp
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Henry, the duganski look as though they may have yielded true seed if the bulbils were removed - have you ever bothered to attempt this?
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Old July 7, 2016   #10
henry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meganp View Post
Henry, the duganski look as though they may have yielded true seed if the bulbils were removed - have you ever bothered to attempt this?
I have not tried for true seeds yet on my list of things to do, I have another garlic I keep going just to give true seeds a try some time. It is 159 from a Washington state research station.
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Old July 7, 2016   #11
meganp
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yes it looks like another excellent candidate with its purple anthers. Have you participated the the allium forums on homegrown goodness and seed savers exchange? the tgs thread in hgg has been running since 2011 and several contributors have had outstanding successes. Ted Meredith contributes to the sse forum. I tried for the first time this year but sadly all the flowers withered and none set seed. enjoyed the process and keen to keep trying though.
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Old July 7, 2016   #12
PhilaGardener
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Pretty flowers!

Yes, folks generally report having to remove bulbils to get seed set, and even then the % germination is low. Hopefully that will improve after a generation or two of reproduction by seed.
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