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General information and discussion about cultivating onions, garlic, shallots and leeks.

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Old July 19, 2016   #16
SueCT
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Have never used much fertilizer, but LOTS of compost. They WERE planted last fall, on October 27th (I keep a gardening journal). I don't believe I harvested early, I am in zone 6a and die back had already started. Several leaves on each plant. This year I will buy more seed bulbs and only plant the largest cloves. I do not water my tomatoes much either, especially once fruit starts forming, I never have, because when I do, I have an increase in cracking. But I assume because of the high organic matter and thick mulch, about 4", I hardly ever see any wilting. The dirt was quite moist on the bulbs when I took them up. I do not know if there are as many cloves or not. I have not opened a bulb to check. It looks like they are just smaller cloves because the small bulbs also have small cloves, does not look just 3 or 4 large cloves. Not sure which you meant is caused by not enough cold. We have had lots of days in the 90s, so maybe that contributed, too, but that is not unusual for the time of year.
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Old July 19, 2016   #17
Worth1
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I may be speaking out of turn but the nitrogen in the soil can be depleted pretty fast and garlic needs a lot of it.
Compost is not a good source of nitrogen depending on what it is.
What a soil test said two years ago will have no meaning to what it would be now in regards to nitrogen.
It also does better if the soil is kept moist almost consistently.
It and onions will not show they need water like many other plants do.
Fluctuating weather can really jack alliums up.
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Old July 19, 2016   #18
TomNJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
I may be speaking out of turn but the nitrogen in the soil can be depleted pretty fast and garlic needs a lot of it.
Compost is not a good source of nitrogen depending on what it is.
What a soil test said two years ago will have no meaning to what it would be now in regards to nitrogen.
+1 You beat me to it Worth.

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Old July 19, 2016   #19
SueCT
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That might be. I thought soil tests were poor indicators of available nitrogen, so how do you know? The leaves looked dark green, so I don't know how to tell. Please explain how to determine how much nitrogen is available in the soil.
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Old July 19, 2016   #20
swamper
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I am in CT and this has been a great garlic year for me and everyone I have spoken to.
It's a good idea to water garlic. Mulch is ok, but not too thick.

I would suggest that you take better care to start with good stock. http://www.garlicbyirelandfarm.com/ (try Northern White or Bavarian Purple) I always grow from garlic I have harvested and replant the varieties that do best for me and grow consistent sized bulbs.
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Old July 19, 2016   #21
greenthumbomaha
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There are excellent videos of planting onions and garlic on youtube, and Durgan here on the forum posts still photos of his planting technique. The key is a strip of slow release fertilizer applied between rows, not underneath, at the depth that roots will grow into it. I use a 10-10-10 and bone meal, same as with other bulbs like tulips.

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Old July 19, 2016   #22
Worth1
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You have to treat the stuff like it was a lawn but it isn't as picky about pH as other plants like tomatoes are.

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