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Old April 4, 2020   #1
TomNJ
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Default Garlic looking great (Pic)

My garlic is looking fine so far this year. I have 4 x 50' rows, the rows 12" apart with 6" in-row spacing, and planted (left to right) with Music, Russian Red, Estonian Red, and Killarney Red. This is one row less than last year's bumper crop, which I am still eating fresh but just have too much for my wife and me, plus I have plenty of garlic powder and frozen garlic. Music always produces the largest plants and bulbs for me, and the Estonian Red always has paler leaves. This is my first year for Killarney Red.


Note that the leaf plane is oriented perpendicular to the rows to maximize sunlight and minimize the plant-to-plant shading that would occur if the leaf plane were in line with the rows (i.e. 12" of room to spread vs 6"). Garlic leaves form a fan shape within a single plane, and this plane grows in line (parallel) with the back of the cloves, so orienting the cloves at planting allows you to control the orientation of the leaf plane. Since I mulch heavily with grass clippings and chopped leaves, and leave it on all season, I don't have to weed or cultivate between the rows and therefore the leaves don't interfere.

I fed my garlic about three weeks ago with bloodmeal sprinkled on top of the mulch. I'll do one more application in early May, then stop.
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Old April 4, 2020   #2
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Looking nice Tom!
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Old April 4, 2020   #3
RayR
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That is some beautiful garlic.
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Old April 5, 2020   #4
bower
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Tom, you never cease to amaze me! Who knew that the orientation of the clove could affect leaf orientation. Brilliant use of space... they look great.
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Old April 5, 2020   #5
Salsacharley
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Very nice! Would you please explain what the "back" of the clove is? I'm dense on this.
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Old April 5, 2020   #6
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I never even considered orientation other than top/bottom! Thanks for sharing that tidbit. They do look good.

I pulled the heavy leaf mulch layer off mine last week and probably waited about two weeks to long to do so. Lots of lanky, pale growth... I too leave a layer of the more finely shredded leaves in place all season to keep weeds down and it works beautifully. I still need to do my first blood meal application, but hoping to get it down this week.

Last year's crop is holding out fairly well here too. I did notice that the heads I left a longer stem on (3"+) are drying out much slower than ones I trimmed down closer (~1"). And some are just starting to show a green growth tip, so I may dig out the dehydrator and do another run before they get any further along. My preference, in order, has become home grown fresh, garlic powder made from home grown, then if neither is available store bought fresh. I refuse to even consider store bough garlic powders now that I've gotten used to my own.
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Old April 5, 2020   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salsacharley View Post
Very nice! Would you please explain what the "back" of the clove is? I'm dense on this.
Yeah that is a pretty vague term, but it was used in the book I found this in. I interpreted it to mean the broad curved side of the clove and that is how I planted. I faced the broad curved side of the clove east and the leaf fan spread out north/south.
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Old April 5, 2020   #8
tjg911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomNJ View Post
Yeah that is a pretty vague term, but it was used in the book I found this in. I interpreted it to mean the broad curved side of the clove and that is how I planted. I faced the broad curved side of the clove east and the leaf fan spread out north/south.

That's a surprise, I never knew that.
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Old April 5, 2020   #9
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Something to remember next time I plant my Garlic, but being in the southern hemisphere, I'd probably get it wrong. Thanks Tom.


These are mine, no orientation, planted 22 March.
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Old April 6, 2020   #10
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Looks good Mcsee. I am running late with the first of mine, will be giving this a shot
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Old April 6, 2020   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomNJ View Post
Yeah that is a pretty vague term, but it was used in the book I found this in. I interpreted it to mean the broad curved side of the clove and that is how I planted. I faced the broad curved side of the clove east and the leaf fan spread out north/south.

Hmm. That's some useful info. Especially for those types of garlic that are more broad leaved.
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Old June 3, 2020   #12
meganp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomNJ View Post
Note that the leaf plane is oriented perpendicular to the rows to maximize sunlight and minimize the plant-to-plant shading that would occur if the leaf plane were in line with the rows (i.e. 12" of room to spread vs 6"). Garlic leaves form a fan shape within a single plane, and this plane grows in line (parallel) with the back of the cloves, so orienting the cloves at planting allows you to control the orientation of the leaf plane.

@Tom have you posted this information about the leaf plant in other forums? I have been trying to remember where I read this before because i first read about it almost 10 years ago and it has been bugging me that I couldn’t find it again. Did you happen to be on the now defunct Seed Saver’s Forum perhaps?
The reason I was trying to find the original post was to check whether there was any refer to rounds and how the leaf plane is determined?
I grow a turban that stubbornly continues to grow ever larger rounds and won’t divide into cloved bulbs yet rounds planted side by side will alternately produce bulbs or rounds. Have planted all the rounds together again to see what I harvest this season.
Your garlic Looks amazing btw.
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Old June 3, 2020   #13
TomNJ
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Hi Megan,

I posted it two months ago on the Houzz Allium Forum. I read it in Ted Meredith's great "The Complete Book of Garlic", in the chapter "Planting the Cloves", specifically page 122 in the hardcover edition. It is a little known fact about garlic.

The book says (p93) that rounds are more likely to form if exposed to warm weather immediately following fall planting, dry conditions in the spring, or spring planting. They are also common when planting bulbils instead of cloves.
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Old June 3, 2020   #14
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The more I read, the more I learn. Thanks, Tom for that tip on clove orientation! I will pay attention to it this fall when planting the next batch.
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Old June 3, 2020   #15
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Great info on plant orientation. Hundreds of thousands of cloves planted and had no idea. A couple pictures of garlic at home. The bases of these stems are nearly as big as my wrists. Honker size garlic plants always make big bulbs. No ferts or irrigation, just rich soils that drain very well.

My market garlic is also larger than usual. Scapes are just starting to show and I'll be out to the farm a couple times a week knocking them down. In 5 weeks this crop will be done.
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