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Old July 24, 2017   #1
svalli
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Default Softneck garlic producing real scapes

Last Saturday I went to the field to remove scapes from the garlic. To my surprise I found that three artichoke varieties had produced scapes like hardnecks do. I have seen the bulbils in the middle of the stem earlier, but not real arching scape. Germidour and Arno had scapes in all of the plants and Messidrome had shorter scape in some. I like to use the scapes in many recipes, so getting more of them does not bother me.

Germidour was planted last fall and the others this spring. I suspect that this may have been caused by the dry and cold June. We have now got some rain, but it may be too late, since a lot of the leave tips are yellow, so the plants do not have enough green to produce large cloves. I would like to let these grow two to three weeks more before harvest, so I hope we do not get any monsoon rains in beginning of August.

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File Type: jpg Germidour scape.jpg (460.3 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg Arno scape.jpg (370.6 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg Messidrome scape.jpg (428.9 KB, 88 views)
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Old July 24, 2017   #2
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Glad you got more scapes at least! I think these days I look forward to scapes more than I do the actual garlic...

I have read that some softnecks will produce them if stressed.
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Old July 24, 2017   #3
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Very cool! You would never tell them from hardnecks!

Svalli did you ever think about growing out the bulbils? In tomatoes, environmental stresses affect gene expression and bring out the plants ability to withstand the stress... so it should be the same in garlic, that the bulbils produced by stress would be expressing some stress resistance that might help the plant to survive. Or perhaps these softnecks are already well adapted for you? Mine here are doing worst of all, I may give up growing them after this year. I enjoy braiding them, but I prefer the hardnecks in all other ways.
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Old July 24, 2017   #4
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I'm afraid that I cut all the scapes from Germidour, because I did not plan to grow it from bulbils. Arno's and Messodrome have still some scapes left. All of these softneck varieties are available here from bulb producers in Holland, so planting material is easy to get.

I do also like hardnecks more and I have some rare ones, which I am saving the bulbils from. I have tried growing bulbils earlier, but the small singles, which I got from them did not survive the winter. This spring I started Pyongyang and Lyubasha bulbils and I hope I can get those to survive the winter. I did plant also Lyubasha cloves, so from those I should get something to eat this year, but from Pyongyang I got only few bulbils, and only four of them grew to form small rounds, so those are like treasure right now.

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Old July 25, 2017   #5
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How is Arno regarding production? Seems these French bred varieties are basically everything one can get here in Europe (http://plant-certifie-ail.org/pages/fichesvar.php) reasonably easy without paying ridiculous prices and shipping.
I'm mostly attracted by Thermidrome but they say it's for autumn planting which I can't do, so Arno is next on the list (quite a bit smaller than Thermidrome unfortunately).
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Old July 25, 2017   #6
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This is first year that I am growing Arno, so I do not know yet how big those will grow. Spring planting to the field was not so successful this year due to dry and cool spring and this will have effect of the size of the heads. I'll let you know how these grew when I have harvested them. I have planted Thermidrome both fall and spring time, so I can compare those to Arno. All my spring planted garlic was kept in cold storage during winter and planted to pots, before final planting to the field.

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Old August 4, 2017   #7
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I lifted yesterday most or the Arnos and some other spring planted varieties. All of them had smaller than normal bulbs, but the Arnos with scapes were the smallest. It looks like growing the real scape caused the artichoke types to produce smaller bulbs.

I may not grow Arno next season, if it in our climate produces scape and smaller bulb than real hardnecks.

I lifted spring planted Thermidromes week ago and those were a bit bigger than Arnos. From these spring planted softneck varieties Messidor produced largest bulb and Mersley Wight being the second and more uniform in size, so I would recommend these two for spring planting with artificial vernalization in the refrigerator.

I hung the so far harvested crop in the woodshed to dry. Top row from left to right are Mersley Wight, Arno, Messidor, Lautrec Wight and Casablanca (only fall planted from these) . Lower row from left is spring planted Thermidrome, Messidrome and Germidour, which I planted also during fall, but those are still in ground.

Sari
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Old August 6, 2017   #8
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Svalli, they are small but lovely looking!

Do you clean them with water before hanging? I'm just pulling my garlic now, and wondering about tweaking my process.
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Old August 6, 2017   #9
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Hi, You should not clean your garlic with water because it will extend the curing period and could invite mold. Just brush the dirt off when you pull them and later on as they get drier.
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Old August 6, 2017   #10
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They look nice. Aren't the top row a bit green still?
Arnos do look a bit small, but they are supposed to be a long storing variety, so there's that. Interesting that spring planted Thermidrome is bigger though.
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Old August 6, 2017   #11
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Our field is clay soil and it has been rainy, so I had to clean the mud away. I spread the garlic on the sloping bedrock on our yard and spray with garden hose. After that I let them dry couple or hours and then I remove all dead leaves and bad looking wrappers to inspect, if there are any onion fly maggots or mold. Our nights are already so cool that there is a lot of mist and moisture, so I do the drying and curing indoors. Even this may be against the normal procedures, I have found out that this is the best method in our normally wet and cool August.

The top row looks green, because I count that there is still at least 4 mostly green leaves on the garlic, when I start to harvest, so that there will be 4 good wrappers on the bulbs for storage. I could have left some in field for couple of more days, but I do get to the field now only during weekends, when my DH's vacation ends and I can't yet drive so long trip alone. I had my right shoulder operated four weeks ago and I have still 6 weeks of medical leave. It would be nice to use all this time gardening and harvesting but I can use just my left hand for all the heavy work and that limits what I can do alone.

Sari
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Old August 6, 2017   #12
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Sorry to hear about your shoulder, Sari. Hope it is all better soon.

We have the same kind of harvest weather in August - cooler, starting to be rainy. It was hot and dry today though with rain forecast tomorrow, so I pulled all the porcelain, which is three weeks since the scapes were harvested. As with last year, I didn't have as many brown leaves as I expected, and I was wondering whether to leave them another week. But a friend who grows wonderful garlic said that the brown tips can be sign enough they are ready to pull. He was right, the largest ones are as big or bigger than I've ever grown.

I wonder if it is because of the rain this time of year, that the leaves stay green even when they're ready. The soil seemed dry on top, but it was really moist at the level of the bulbs in the lower end of the bed. So ironic after the crazy dry spring and summer.
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Old August 7, 2017   #13
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Sari, glad you got it pulled while you could! Sometimes smaller is better than risking the crop by trying to leave it that little by longer. I pulled mine a few days earlier then planned, but they were all good sized and in good shape. Some years I'll push it just a few too many days and I end up with loss as a result.

My husband and is now 11 days post-op. for his left shoulder rotator cuff surgery (he's a lefty), and he's slowly figuring out how to do things with just his right arm. It'll be another four weeks before he's (hopefully) cleared to drive, and luckily my office is essentially closed until September so he at least has me as a chauffeur and assistant for now. I'm glad you had your husband around for the early days. I hope your recovery goes smoothly!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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I have some friend who are off grid and water there garden by windmill, so water is not the most abundant for there softneck garlic, the odd dry year she gets some to grow scapes along with a few bulbils, not sure if it artichoke or sliverskin. Last summer it produced bulbils again so i got some from her, sowed these in autumn to which 20+ came up straight away, these were moved to a separate bed and marked. Come spring the rest of the bulbils popped up and should get to the rounds stage in about two months. Because my garden is very fertile and gets pampered with plenty of water these are unlikely to produce scapes again so i'll give these back to my friend to grow again and hopefully reproduce more scapes, maybe in time i can get these soft neck to produce scapes every year,maybe even flowers - TGS
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