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Old August 13, 2017   #1
Father'sDaughter
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Default Garlic After the Bulbils

As I mentioned in another thread, I left the scapes on one plant of each of my three varieties this year to harvest bulbils. Yesterday I noticed that every time I bumped into the stalks, bulbils would start raining out of the flower heads, so I got a few bags and knocked all the bulbils off into them.

Today I realized there was no reason to leave the plants in the ground and pulled them. I was expecting small and possibly rotting heads to come up.

Boy, did I get a surprise!

Someone here had mentioned leaving heads in the ground longer to let them get larger and then as they will have no wrapper, use them for planting stock. I guess it works, even if you leave the scape on and harvest bulbils!

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Old August 13, 2017   #2
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Nice!! They certainly look fine for planting.
Are all three of them porcelains?
I find the porcelain are really easy to size up from bulbils, even though the bulbils themselves are on the small side. They always produce cloves that are bigger than the rounds, or just bigger each year. So worth it.
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Old August 13, 2017   #3
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Yes, all porcelains -- German White, Music, and Continental. I've tried other types over the years with poor to okay results. I think I'm going to stick with porcelains from now on.

The German White has been a staple since I bought my seed stock in 2011, and has been good even in a bad year. Heads this year were bigger than they have been in the last two years.

I lost my initial Music garlic after two good years, tried new seed stock from a west coast vendor with poor results, then a southern vendor also with poor results. Last year I bought new seed stock from Six Circle Farms in NY. It produced very, very well.

The Continental is a new to me variety and also from Six Circles. It also produced beautiful heads and rivals Music for size.

It'll be my first attempt growing bulbils next year and I can't wait to see how they do.
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Old August 14, 2017   #4
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Do you find any noticeable difference between the porcelain varieties?

I am curious about the fact we are told all porcelains have identical DNA. The two I've been growing a couple of years (Music and Argentina) seemed very different at first. Argentina was earlier and bigger - of course my Music was still sizing up, but the earliness and vigor of the Argentina was noticeable for two years running. This year I grew them side by side in the same bed, and I couldn't tell them apart on the size or earliness basis any more. They appeared to be converging somehow.
The only difference I could detect at all, is that the Argentina tend to have a little pink or reddish purple on not all but a few of their bulbs. The one Susan Delafield round that survived, also had a pretty pink color.
On the other hand after cleaning up my Music, I found quite a lot of purple color on the wrappers of the best bulbs... really pretty. The stock they came from is always plain white, but the bulbils produced some purple rounds and maybe the resulting strain will be more purple.

(We just pulled the porcelain at my friend's farm on Saturday and they were gigantic and perfect! They made mine look scrawny! How does she always do that. She was growing Argentina and Northern Quebec last year but couldn't remember which one provided the seed stock this year - both were extra large and great performers at the farm, so hard to tell apart. )
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Old August 14, 2017   #5
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I'll need to do a side-by-side with the three and note any differences.

I do know the German White I grow goes by other names including German Extra-Hardy, Northern White, German Porcelain, and German Stiffneck. I purchased it from an Upstate NY garlic farmer who told me it was the most widely grown variety in the state.

Continental is more of a generic variety, and according to an article from Oregon State University, "Continental garlic may be purple striped or white, and includes many of the southern varieties." http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/content/garlic-1. I purchased it because it was described as having "the largest cloves of any variety we grow," on Six Circles' website, and I was already paying for shipping, so why not! The heads are the size of Music or larger.

And Music has always been larger with fewer cloves than German White, which is why I would like to keep it as a variety. Hopefully the new seed stock proves itself going forward.

I'll let you know the results after I do the peel and taste tests.
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Old August 19, 2017   #6
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In my experience , when you delay harvesting garlic , the cloves will come apart.
Last fall I planted just a few from store bought, from WM ( name ??). They did surprisingly well with big cloves. I will do the same this year.
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Old August 20, 2017   #7
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i dug my garlic earlier this week.
i have a mix of music, red russian, german white, german stiff neck, and maybe some others. many bulbs are huge.

music bulbils are tiny. you need to have patience with them as it takes 3 years for them to size up to bulb size.

the german hard neck or stiff neck i have is purple striped, and came from a customer of mine when i lived down state. it produces bulbils that are pea sized. i planted a bunch of them last year about 4 inches apart, and nearly every one produced a fully divided bulb of good size i will guess about an inch to an inch and a half wide. nice size bulbs.
i like this one.

when you plant the bulbils, put them in a spot you can keep weeded easily. they will be tiny, and can be difficult too see among unwanted growth. mulch will help, and some people have grown them in tubs.

i have had good luck buying locally grown garlic in the past, and using it for planting stock. the variety selection may not be as great, but you know they will grow in your area.


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Old August 20, 2017   #8
ddsack
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This is the first year I've grown a larger amount of garlic, so I really don't know what I am doing. I removed scapes from only about 1/2 of my garlic. After harvesting, on the drying racks many of the green scape shoots appeared to have enough energy to keep maturing the bulbils as they dried, even after being pulled from the ground. I now have way more bulbils than I can ever use, and some flower pods have split on their own, dumping them into the crevices of the greenhouse floor.

From what I read, it sounds like you are supposed to lift the bulbils after the initial planting and replant for 2-3 years before they get to a harvest size. Why can't you just leave them in the ground for that time, or at least for the two years when they would just be upsizing as one clove. Would leaving them in the ground year round stimulate them to divide even while they are still very tiny?

I was going to plant some bulbils randomly in my flower garden, but I'm not interested in having to find and dig them up several times. Should I just forget the idea?
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Old August 20, 2017   #9
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hey Dee,

I had rounds that got left in the ground, and eventually produced some large enough rounds to get full size garlic. If the ground is fertile enough and well drained I don't see why you couldn't leave them. Maybe thin them out each season and add some ferts, so the keepers continue to grow.

I guess the other concern with leaving them in the same place is the risk of pest or disease setting in. But if you do thin them out each year at harvest time, you can inspect what you pull and make sure nothing's awry in the permanent bed.
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Old August 21, 2017   #10
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Thanks, bower! This flower bed is very sandy, so too wet is not an issue. The biggest problem for the baby garlic will probably be being shaded by the flower vegetation. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Just an experiment to see if any can survive to edible size.
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