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Old May 27, 2017   #31
svalli
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I knew that it will be a lot of work to get all garlic plants planted into the ground, but I had no idea how much it will actually be. Everything would be easier, if we lived next to the field, but we have about 1.5 hour drive to get there. I had already planted all the plants, which I can fit in my raised beds here in the city and given some to friends, but there was still about 600 plants waiting to get into ground. We had to fold the back seats in our SUV to fit all the plants into the vehicle. The field had to be harrowed before I could start planting, so I could not start preparing the bed until around 2 in the afternoon. It was difficult to get the plastic stay down in the high north wind, so I had to spend some time collecting rocks. I had one 45 minute break to make dinner and eat around 6 P.M. and then I continued digging the dirt through the holes in the plastic and getting the plants with their long roots into the ground. I was going to quit a nine in the evening with over 100 plants still in the pots, but my DH had finished his work for the day came to help. He wants to do everything with machines, so he made ridges in the soil with the potato planter and we planted the remaining plants on the ridge next to the row of fall planted garlic. I was so tired that I did not resist on his idea, even this means that the row without plastic mulch needs weeding during the summer. We finished watering and collecting all supplies and tools from the field at 10:15 P.M (sun sets now after 11 P.M.).

We got back home after midnight and I was barely able to get out from car with my aching muscles and stiff joints. I will definitely not do pre-sprouting and spring planting at this scale in the future. It is OK for the ones, which I can plant in the raised beds, but hundreds of plants planted into the field is total insanity to do by hand in one day. From now on the field is just for fall planting.

Sari
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File Type: jpg Garlic 26052017.jpg (476.5 KB, 93 views)
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Last edited by svalli; May 27, 2017 at 03:43 AM.
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Old May 27, 2017   #32
bower
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Wow, Svalli, that is a massive effort. The plants look great though! They really got a head start.
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Old May 27, 2017   #33
ako1974
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Your garden is bigger than mine
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Old May 27, 2017   #34
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That was quite a feat! I hope you're well rewarded with a good harvest.
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Old May 28, 2017   #35
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I hope that you treated yourself to a long soak in the tub with a glass of wine whe you got home!p
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Old May 29, 2017   #36
svalli
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This is Finland, so I went to sauna and had a cold beer.
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Old June 24, 2017   #37
svalli
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One month after planting the vernalized and potted garlic plants to the field, the fall planted ones have grown bigger than the spring ones. Beginning of summer has been colder than normal and also quite dry. The dryness has been bad for the spring planted ones, so the plants lost the lower leaves. I'm sure that it will affect negatively on the bulb size. The ones which I planted this spring to my small raised beds here in the city are doing much better, because I got them in earlier and have been able to water them.

Sari
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Old June 25, 2017   #38
svalli
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Here are pictures of some of my spring planted raised bed garlic. I planted here in the city some varieties, which I had only few cloves and bulbils, so that I can monitor the growth and fertilize and water them better.

Sari
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File Type: jpg Tallinn garlic.jpg (730.7 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg Raised bed garlic 1070625.jpg (662.7 KB, 46 views)
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Old June 25, 2017   #39
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Sari, we had the same kind of spring here - cold and very dry. The porcelains are always the best for me, just leaping out of the ground as soon as the snow was off them - very late! I often don't have to water the garlic at all, or only once or twice in a season, but everything has been extremely dry (just got rain at last yesterday).

I had quite a lot of losses in the fall planted bulbils especially, which I blamed on insufficient drainage as I saw the containers were jammed with ice and flooded late winter and the ground didn't thaw quickly enough for them to recover. Also even my bed of porcelain rounds, I have only 42 of 76 surviving. And lost about a third of my New York White. So... I guess it's a tough call sometimes, whether spring or fall planting will suffer the most.

Your field tells a story though, about spring vs fall in a dry season. At least those fall plants got the benefit of the snow.
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Old June 26, 2017   #40
salix
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Thank you for the update and photos, Sari. The landscape on your distant farm is so similar to ours!

Bower, sorry to hear about your losses. But at least you have some left. This is the first time ever that I will have NO garlic of my own. And not just me, several friends are in the same situation, and we are all good gardeners (I say with all modesty!). Our winter and spring were very bad. At least 4 times during the winter the temperature went to about -30 with no or little snow cover. Friends and fellow gardeners who live farther out and with heavier snow cover have reasonable crops.

A lot of strawberry patches were also decimated and a lot of ornamentals were lost. My 25 year old Weigela has only 3 small live sprouts, whereas in past years it was an enormous flowering tower. Of course, I must confess to growing at least 2 zones higher than is recommended, but it was sad to lose several Hellebores, Epimediums and the Kirengeshima koreana which had survived (if not exactly thrived) for over 10 years. Oh well, room for something else, right?
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Old June 26, 2017   #41
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OMG Salix, so sorry to hear that! Shocking to lose all your garlic.
It is disappointing not to grow up as much stock as I expected but I'm telling myself, it's all good because the survivors are more tolerant of conditions and will make a better seed stock in the long run. In fact I probably don't mulch as deeply as I should, just expecting garlic to be entirely cold tolerant is obviously not the right track!

Many the perennials that have come and gone from my garden, and the ones I missed the most were the ones that lasted ten years before vanishing. Their time will come again, though, if they're worth replanting. I should tell you I lost all my Siberian Ginseng with no sign of any for two years, and then one day I was walking in the garden and thinking I will have to get more eleuthero seeds and try again, when lo by my foot I spied a tiny shoot of a wee one trying to come again! I dug it up and brought into my greenhouse, grew it large and made new ones from cuttings before planting the big one outdoors again last fall. So when it comes to shrubs, it's not impossible they will come back after a beating although they appeared to be lost.
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Old June 26, 2017   #42
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Our last winter was not as bad as the previous one, when I lost a lot of fall planted garlic with some varieties not making it at all. Many perennial flowers also died then. That is one reason for the grazy amount of cloves I now saved for spring planting.
Last winter everything seemed to go well, but spring time we got a lot of rain on top of the snow, which then froze as thick cover of ice. It killed my walking onions, which were already poking through the snow. Same thing happened to the friend who gave me the plant few years ago.
Gardening in the cold winter area is gamble with the weather and there will be losses, but we will keep trying. It takes a winter hardy gardener to not give up after few setbacks.

Sari
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Old July 4, 2017   #43
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It does seem that the more topsy-turvy weather conditions are the worst, whether spring or fall planting. Cold without snow cover... rain on top of snow also deadly ... or spring weather that is cold and dry.

I was looking at my garlic beds and took a picture, this made me realize that the New York White were not as well mulched as the others... and I vaguely remember I was running short when I put them in, and didn't give it too much thought. The kelp was more evenly covering until it starts to dry in the spring which shrinks it back quite a bit. But the NYW, which is on the left in the front row, obviously didn't get as much. Also there was more gracilaria, not as much kelp in the mix. OTOH, my extra bed of Spanish Roja which was planted two weeks later, got mulched pretty scantily with alder leaves.. but evenly all the same, and they did fine. The leaves are mostly gone though, and they suffered more from dryness than the others. (I only watered once this spring before we got some rain).

I guess I'm wondering if I could do a better job with the mulch, but the truth is we are usually scrambling to find a mulch material and make do with what we can get in a hurry.
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Old July 4, 2017   #44
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@salix , I lost just about my whole garlic (and onion) crop last year to extended wet conditions around harvest but had some year old bulbs in the pantry to replant. This year turned out ok. The consolation is that I am selecting for good keeping qualities! Hope your difficult year also has a silver lining . . .
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Old July 5, 2017   #45
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Thank you all, folks, for the commiseration and wishes for a better crop next season. We gardeners are optimists by necessity! I will re-order seed garlic from Henry and carry on in October. Perhaps I will plant a little more deeply and add an extra two inches of shredded leaf mulch.
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