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

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Old April 25, 2017   #16
BigVanVader
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True that. I myself think tilling/weeding are kinda dumb. I'm not saying people that do it are dumb, but I myself hate both and as you said it waste time, not to mention disease problems weeds bring. One good thing about working full time is being forced to find easier/faster ways of doing things. I figure once I go full time I will be much better off and be able to efficiently manage much more. Keep it up PH your way ahead of me already and I feel like I could make a living wage in another year or 2.
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Old April 25, 2017   #17
My Foot Smells
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I've worked on a garlic farm before and we used a large broadfork to harvest the G. Yes, it was a pain and hotter than the hinges. Nice job here with the quick stab contraption and overall a nice clean operation.

Figure you could probably doing some hard neck in you area, I am really only able to do soft neck here (but love hardneck mo better).

One of the big sellers was doing the garlic ropes. Some young hippie chicks (I was much young too ) would braid some long strands that ppl loved to hang in their kitchen and such. Very ornate.

Easy to grow and loooong shelf life. Best of success. I've eaten so much garlic, the chances of getting bit by a vampire are slim to none.

Last edited by My Foot Smells; April 25, 2017 at 12:29 PM. Reason: question was answered in previous post
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Old April 25, 2017   #18
oakley
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Great job. Thanks for sharing.
Fun to see and read the process getting it worked out for the future.

I pass through Saugerties on my way to my farm. Saugerties hosts a big garlic
festival every year. So it grows easily. It was an early dream of mine to grow garlic,
asparagus, rhubarb, grapes and some fruit trees. All do well for me. (except fruit is
averaging every third year due to late frost)
I would have needed to win the lottery to afford to do it back then.
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Old April 25, 2017   #19
henry
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How hot does the soil temperature get to under the cover? Most garlic varieties will halt bulb growth and development when soil temperatures reach 80F to 90F.
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Old April 25, 2017   #20
NewWestGardener
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You may already know about this guy, the fruit tree expert. I bought his books and follow his blog which is informative and readable. See if you are interested in this:

http://www.leereich.com/

Quote:
Originally Posted by oakley View Post
Great job. Thanks for sharing.
Fun to see and read the process getting it worked out for the future.

I pass through Saugerties on my way to my farm. Saugerties hosts a big garlic
festival every year. So it grows easily. It was an early dream of mine to grow garlic,
asparagus, rhubarb, grapes and some fruit trees. All do well for me. (except fruit is
averaging every third year due to late frost)
I would have needed to win the lottery to afford to do it back then.
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Old April 25, 2017   #21
PureHarvest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henry View Post
How hot does the soil temperature get to under the cover? Most garlic varieties will halt bulb growth and development when soil temperatures reach 80F to 90F.
That's a good question. I figure the crop will be out by the time it gets bad here.
There is an established farm 20 miles west of me that grows a half acre on black plastic that is turning out good yields. And unlike plastic, my fabric is porous an breathes, plus the edges aren't sucked down tight to the soil.
There is also a guy in ohio that has a nice website that has grown garlic for years and all of his is now on black plastic (he hates weeding and straw too).

MFS, yes both varieties are hardneck.
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Old April 26, 2017   #22
svalli
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You are doing some impressive work! I have been growing my onions with black plastic for many years and when I got started growing garlic, I have used the same method too. The plastic which I use can last many seasons, if I do not tear it, but the fabric seems like better choice. Here it is commonly used for strawberries and other perennial crops and it can last well over ten years. I like the idea of burning the holes, so that the fabric does not fray.
We have couple of old farming fields 100 miles from home, so I can get there only during weekends and do not want to spend the time weeding. The black plastic has proven to be a savior and I use it for most of the plants. This year I want to try it also with potatoes. Our summers are not really hot and even we have long daylight time, the sun shines at low angle that there is no risk of the soil getting too hot.

I do also have a plan to cover parts of the field with silage tarp to smother the weeds from the areas where I want to move my veggie plot in future.

The soil here is still frozen and my garlic is just sprouting, so I enjoy watching the photos of your garlic field in full growth. It will be interesting to find out which way you will find to work for the harvest. My beds are such that I can loosen the soil from both sides with a pitchfork before pulling the garlic. The plastic which I use, stretches and I can pull the garlic through the holes unless the clay soil is clinging on the roots as a big clumps. The holes get a bit bigger every year, but with care I have used same plastic now for three seasons.

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Old April 26, 2017   #23
PureHarvest
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Great info, thanks Sari!
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Old April 26, 2017   #24
bjbebs
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Looks like a good plan. I'm guessing your scapes will show in late May with harvest the end of June or so. Tail off on the water a couple weeks before you harvest.

You're right, if you take the tops off this will affect dry time and long term storage. But since this crop is going into next years seed it might not matter.

You have reduced the labor involved in planting, but the digging, curing and getting your crop ready to market can't be shortcuted. Keep the pictures coming. They look great.
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Old April 26, 2017   #25
PureHarvest
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Thanks BJB.
I was thinking end of June too.

I am very curious/anxious about the harvest/curing/storage part. I am fully anticipating this step as the only bottleneck to larger future production.
My plan is to hire some seasonal temp helpers and set up some stations that favor efficiency and work flow along with ergonomics so that nobody is hurting after trimming and sizing for a few hours at a time.
I plan on tying the tops into bunches of 10 bulbs and hanging them on wires in my pole barn which has two giant openings at opposite ends (no doors) for air flow.
I will keep updating here as we move through the next stages.
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Old May 1, 2017   #26
PureHarvest
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I fertigated (might be the last one now that we are in May) on Friday. In two days, it was noticeable and they clearly got bigger. The Romanian Red from jumbo seed bulbs are outstanding. The stems are like tree trunks.

May 1, 2017 Jumbo Romanian Red

garlic 5-1e.JPG

garlic 5-1a.jpg

garlic 5-1b.jpg

garlic 5-1d.JPG

garlic 5-1c.jpg

May 1, 2017 Music Large Seed Bulbs

garlic 5-1f.JPG

Last edited by PureHarvest; May 1, 2017 at 07:33 AM.
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Old May 1, 2017   #27
Randall
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Looking great!
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Old May 1, 2017   #28
Ricky Shaw
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Impossible to look more healthy than those plants. And this is your first year at large scale garlic? I bet everyone says you got the touch, and true, but few would understand the thought that goes into this stuff.
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Old May 1, 2017   #29
PureHarvest
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Thanks guys.
Yeah, its taken more years of failure than successes. The garlic has just come at a time where I had a good handle on things in general going into planting.
And then the many many hours reading up on garlic, soils, cover crops, fertilizers, and fertigation.
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Old May 1, 2017   #30
My Foot Smells
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your gonna need a backhoe to get all that into the barn on time. nice job. looking good.
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