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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #46
PureHarvest
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JR, I have two runs of drip tape down each bed.
I think I had to run it 3 times in April when we actually had a small window of 10-14 days of no significant rain. My soil is sandy, so plant available water goes quick.
We could get 2” of rain in an hour and you could not find one puddle on my land.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #47
bower
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Maybe water is affecting the size of garlic in my greenhouse too - since I normally never water what I planted outdoors (okay once or twice in really dry weather, I have watered.)



@biscuitridge, in a wetter climate or season, you can't always go by number of leaves. If there happens to be generous moisture toward the end of season, those leaves will stay green even when the bulbs are ready. I was advised to count the browned tips as well, and to reckon the overal brown vs green leaves looking towards 1/3 green remaining or as much as a half in wet weather. IMO your peeled bulb looks like the cloves are starting to separate from the stalk, and that would be a sign they are fully grown and are going too far and losing the storage wrappers you need. So if I were you, I wouldn't leave too much longer.. 2 cents.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #48
biscuitridge
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Thanks everyone so much for your help, looks like I'm not sure what to do, one says to harvest, and one says to wait,help! Lol.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #49
xellos99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitridge View Post
Thanks everyone so much for your help, looks like I'm not sure what to do, one says to harvest, and one says to wait,help! Lol.
I think a lot of people pull one up and make a judgement call when near half the leaves have died back. It is very hard to go just by the leaves.

I remember watching tons of videos and articles from experienced growers and even they were kinda lifting a couple to have a good look at the bulb.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #50
PureHarvest
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Biscuit, pull representative plant and look at the bulb.
Are you happy with the size?
Would you be disappointed if more than half your haul was only that size?
If you like what you see, harvest. Better to have more leaves intact and thus more wrappers on the bulb.
Pro-tip. When your plants are all pulled, take the bottom most leaf that isn’t all the way broken down and grab it close to the plant stalk. Pull down towards the bulb. The skin of that leaf will most likely split in two as you peel in down around the bulb. Sort of like when you peel a banana. The bulb will be completely clean because the leaf/wrapper you just pulled off took the dirt with it.
You can then hang the plants to dry and cure and all you’ll have left to do is trim roots and cut the top off. No dry layers to peel at and dirt to clean.
We did this on half our harvest and those bulbs were 100% clean going into the drying trailer. I’ll I have to do now is trim roots and tops. No hours upon hours of peeling dry wrappers off to get to a clean layer.
Look at the bottom 2 pics in post 27. If those weren’t field stripped like I described, they would be grey/brown because they would be coated with dry soil.
Hopefully next year we can harvest over two days so the crew has enough time to do this to all of the harvest.

Last edited by PureHarvest; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:35 PM.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #51
PureHarvest
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Harvested the Chesnock Red on Saturday. Excellent size on all. Very few smalls, and a smattering of some Jumbo and Colossal. About 1,500 total bulbs.
I'm realizing now that the main harvest we did the previous weekend on the Porcelains was just too early. Many medium and small bulbs.
I was so worried about the heavy rains we were getting plus the upcoming heavy rains that were forecasted that we harvested. I did sense that there was probably one or two green leaves too many still on, but, again, weather fears.
We did end up getting 2+" of rains a few days later, but I don't think it would have hurt anything, as my soil is excessively well-draining. Next year or in the future I would wait a week, even if rain was certain.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #52
bower
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It always seems to be a nailbiter as to when to harvest. If you leave them later, there's always a chance of some losses, but certainly a chance of some gains to make up for it!
Very glad to hear you got some large Chesnok.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #53
JRinPA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
Harvested the Chesnock Red on Saturday. Excellent size on all. Very few smalls, and a smattering of some Jumbo and Colossal. About 1,500 total bulbs.
I'm realizing now that the main harvest we did the previous weekend on the Porcelains was just too early. Many medium and small bulbs.
I was so worried about the heavy rains we were getting plus the upcoming heavy rains that were forecasted that we harvested. I did sense that there was probably one or two green leaves too many still on, but, again, weather fears.
We did end up getting 2+" of rains a few days later, but I don't think it would have hurt anything, as my soil is excessively well-draining. Next year or in the future I would wait a week, even if rain was certain.
I'm glad you are learning and sharing...just have to remember that each year is different.

When you got that 2"+ last week we got around 5" here. We are in this little slot of a valley, maybe call it a microclimate, and depending on the prevailing direction we can get all or nothing. Couple years ago it was nothing. Over, and over, and over, I had to water practically every night, even though I was getting chased off the lake by thunderstorms. I'd come home wet and have to water the gardens. This past 11 months it has been a whole lot of "all".
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #54
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I've had the most problems in wet weather. I just pulled my garlic crop this weekend and it was fine. Not fabulous, but much better than the few years I waited and the rains came in. This year the water has been relentless, so I felt better to be safe than chance it again. I've also slowly been switching over from hardnecks to elephant garlic. The milder taste is fine for me, and they seem to do better in my garden conditions here in SE PA.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #55
GoDawgs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
Pro-tip. When your plants are all pulled, take the bottom most leaf that isn’t all the way broken down and grab it close to the plant stalk. Pull down towards the bulb. The skin of that leaf will most likely split in two as you peel in down around the bulb. Sort of like when you peel a banana. The bulb will be completely clean because the leaf/wrapper you just pulled off took the dirt with it.
Thanks for that tip. Your harvest looks great! And I love the chicken wire racks for drying. Now, if I just had a place to put a couple.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #56
guruofgardens
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Sending a BIG thank you to PureHarvest for the pictures of the "lollipop" garlic. Most of this year's harvest was able to be tied and hung in a dry place. However, I have about 50+ elephant garlic that had to be spread in the shade to dry. The rains have not co-operated and the stalks started to rot. So, thanks to the distinct way of drying the garlic, here's hoping the elephant garlic will completely dry outside as 'lollipops".
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Old 3 Days Ago   #57
bower
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Looks like we're settling in for a wet July, I may be trimming at harvest too at this rate.


Incidentally, last year was the first time I stripped all my garlic to a clean wrapper at harvest time, instead of waiting to clean at least part way through the cure. This week the scapes are emerging on the porcelains, and I am just eating my last porcelain bulbs, a couple left, they are all still firm about a month from harvest time. They have kept perfectly well after being stripped down in the field, so no negative effect on keeping quality. I must admit my house has been cold most of the summer, with only a few sunny days pushing us over 70 F, so the keeping conditions have been optimal and I might have lost a few by now if the summer was normal. Anyway it is 11 months from harvest and they're good, and that is as good or better than any garlic I kept without the early strip down. Good news to me. As it is for sure easier to lose that bottom leaf and wrapper when they're moist and fresh from the ground.
The traditional way, of curing them before you clean, is probably a hedge against bruising them since they are very easy to damage when fresh. So kudos PH for scaling it up. It does take a bit of practice to get the technique. Main point, be prepared to sacrifice a green leaf and don't worry about the lost wrapper. It's the same one you would have removed later anyway. I have tried to get the wrapper from a leaf that was gone, and if it doesn't come easily, you have more chance of giving the bulb a ding trying to scrape it off, I think.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #58
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Incidentally I just pulled out my two untouched bags of Persian Star and Chesnok Red which are the longest keepers and were stripped and cured clean the same way, and they are 100% hard and good, so plenty for the next month.

All my garlic were kept at room temperature, about 64-68 degrees F.
And I found a couple of small Kostyn's Red Russian - there is a bad clove or two and the wrappers are loose, still a few firm cloves. I don't know others from Marbled Purple Stripe but perhaps they are not quite as good keepers compared to Porcelains.

Last edited by bower; 3 Days Ago at 06:40 PM. Reason: add
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Old 3 Days Ago   #59
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Leaves on some of mine were saying "almost ready" and on others "not quite there yet." So I started checking about two weeks ago. I was also worried because while I did get my Blood Meal application down in April, I never did follow up with my late May 10-10-10 application. I don't think the missed it.

First one I pulled looked good, but not big enough. Weather forecast was for dry, hot and sunny, so I left them.

Second one was pulled last weekend, and it also looked good and was larger than the first. Forecast was calling for hot and sunny through mid-day Thursday, then we were in for heavy rains through Friday.

Thursday morning I went out early before it got too hot and pulled them all regardless of what the leaves said. Most were a size I was very happy with, some were much larger, and just a few were smaller than I would have liked. Only one out of 108 had started to split and had a worm boring into one of the cloves, the rest looked perfect.

I was in the shed hanging the last few bundles when the thunder started and the downpours moved in. We didn't get as much rain as they said we would, but I've been doing this long enough to know better safe than sorry at this stage.

The last few years I've had great results with trimming leaves down to about 3" and trimming roots to about 1" before hanging to dry and cure. They take up less room, make less of a mess, dry faster than untrimmed, but not too fast, and get great airflow without all the long, floppy leaves in the way.



I hope everyone who has not yet pulled theirs has a great harvest!
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Old 3 Days Ago   #60
JRinPA
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I pulled mine a few days ago, before the rain. It was about the same as last year. I hoped for a little bigger or average, and there were more runts than I expected. But most look good. I did a little analysis as I cleaned and hung them. The average size was bigger toward the south end of the bed. They get more sun there. Also, the average bulb size was bigger on the ones I left the scape on. That was about 10% of the garlic, at random. I may not be breaking the scapes correctly, but it seems detrimental for me. The ones with intact scapes had nicer size and healthier stalks.
Another thing, the bulbils on this garlic are huge compared to the bulbils on the walking version. 6-12 nearly dime size bulbils instead of 30-50 1/4" ones.
Also I took pic of three sets of doublecloves along with the next garlic in line. Sometimes one of the doubles was bigger than the next single. The wrappers are fine, just flat spotted between them. I don't have a problem with planting them.

This bed had 18 staggered rows of 9 with some doubles, so about 165. Last year it was 108, so that was probably 12 rows of 9, but that also had three narrow rows of rounds and bulbils on the south end that did nothing except waste two rows worth of space. So, I had 18 rows in the same space as 14 rows last year. I may well plant wider this fall and focus on largest bulbs.

I still have two small beds at the comm garden spot that I need to pull this week. Hopefully those cloves will be bigger. With that rain we have been running some fans and dehumidifier downstairs so the garlic in my grow light area drying down nicely. That pic is after 96hrs of hanging.

Late April

Pulled July 10 due to possible rain the next day (turned out to be 6")
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