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Old June 4, 2020   #16
Whwoz
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GoDawgs, I would cut off the scapes and leave for a couple of weeks. The plants will shortly start to dry off and as they do, will fill out the bulbs. Ideally harvest with 4 to 6 green leaves left as this will give a good number of skins and a good storage time. You can always pull back the soil and check bulb size. If you have plenty lift one, cut it in half and see if skins are full, if so harvest, if not leave for a week or two.

That Grey Duck site is good.

You may want to have a look for a book called Garlic, written by Penny Woodward. It is very good and while it is Australian focused and times/seasons would need adjusting for your area, it is what I refer to all the time.
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Old June 6, 2020   #17
GoDawgs
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Thanks for the advice, Whwoz. I did go cut all the scapes off. Then I dug about four or five bulbs. Since it's the first time growing this variety I'm not sure how big they're supposed to get. The cloves on one of the bulbs seemed to be not real differentiated yet but definitely past the round stage. I'm going to wait two weeks and then dig them.
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Old June 6, 2020   #18
Whwoz
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Sounds good GoDawgs
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
KathyDC
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I'm enjoying my garden so much this year that I'm already thinking about how sad I'll be in fall. So on a whim I ordered some garlic to plant in fall (also from Keene Organics). I have absolutely zero experience with growing garlic, so lots to learn.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #20
Tracydr
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I think I’m going to get my fall garlic ordered. This year, I couldn’t find sweet potato slips or some of the seeds that I wanted so I guess I need to be really early.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
JRinPA
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Not that much to learn...garlic is about the easiest thing to grow, as long as you aren't fighting the variety to grow in an area it is not accustomed to or worried about maximizing size. For me, at least, taste is most important. Since I planted in November, I have lightly weeded a few times for just a few minutes each bed. And that is it, no watering, no fertilizing, nothing. I hid some extra broccoli in a couple garlic patches, so those have gotten a little watering incidentally.

Mine started scaping last week. They sure go fast when they start. I'm torn whether I should break them off. We never eat a whole lot of them. I SHOULD do half and half and keep them divided right up until eating, to see if unbroken plants last longer before sprouting or broken off scapes make bigger bulbs.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
KathyDC
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Can you run me through how it works for you? You plant in fall (I'm thinking maybe late October in the DC area, not far from you), mulch. Do they sprout a little right away and then go dormant when it gets cold? Or do they not sprout at all until spring?

If they do sprout in fall, do you water them? Or not until spring?

I have really no playbook for what to expect so appreciate your experiences. What do you grow in PA? I imagine it would be similar for me. I ordered Chesnok Red and Georgian Fire, mostly because I liked the descriptions.

Dawgs, also would appreciate your advice too, as now I've blabbed so much to my mom about it that she wants to try growing garlic too. She's in Houston, zone 9, so her growing experience may be different than mine.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
GoDawgs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyDC View Post
Dawgs, also would appreciate your advice too, as now I've blabbed so much to my mom about it that she wants to try growing garlic too. She's in Houston, zone 9, so her growing experience may be different than mine.
I would suggest your mom check out this site from Grey Duck:
http://greyduckgarlic.com/Southern-G...ers-Guide.html

That site also has a ton of information about varieties for specific areas and how to grow. There's another site that I used the first time doing garlic and I got good resultsl:
http://www.thegarlicstore.com/pages/How-to-Grow.html
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
KathyDC
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Thanks for this! She's on up in years so I don't think she's up to anything too involved, but I can pass on the advice about sticking the bulbs in the fridge first at least.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
Whwoz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRinPA View Post

Mine started scaping last week. They sure go fast when they start. I'm torn whether I should break them off. We never eat a whole lot of them. I SHOULD do half and half and keep them divided right up until eating, to see if unbroken plants last longer before sprouting or broken off scapes make bigger bulbs.
JR, formation of the scape affects in the bulb size in some groups, but not in others. You need to check out what group your garlic is in to see if you need to remove scapes.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
JRinPA
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I don't know the group. Some have said rocambole from pics. I originally thought purple stripe, because of the, well, purple stripes, but it really doesn't matter to me. Always try to buy local seed. This garlic is very local. House was built in '59, my parents bought it from the original owners, a Greek immigrant family (or so I always thought, since our name is Greek and only differs by two letters - that fact supposedly drove the postmaster nuts with mail forwarding). They had all kinds of mediterranean stuff growing. A stipulation of the sale was that their family could dig out and take their plants/trees with them. The pear tree and plum tree stayed, along with some of their garlic. It has been walking here ever since, adapting to this climate. A few years back I started growing it proper-like, but there are still walkers and some backup spots that don't get harvested.

Most of what I know about garlic, I learned here on tville from reading TomNJ, Durgan, and others, and from this site: http://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com/...he-garlic.html
(there are some broken links there that you have to patch up manually, but just look at the format of the link and you can figure it out.)

I just do a raised bed with compost, mostly yard waste compost, some kitchen, about 4-5" high. Around the first week of November I try to get the garlic in. I don't want it to sprout before winter sets in. I take seed from the healthiest, biggest bulbs, and then take the biggest, undamaged cloves from the bulb. Might only be 2 or 3 cloves that make the cut, per bulb. The remaining cloves get used next in the kitchen. When I get the number I want for a bed, I soak the cloves for a few hours in water with baking soda before planting. The skin will slip off. Floaters, or any damaged or discolored clove is discarded. Next, the cloves go into isopropyl alcohol for a few minutes, then rinse and into the ground, about 4" deep. Basically back down to touching ground level with the bottom. Cover with 2" of wood chips. That puts a full 6" of insulation over them, but they can't get flooded out since they are still above grade. Wait until they come up in mid-end February. Pretty, green through the snow. Well, not this year. No snow. Weed once or twice in May/June. Wait until they start to scape, last week. Break off scapes, spread them around. Thank you, I'd love some! These smell wonderful! Harvest before a big heavy rain, sometime at the end of June or early July. Growing doesn't get much easier. I just loosen/pull them, dry brush off, and hang them for a couple weeks in the basement for curing. At some point I trim them a bit shorter, but so far, I've just let them hang all winter in the basement, taking a half dozen bulbs upstairs at a time. I must have grown well over 200 last year. We use a lot - a whole lot more than when we were buying garlic at the store. It taste so much better. I didn't box up the "leftovers" - 99 bulbs trimmed short- until I turned on my grow light in April. By then, some are already starting to sprout, but we'll still be using them into canning season, before using this year's, so I put them inside a box so they don't see any light. I should probably do that sooner to try to head off the sprouting, but they'll still sprout to some extent.

This season I took it a step further and gave the 5x9 3rd year garlic bed in the backyard a nice piece of heavy black plastic mulch weed barrier. I burned beautifully precise holes and planted 4" deep, and then put the wood chips on top. Yippee. But my other garlic beds did not get the plastic treatment, and look fine too. Just not as perfectly spaced and some light weeds.

Garlic might be smallish this year since it is so dry; time will tell. I have 105 in the backyard box, probably another 100 at the comm garden in two beds, and another 50 or so spring planted as edging/companion planting for a couple beds. In May they popped up in about 3 days from 3", I admit I get a kick out of that. This is the latest I have planted any. A March planting is a little later harvest than November, and smaller, but still well formed and good tasting. I'm wondering what these May planted cloves will do.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
Whwoz
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JR do the scapes do a full circle before they start to straighten? If so, I would agree with the Rocambole grouping and that is one group that does benefit from having the scapes removed. Sounds like they are doing well for you and there are some points that you mention that I had not considered but I may use myself. Thanks for them and that link, useful.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #28
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Half the reason I grow garlic is for the scapes, so I snap them all off once they've made at least a full circle and have started on their second.

I do the same pre-planting soaks as described above except I go straight from the alcohol to the ground without rinsing. I also only plant them so they are 1" below the surface and wait until the ground has started to freeze before mulching heavily with shredded leaves. You want to plant them early enough that they set down some roots before winter, but not so early that they have time to sprout. I used to plant in mid-October, but now wait until the last weekend in October which is just about right for my area. In the spring I've started doing a blood meal application after thinning down the mulch layer and have seen more vigorous growth and larger heads come harvest time, but that that's all they get from me!

And I fully agree that locally grown seed stock is the best if you can find some. I ordered some from the west coast a few times from different sources and they all failed miserably. Some I ordered from a more southern state also failed here. My current varieties were all purchased from MA and upstate NY farmers and they've settled in quite nicely.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #29
JRinPA
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Good catch, I must not rinse either, honestly. It is cold out, then. I'll only have a cut gallon milk jug with the cloves plus a tbsp of baking soda, and a pint container half-filled with alcohol to wash them. So I really don't have a place to rinse them. I can picture the motion, but it must be just swishing them in the alcohol one last time. I know for sure that some are in the alcohol for five minutes while some are only a couple minutes, because I peel and evaluate them and throw them right in. First peeled for that row gets the longest soak.

A couple things I noticed last year, leaving some scapes on, was the huge bulbils on the tended garlic. A dozen dime size, some even penny, instead of fifty or sixty BB or quarter inch bulbils in the walking stuff/closely spaced stuff. Also, quite a bit of variability in the scape formation. Seemed like those were two of the classification/grouping keys. So I kind of wrote that off, worrying about how to group them.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #30
Whwoz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRinPA View Post

A couple things I noticed last year, leaving some scapes on, was the huge bulbils on the tended garlic. A dozen dime size, some even penny, instead of fifty or sixty BB or quarter inch bulbils in the walking stuff/closely spaced stuff. Also, quite a bit of variability in the scape formation. Seemed like those were two of the classification/grouping keys. So I kind of wrote that off, worrying about how to group them.
Low numbers of large bulbils is typical of Rocambole garlic also from what I understand. Apparently Rocamboles can loop anywhere from a single loop to a triple loop under good conditions. From what I have heard/read about imports of garlic into Oz, the groups may not be clear cut either, with some attributes changing on some cultivars and placing them into a different group under different climatic conditions. Where they fit best under your conditions is important for assessing growth parameters, if you need to remove scapes (some groups give markedly smaller bulbs with scape on, others are not affected) etc.
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