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Old April 20, 2019   #1
GoDawgs
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Default Garlic Problem... Again

The garlic is starting to shoot those real thin wispy leaves again, this time earlier than last year. I pulled one yesterday and it was just a 1" wide round. For the past two years the garlic has been ready about the first week in May. I don't think so this year. It just may be a whole crop of rounds?





Last night I went back to my post about this situation last spring, read all the responses again and I want to thank Sari for the input on vernalization! Then I spent the next three hours searching online and found that insufficient vernalization and/or the breaking of it is quite possibly the problem, or at least a big contributor. We have had some real temperature swings.

During the search I found a wonderful site on growing garlic by Grey Duck Garlic, located in Washington. They no longer grow garlic at their farm but they decided to leave up their garlic information pages in case anyone needed them. And they have a whole page devoted to growing garlic here in the South. Boy, that was sooo handy! I think the refrigerator technique for vernalizing garlic pre-plant will be my next step come fall. And I might switch up varieties if this crop fails or at least add a few new varieties if this crop makes it.

Here's their web link:
http://greyduckgarlic.com/Southern_G...wer_Guide.html

If anyone has any other ideas about the cause of this problem, feel free to shout out! I'm all ears.
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Old April 20, 2019   #2
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Side shooting is what we call that down under and it is apparently due to changeable weather conditions. Some varieties are more prone to it than others. Last year about 50% of my Monaro Purple sideshot , not being sure what to do I left them grow until they started to dry off and each sideshot clove was about the size of my top thumb joint, much larger than normal for that variety.

You can either pull them now, leave as I did but you need really good airflow to cure the globe or look at changing the variety that you grow.
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Old April 20, 2019   #3
TomNJ
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Can you post a link to your thread from last year. I had this issue rather severely last year and a lot of rounds.
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Old April 21, 2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomNJ View Post
Can you post a link to your thread from last year. I had this issue rather severely last year and a lot of rounds.
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...ghlight=garlic

I think I'll be looking at some artichoke types for fall. I'm trying to stay away from varieties that have a lot of little cloves in the middle. They're a pain to cook with.

Last edited by GoDawgs; April 21, 2019 at 06:24 AM.
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Old April 22, 2019   #5
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That's a pity.
I think there's more than one thing going on. Monobulbs should basically be about cold treatment, but the many shoots certainly shouldn't be related to that. Also your garlic seems, at least some of them, quite thick, which usually means those are not monobulbs.
You should definitely try a few more varieties next year. Also watch the fertilization. Onion and garlic (especially onion) both can start abnormal growth if suddenly overfertilized.
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Old April 22, 2019   #6
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Thanks for that, Zipcode! The one sample I pulled had the thickest stem I could find. It showed no exterior sign of starting to divide but when I cut a cross section, you could see division into cloves had started inside.

Question: if I end up with rounds, can I treat them like giant cloves and replant them this fall? I still intend to find two new varieties but would like to maintain the ones I have if possible.
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Old April 22, 2019   #7
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You can certainly replant a round if it is healthy. A large round should produce a really big divided bulb next season.
Gardeneer also had a thread about this problem last year, which led me to believe it only happens with Turbans and that it didn't affect the crop. So I am curious Tom, to hear that you had this problem too! What variety was affected?


Here is the other thread about this:
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=47380

Last edited by bower; April 22, 2019 at 07:34 AM. Reason: add the link
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Old April 22, 2019   #8
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I had the "wispy leaves" (aka "whiskbrooming") rather severely last year with lots of rounds and half the normal scapes. Based on my research this may be due to excess nitrogen. While garlic likes nitrogen to develop lush greens, it only needs about 150 lbs elemental N/acre. My notes indicate I went way overboard last year and applied 550 lbs elemental N/acre. Likewise your post from last year where you added three applications of 10-10-10 at 8 oz/18' row calculates to 360 lbs elemental N/acre (assuming you applied in a one foot width down the rows).

The excess nitrogen issue may be aggravated by the use of inorganic fertilizer which is available quickly. I use only organic fertilizer (Harmony and blood meal) for slower release. This year I am cutting my nitrogen application in half - we'll see if that helps. Also, stop all fertilizing eight weeks before harvest is expected to start.

TomNJ

Last edited by TomNJ; April 22, 2019 at 03:24 PM.
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Old April 22, 2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
Question: if I end up with rounds, can I treat them like giant cloves and replant them this fall? I still intend to find two new varieties but would like to maintain the ones I have if possible.
If the monobulb is big I'd rather eat it. Also those tend to produce more than on plant which I would say is not that great.
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Old April 23, 2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomNJ View Post
I had the "wispy leaves" (aka "whiskbrooming") rather severely last year with lots of rounds and half the normal scapes. Based on my research this may be due to excess nitrogen. While garlic likes nitrogen to develop lush greens, it only needs about 150 lbs elemental N/acre. My notes indicate I went way overboard last year and applied 550 lbs elemental N/acre. Likewise your post from last year where you added three applications of 10-10-10 at 8 oz/18' row calculates to 360 lbs elemental N/acre (assuming you applied in a one foot width down the rows)...
Thanks for that info, Ted. It's something else to take into consideration. Time to tinker with that.

After chasing down garlic sources online I also got to thinking that it will be hard to get garlic early enough to do the 8 or so weeks of vernalization and plant when I usually do (mid October) when most sources don't ship until mid-late September.
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Old April 23, 2019   #11
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A few observations from growing the same unknown variety for about 35 years. My seed goes into rich soils with years of manure, leaves, cover crops and wood chips added. Plant and forget - no water, no food, no soil disturbance.

Garlic needs to acclimate itself to its location. This could take years or never happen for some varieties. It is a very forgiving crop and will produce well even under adverse conditions.

I will pull 300-500 lbs a year depending on how much is planted. I tend to over simplify things but in the case of garlic it's just that.
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Old April 24, 2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
After chasing down garlic sources online I also got to thinking that it will be hard to get garlic early enough to do the 8 or so weeks of vernalization and plant when I usually do (mid October) when most sources don't ship until mid-late September.
How are your winters? Does the ground freeze at all? The Garlic Farm in UK recommends planting some varieties there in February, so you could try planting much later than you have done now.
Many times I have got seed stock so late that I could not plant anymore in the fall. I have then put those to refrigerator in beginning of January and planted to pots in beginning of March and transplanted to ground as soon the ground can be worked in May.

Formation of bulb is affected also by the changes in the day length. I wonder how the day length affects the growth, if your winters are so mild that the garlic can have top growth already during fall and winter.

You could experiment by keeping the garlic in refrigerator or cool storage and plant it in January of February. This way you could possibly grow even the hardier varieties, which need the really cold winters.

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Old April 26, 2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
Thanks for that info, Ted. It's something else to take into consideration. Time to tinker with that.

After chasing down garlic sources online I also got to thinking that it will be hard to get garlic early enough to do the 8 or so weeks of vernalization and plant when I usually do (mid October) when most sources don't ship until mid-late September.
I can send you some any time after June!
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Old April 26, 2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svalli View Post
How are your winters? Does the ground freeze at all? The Garlic Farm in UK recommends planting some varieties there in February, so you could try planting much later than you have done now.

Sari
The ground does not freeze here. Our daily high temps Dec through February are 58F (14C) and average lows are 36F (2C). The problem with planting late is the heat which really starts in June. Over the past ten years, June highs have averaged 91F (33C) with lows averaging 69F (21C). Those temps will last through August.

This is where the current garlic was on Oct 27, having been planted Sep 27:



Our University recommends planting in the fall here. I do have 8 garlic plants (4 each of 2 varieties) that I planted March 5th just to see how late planting does. They were not pre-chilled. They look good right now but I'll see what happens when the 90 's hit!
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Old April 26, 2019   #15
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If the ground does not freeze you could plant chilled cloves in November or December and then those could be ready to harvest just before the hot weather starts.
Or is there a reason that you have to plant in mid October?
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