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Old June 10, 2019   #16
xellos99
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I have to say I love that smell of garlic just harvested. One year my son and DIL were coming to visit just at the right time, I hung the garlic in the front porch so they would be greeted by that lovely aroma! The best garlic smell ever I've smelled is Spanish Roja at harvest time. Good heavens! Some folks were walking down the lane as I dug the SR's at the farm one fine summer day, and they stopped to ask what is that wonderful smell! And that is walking along maybe 80 ft away from me in an open field. Fantastically smelly.... you must try some for the neighbors ..
Unable to find it for sale here.

But I do have my eye on two hardnecks that may work ok in the UK.

Carcassonne Wight which the farmers on the Isle of wight say is the best hardneck for our climate.

And the other is Doocot which I know is grown in Scotland on a commercial farm so must do ok I guess.

Tempted to try elephant garlic also but only a few.
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Old June 10, 2019   #17
bower
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The Carcassonne sounds delish. I didn't see what type/family of garlic it belongs to. The Doocot is a porcelain, and you won't be disappointed with that! Biggest cloves, good keepers, the porcelains are our main crop and so far, the favorite all purpose garlics (why am I too lazy to peel little cloves?). Only drawback, they have fewer cloves so you have to grow more bulbs to have enough to plant again.
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Old June 10, 2019   #18
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After a while you find varieties that grow the largest heads, and learn how long each will hold in storage.

While I'll keep regrowing my German White from my first year of growing garlic in 2012, the "non-variety" Continental produces the largest heads and is the longest storing of all I have grown.

Music also produces large heads, but it doesn't store as long as Continental.

Last year I added Turkish Red and Zemo -- two incredibly hot, but very favorable varieties that don't store as well, so I used them first.

The years I grew Russian Red and Spanish Roja, I was overloaded with "twins" -- the double cloves mentioned above that would grow two heads in one planting hole.
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Old June 11, 2019   #19
bower
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You're right, Spanish Roja is prone to the doubles - I've read this is a problem with most rocamboles. I try to choose my cloves carefully, after growing doubles a few times. I've seen doubles in the artichoke variety New York White as well. Sari's planting advice, of medium sized cloves from the best bulbs, is the best.
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Old June 11, 2019   #20
xellos99
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So when you replant year after year, does the size and quality go lower over time.

I seen a youtube video where someone had replanted solent wight for 15 years and he also grew solent wight that he had bought again as seed.

The difference was remarkable, the ones he had replanted for 15 years had turned into a much smaller plant with considerably smaller bulbs.

They said they get better every year but I can only imagine they meant the taste or disease resistance maybe.
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Old June 11, 2019   #21
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Even when you choose a medium sized clove to plant, it should be from your best and biggest bulbs. Otherwise there is a risk of growing smaller bulbs. If you plant from small bulbs, you'll get small bulbs, and I guess if you repeat that over time they would get smaller and smaller.
Since I started growing (only six years I think) we have had some cool cloudy not sunny seasons when my garlic didn't size up as big as in a sunny year. But that doesn't stop them from doing better the following year if conditions are better. Another reason for smaller bulbs is if they aren't in a fully sunny spot. I learned that the hard way, because I'm surrounded by trees and not enough fully sunny places. And another possible reason for smaller bulbs is of course, inadequate ferts and soil conditions. Or diseases like the rust which weakens the plant.
Depending on your location I suppose the garlic could get smaller and smaller as you described, if the garlic never really gets what it wants in terms of sunshine, soil conditions, freedom from disease.
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Old June 17, 2019   #22
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I often find the biggest cloves turn out to be a double with a hairline split. Trying to separate them might damage them, but they are peeled by then so I either plant them double or use them for next cooking use. I guess if you plant them unpeeled you would never know. I have been soaking, then peeling, washing, planting.



Regarding storing garlic, how long is considered good? Until the next harvest? Mine usually starts showing a some green tips by...mid-April? But I still use them. I just slice off the top 1/4", still tastes fine. I end up using last season's garlic for canning this season's vegetables. Maybe I'm just growing too many, but spring comes and they know it.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
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Default Replanting cloves next year

Once they start showing green tips, I split them in half the long way, pull the green shoot out of each half, and use the remaining white part as I normally would. I moved my remaining stock from last summer to the fridge (in a mesh bag) about a month ago to see if it would slow sprouting/drying out and it seems to be working.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
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Some varieties store longer than others - but storage conditions can cause them to sprout too - cold temperature for example, is supposed to be the trigger for garlic to sprout, so I store mine at room temperature. Putting them in the fridge after they start to sprout is a good idea though, it will certainly keep them longer.
My Porcelains harvested in early-mid august last season are still firm and perfect. So are the Persian Star and Chesnok. Spanish Roja is long gone, they only keep maybe 5 months in my conditions, then they start to shrivel up rather than sprout. They don't have the tight wrappers that keep the others juicy all winter.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
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Default Garlic Storage time

JRinPA, The attached is a chart regarding planting, harvest and storage times for my local area. Mainly posted it here for the length of time each of the different groups will hold in storage for under our conditions. Consider it a starting guide if you want, different varieties and local conditions will influence to some extent. A number of these charts have been prepared by the Australian Garlic Industry Association, which is headed up by the person who runs Tasmanian Gourmet Garlic
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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I've been growing garlic for > 10 years, and I beat myself up every year over which heads to use for cooking, and which to save for next year.

My brain says, 'See those perfect and huge heads? You can't eat those! Put them aside, they go back in the ground in a few months. See those average and smaller heads? There, those are the ones you can use.' I end up dejectedly trying to peel a bunch of teeny cloves, while staring lovingly at the perfect specimens and telling myself to stop staring at them.

In effect, I'm punishing myself for growing large heads.

Reminds me of the living room furniture 50+ years ago at my parents' place. Brand new meticulously placed furniture that I wasn't allowed to sit upon, as "The living room is for COMPANY!" One chair had the plastic on it for years, perhaps my mom was saving that one for special, like if Frank Sinatra or the Pope should stop by. (I don't think I'm kidding!)
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Identifying garlic is done mostly by consensus. Many are like trying to identify the difference between twins.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
xellos99
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Originally Posted by Soilsniffer View Post
I've been growing garlic for > 10 years, and I beat myself up every year over which heads to use for cooking, and which to save for next year.

My brain says, 'See those perfect and huge heads? You can't eat those! Put them aside, they go back in the ground in a few months. See those average and smaller heads? There, those are the ones you can use.' I end up dejectedly trying to peel a bunch of teeny cloves, while staring lovingly at the perfect specimens and telling myself to stop staring at them.

In effect, I'm punishing myself for growing large heads.

Reminds me of the living room furniture 50+ years ago at my parents' place. Brand new meticulously placed furniture that I wasn't allowed to sit upon, as "The living room is for COMPANY!" One chair had the plastic on it for years, perhaps my mom was saving that one for special, like if Frank Sinatra or the Pope should stop by. (I don't think I'm kidding!)
I have gone a bit like that now also, I started out just wanting nice garlic to eat but now im more concerned about acclimatizing the variety to my region and using the best specimens and selecting the ones that did not make scapes ( they were softneck but half or more of them made scapes in a dry hot spell )
So im looking for the best bulbs of the non scapers type of thing.
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