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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #61
JRinPA
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I pulled the other garlic from the comm garden a few days back. The bulbs from these two little beds are bigger and more what I was expecting from the main bed. Most are 2-1/4", some 2-1/2" with a few up to 2-3/4" and not many under 2". Only one scape was unharvested; it has only 5 penny sized bulbils and a 2-1/4" bulb. This is the same clove source and same planting time. Spacing was about the same. The three differences I note are:
-nearly full sun, more air
-rain gutter not draining above it
-was planted more in ground, maybe 2-3" under ground level, with 1-2" of compost over that rather than 4" deep in the raised bed but still above grade.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #62
Shrinkrap
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Nice!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #63
bower
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JR of all the factors you cited I would put the amount of direct sun at the top as likely cause of size differences. I am in the trees here and find it hard to rotate my garlic into equally sunny spots - they just aren't. And in the years I've been growing here, it's consistently the case that more sun produces bigger bulbs.
In planting depth I have seen the opposite at the farm - that the shallower planted bulbs were smaller. Not sure if there were soil differences as well in that row, but wherever the cloves were planted deeper (about 4 inches deep) they produced the biggest bulbs.


If Henry was around I bet he could tell you what kind of garlic that is. MeganP might know. It could be a rocambole but iirc the creoles also have fewer and larger bulbils like that. And turbans too?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #64
PureHarvest
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Great pics and info everyone.
Now that a few weeks have passed, I must mention some updates:
As a whole, the chesnock ended up sizing up the best across the board. It is so wonderfully purple that I am going to plant a lot of it this year. People shop with their eyes and purple bulbs next to white ones (German xtra hardy) is no contest. Plus they seemed to clean much easier.
The bulbs we field stripped that were clean going into trailer developed mold after about 3 weeks. And others that I cleaned dirt off of started molding too. Anything that still had a dry dirt film had none, even through today.
Lesson: in my climate, clean bulbs after a couple weeks need to go immediately into my walk-in cooler.
Dropping German Extra hardy. No color on bulb and seems redundant when I’m already growing two other porcelains.
Lastly, a significant percentage of my overall harvest is just too small. 1 and 5/8” is my low end for what I call a medium bulb that I sell to produce stands. At least a couple thousand are below this.
Next year I will wait to see more brown leaves regardless of weather or forecast.
My dad planted some cloves I gave him and waited on purpose to let all the leaves go yellow/brown. Still had plenty of clove wrappers and no cloves busting open. I think the leaves really have to be dead brown for that wrapper to be shot.
I won’t push it that far, but will go at least one leaf farther than I did last year.
We have sold aver 2,000 bulbs so far and all my prime bulbs are in the cooler for this fall’s seed.
I have retail boxes in 6 locations and a csa that ships 700 boxes took 700 a couple weeks ago.
20B035E3-FCFC-4243-B8FF-013814394CC6.jpg
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #65
bower
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Thanks for the update PH - your Chesnoks are beautiful!
Wouldn't you know it there's a reason for dirt?! Very glad that you let us know about that. I was going to recommend the stripped approach to my friend, but since she dries hers in the farm shed and can be humid (and sometimes cool too) it would be awful to do anything to favor mold.
Now that you mentioned it, the bulbs feel damp on the surface after you strip them, and they stay damp to touch for some time during the cure because those internal wrappers are not at all dried down. I've not had any problems with mold, as you'd expect for drying indoors. But there have been some mold issues in a damp year at the farm, so anything that increased the risk would be a bad move!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #66
PhilaGardener
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This year, I had a little problem with mold on mine about a week or so after harvesting but I also was a bit careless about low air movement. Quickly fixed!


Those are beautiful heads, PureHarvest
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #67
bjbebs
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Everyone's garlic looks great. Big, small or otherwise if it tastes good and stores well thats what were after. Lifted the tarp on my home garlic for a couple pics. Close to 300 bulbs were dug about about a week ago. Dried outside on a wire rack with fairly good air movement. These will be cleaned up in 8-10 days and go inside a cool basement room to cure.

I spent the last three days harvesting my market garlic. Quite the job in 90 plus degree heat for a one man crew. If it weren't for a modified ripper on a tractor I couldn't do it myself. It looks as though 500 lbs. will go to the two venders I sell to, plus next years seed. This is also dried slowly outside on the north side of a machine shed. It takes 6 or 7 weeks to get the garlic crated and sold. One trip to the big city and I'm done. The buyers appreciate garlic that tastes good and stores for many months. They sell to select restaurants but also keep large amounts for personel use.

PH, I understand why you opt for a quick dry and cure. I'm too old school to change my ways. 30 plus years of growing this unknown hardneck tells me long term storage can't be achieved by getting in a hurry.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #68
bower
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The old school layout is a thing of beauty. They are drying down really nicely too, and you have some great bulbs there! And words of experience, worth remembering.

I'm thinking it's about two weeks to dry down the greens, then trim and 4-5 weeks to cure? Mine probably take a bit longer than that, when I'm doing it all in the basement.
I have a porch that can be warm at harvest time, and I did hang some garlic to dry there one year - the tops dried much faster. Maybe it's okay (or even better?) to have a warm dry down and then a cool cure? We don't have an optimal climate, tending to be cooler and wetter by the time our garlic is done, but it's good to know what to aim for.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #69
meganp
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Hello Bower, been lurking recently, it’s been an unseasonably mild and wet winter this year so i’ve only just started planting in the last few weeks - a good month later than previous years. Am super envious seeing all your bountiful harvests. JR, I agree with you regarding reasons for the size difference in the planting locations - the white spathe and few large bulbils would fit into the rocambole group that dislike wet feet so the better sun would definitely have encouraged larger bulbs.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #70
meganp
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Regarding bulbil sizes, this is a great post about the different bulbil sizes of the various varietal groups. The only one missing are Asiatics that have few large bulbils like rocamboles https://www.facebook.com/TasGarlic/p...525523085717:0
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #71
Whwoz
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I have mentioned Tasmanian Gourmet Garlic on here before, either in my own thread or the Tasmania holiday thread that I put up. We dropped in to see Letita Ware, owner of TGG while there, very knowledgeable person, currently head of the AGIA. They main reason why there would be no Asiatics listed is that there are very few, if any, in Australia, and to the best of my knowledge, only 1 Rocambole. Makes it hard to determine how they behave locally, as some do change there characteristics under our condition compared to where they were sourced from.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #72
JRinPA
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Last year was the first true corral of this garlic, but I kept no scapes. This year I kept about 10% in the main patch and one at the comm garden, but the bulbils are big and few, 6-12 each. But I still have some walking and those bulbils are their typical small bulbils. I figure 30-50 in each?

I just went around the house (I hugged the wall shade for safety lol) and took pics of that patch planted from bulbils 3 yrs back. They are like their usual small size. I broke those last 3 off and counted 99 bulbils between them. Same garlic, just different conditions, and I would imagine those bulbs are fairly small. Lots of weed competition and only afternoon sun, and right in the dirt. Previous to this last couple years, it would be another couple weeks (tomato sauce time) until we dug any up and used it for sauce. It would be in denser patches than that pictured, and halfway falling over. Taste wonderful compared to store garlic though, that was, and is, the important part!


These bulbils smell great...I may have roast them. A little oil and lay a pan on the truck dashboard?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #73
JRinPA
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I figured I better go ahead and dig them up to check size. Biggest a little under 1.5". The small crooked guy is under an inch. That is typical for the walking stuff. I was not surprised the clove size would increase dramatically when corralled into beds, but the increase in bulbil size/decrease in number is a neat surprise. Almost like they are comfortable and complacent with all that room ( 1/6th sq ft) to themselves, and don't feel pressure to clone themselves in the form of bulbils.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #74
svalli
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Even the spring and summer have been a roller coaster temperature-wise and it has been quite dry, all of the hardneck garlic grew quite well. I have now lifted most of them to dry in garage. This year there were only few onion fly maggots in the stems and only few misshapen or rotted ones. If everything goes well with drying and curing, we will have plenty to eat and share.

Sari
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #75
bower
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Excellent crop!
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