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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
bower
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Default greenhouse garlic rounds looking ready for spring planting

Planted some bulbils in pots in the greenhouse late fall/winter and they were up in February and now are looking close or ready to harvest. They flopped over awhile ago (which I thought might be the environment not the timing - is a usual sign they are ready). Now I see the lower leaf starting to yellow on several of the varieties so pretty sure they are about done.
Just for reference, the same varieties of bulbils planted outdoors are barely up or not yet through the ground. The main crop from cloves is doing well for the time of year but bulbils are always later. We normally harvest garlic here the first week of August or later.

So I am wondering, if I pull these greenhouse rounds so early, can I set them to grow again this summer outdoors? I think they're wanting to go dormant, so I would have to dry them a bit as usual... I'm wondering what kind of treatment if any they would need, to sprout and grow again pronto. Chilling too perhaps? Is there a minimum time that they need to be dormant before planting again? Or could I just give them a haircut and transplant outdoors where the growing season is just beginning?
I really don't mind if they divide or just make bigger rounds, but it seems a shame to put them into storage for the whole summer ahead.

TIA for your thoughts/advice.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
svalli
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I was going to try to fool nature last year and started bulbils indoors in January and was going to refrigerate them for a month and then replant out during summer. But my experiment was not really successful, since the bulbils did not really grow bigger indoors even the they were growing green tops.

If yours are still growing, it may take so long time for them to be cured and rested for next season that it is already too late to plant for this summer. If those are planted to pots, I would move the pots outdoors and plant them in ground in the pot. That is how I have done for the bulbils, which I planted in end of February and kept in cool garage until ready to move to unheated greenhouse. When the soil in the raised beds had thawed I buried the pots in the soil. This way the bulbils are easy to lift and keep varieties separate. I can let the tops totally die and then dig up the pots and find the rounds in them. Depending on the size of the bulbils, I have planted multiple of them in same pot. Digging the pots into the garden keeps them better at proper moisture and temperature and the roots can also grow to the garden soil through the holes in the pot.

If the tops are still green, but floppy, I would not cut them before planting outdoors, since those green leaves are still photosynthesizing and letting the round grow bigger.

In any means I am not an expert in this area, so this is just pure speculation based on my limited experience with the matter.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
bower
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Thanks so much Svalli! You really are as much of an expert as anyone, since you've tried so many ways of growing garlic.

I decided to dig down around one or two of them just to see how they are sizing up - and I think they are not at all finished, although the tops are large. So your advice is the best, this is what I will do, to put them outdoors still in their pots and let them continue as long as they can.

I'd like to find a place - or set one up - that's sheltered and sunny, where they won't be too shocked by the extremes especially wind we've been having not to mention frost. The leeks and other alliums both large and small that were in the greenhouse or indoors (seedlings) have suffered a lot of leaf damage on being put outside.

At least this time I'll wait until after Wednesday, 50 mm rain and 100 km northerly wind, talk about a bad day to leave the greenhouse.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
bower
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I read, btw, that garlic is sensitive to day length and only bulbs up after there's 14 hours of light per day. This would make sense to me, that they were growing tops but not bulbing in those early months - we only got to 14 hours on April 22.
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