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Old May 29, 2018   #16
bjbebs
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PH, I use a very old 2 shank sub soil cultivator. I modified it for an offset 14" shank. I drive down both sides of the beds with the shank buried in low gear. Pops out 2 rows per pass. Not much shovel work needed. My garlic is spaced close, about 6" both ways.

After a cool March and cold April the garlic has rebounded. Amazing what 30 days of above normal temps will do. Scapes just showed yesterday, a few days ahead of schedule.

On the subject of dry down, slow works best for me. Tops stay on, layed flat on wire racks and covered outdoors with no mechanical air. July is humid here too but have never had issues.

The beautiful thing about the garlic market is that nothing changes. Prepare beds, plant, harvest, dry, cure and clean. The consistency of the finished product makes this crop stand out.
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Old May 30, 2018   #17
PureHarvest
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Bjb, thank you for the input!
How long do you lay it on the racks before you trim tops and roots?
And then where do the go?
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Old May 30, 2018   #18
bjbebs
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Dry down takes about 3 weeks or so, clean up another few days. The finished bulbs go into heavy perforated plastic crates and into a cool basement area.

My garlic patch is about 40 minutes from home. We got a good inch of rain overnight. If we're lucky, one more good rain in a couple weeks will do it. From mid July to Aug. I'm preparing beds and cover cropping. This years area will get planted again in 3 years.
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Old May 30, 2018   #19
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Here's how things are looking as of last night (5/29/18)

5-29-18 a.jpg

5-29-18 b.jpg

5-29-18 c.jpg

5-29-18 d.jpg

5-29-18 e.JPG
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Old May 30, 2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipcode View Post
I've seen in some video in France, they leave the tops on when drying , and I think that's the recommended way.

Ah, here it is, great looking garlic (we have it here, one variety is Edenrose but I never tried it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VmLNPkqo64
Very interesting to note that the plants still look mostly green throughout. I would have thought they would have waited to see more brown/yellow leaves.
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Old May 30, 2018   #21
bower
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IMO the hardest part of growing garlic is waiting for harvest when you get to this point in the year. Is the rule of thumb, three weeks after scapes? I have to look it up every year, itching to pull em.
PH, in our climate here which often turns wetter in August after a dry July, I found that my leaves were not drying down on schedule. I had dry tips but not dry leaves. An experienced grower here who is in a similar if not wetter environment next to a pond, advised me to count the dry tips as dry leaves for harvest purposes, if the season is wet they just stay green at the bottom. So for us, counting weeks from scapes and checking bulb size is more important than the number of fully dry leaves or the state of the tops.
OTOH at the farm which is upland and a hillside situation, leaves are dryer at harvest time than they would ever be in my garden. It is a benefit I suppose to the drying and curing process, if the tops are partly dried down already. But also she lets them go longer which is necessary for your maximum size crop, too.
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Old May 30, 2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
Very interesting to note that the plants still look mostly green throughout. I would have thought they would have waited to see more brown/yellow leaves.
Indeed, I wonder if it's about this type of garlic (it's a pink hard neck) or some perfect conditions. My garlic is yellower than that and it hasn't even started to bulb . They maybe could have waited but bad weather was forecast, who knows.
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Old May 30, 2018   #23
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Good points/info.
3 weeks from scapes would mean I harvest in about 10 days.
Yikes! I am not ready yet. Still lots to do if that’s correct.
Drying racks, tractor tune up, sickle bar etc
I was thinking I had 3-4 more weeks to go...
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Old May 30, 2018   #24
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PH, in this three week period, are you expecting the bulbs to grow or separate a great deal? I read that you fertigated a few weeks ago. Isn't it expected that the tops will be green and growing as well as the bulbs as a result?


Wished my garlic looked half that good! Growing same varieties as yourself and then some. I accidentally pulled a bulb when weeding and it was still a round.


- Lisa
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Old May 30, 2018   #25
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This farmer has a third method of deciding when they're done: three weeks from scapes, five green leaves left, and checking for air space between the stalk and the cloves:
https://www.sustainablemarketfarming...-bulb-harvest/

Last edited by bower; May 31, 2018 at 07:17 AM. Reason: correction
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Old May 30, 2018   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
This guy has a third method of deciding when they're done: three weeks from scapes, five green leaves left, and checking for air space between the stalk and the cloves:
https://www.sustainablemarketfarming...-bulb-harvest/
She, Pam in the above link, encourages the pulling of scapes rather than cutting. I did that once and did not get a great result. I notice Pure Harvest also mentioned pulling them. Guess I have to try it again! I have already cut some today.
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Old May 31, 2018   #27
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Hmmm I've never tried pulling the scapes... maybe this year.
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Old May 31, 2018   #28
bjbebs
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When working a few thousand plants time is important. I remove scapes over a two week period as they appear. When they are young and the stem can be grasped easily it's much quicker to snap off rather than cut.

If the last scape is removed on June 10 and harvest is usually around July 10 thats close to your 3 week time frame. These are my average dates. In real world growing the calender does not dictate when harvest begins. The plants will tell you when it's time. Many years I've had to harvest early due to future rain forcasts or later to allow soils to dry out. I will risk loss of crop before I ever dig in a wet soil.
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Old May 31, 2018   #29
PureHarvest
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I went through 2 days ago, and removed the late emerging/missed scapes from the last go around. I think that will be the last ones to remove. So I should roughly start my 3 week count down from today?
Last year I harvested June 15th. I know every year is different but, that gives me a guide.
They seem too green and bulbs are not sized up to be ready in a week or so.

Last edited by PureHarvest; June 1, 2018 at 07:30 AM.
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Old June 14, 2018   #30
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Posted this is in another garlic thread, but wanted to get it documented here.
Things are moving along and drying down/yellowing.

Here's what my garlic looks like as of this morning.
The last pick shows a scape I left on one plant. Notice how green the leaves still are compared to the one where the scapes were taken off.
In Ron England's book, he takes scapes after the coil has fully formed and then starts to straighten out. I might go more towards taking them off when they start to coil. I took mine off right as they were emerging.
Based on what that one plant looks like (being still 90% green), it looks like taking scapes off early speeds up the drying down process.

In other words, waiting longer to take off scapes seems to keep the plant fully green longer. Perhaps this is a good thing for the resulting bulbs as far as size and storage quality/length. This assumes that you still will cut it off a week or so before harvest to not have the bulb size lessened by leaving the scape on through harvest.

6-14-18 a.JPG

6-14-18 b.JPG

6-14-18 c.JPG

6-14-18 d.JPG

Last edited by PureHarvest; June 14, 2018 at 08:16 AM.
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