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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #31
greenthumbomaha
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Beginners luck at this location. At the country garden the garlic is turning out very well (in virgin soil - fertilized but not amended). I had it heavily mulched with straw, and that helped tremendously with the high heat and moisture retention. Here is a photo from earlier this week. I haven't pulled scapes, and it will rain on and off most of this week. Should I wait?



Here are three photos from today. Quite the eyesore compared to Tom's garden!


I needed a few cloves for cooking. I pulled a few bulbs from the lower part where I planted the leftover smaller cloves. We had a great deal of rain this past week, They certainly are moist, not dried out and papery like it is when I usually pull in July. I was also not expecting them to be so white.



How much patience shall I employ till I pull the main section?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #32
TomNJ
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Not bad. For consistently large bulbs you should remove the scapes when in the curl, and keep the bed well weeded. Garlic and onions don't play well with weeds - having such small leaf area they need all the water, nutrients, and especially sunlight they can get.

I pull mine when I am down to four mostly green leaves. This can vary by variety, but works well in my garden. I only dug a few so far and they are running 2.25 - 2.75 inches, not bad for the early maturing ones. I'll start digging in earnest later this coming week.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #33
imp
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I love the smell of freshly "pulled" garlic in the garden.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #34
greenthumbomaha
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Not bad. For consistently large bulbs you should remove the scapes when in the curl, and keep the bed well weeded. Garlic and onions don't play well with weeds - having such small leaf area they need all the water, nutrients, and especially sunlight they can get.

I pull mine when I am down to four mostly green leaves. This can vary by variety, but works well in my garden. I only dug a few so far and they are running 2.25 - 2.75 inches, not bad for the early maturing ones. I'll start digging in earnest later this coming week.



I got the remaining scapes off, and took out some of the garbage. The grass is from seeds in the straw mulch (oat grass?) so they come out easily. It was not the certified weed free straw, which was $12 bale and wasn't exactly weed free last year. The problem is that every time I leave the garden, a fresh batch seems to grow back overnight. All the rain we are having, combined with the liquid miracle grow I used is keeping the weeds very happy.


I didn't mulch the onions with straw, and that bed got overgrown with real weeds. Those are in the lower portion of the photo. The onions shaded by the weeds and are almost nothing. I weeded a small section right around the equinox, and those onions are showing some promise of recovering. Just a learning experience. I was mistaken in thinking wet straw would rot onions.




Now comes two weeks of rain - free sunny July heat. Yay for the garlic, but not for me.

- Lisa
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #35
bower
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Speaking of weeding, I was pleased with myself for getting out and removing some mulch and weeding all the garlic just before a heavy rain... as it turned out, heavy wind as well. I've never seen garlic so close to being blown right down. Wherever I removed mulch it was the worst, with big holes opening up around the garlic stems - some places you could look down the hole and see the garlic bulb below. The effect was least where I had left the mulch in place, and made me think twice about removing it. Also in future, I think I'll catch up on weeding after the rain instead of before it. For now I have tried to close in those holes around the stems, as I think if there's a pest that likes garlic they would sure enjoy finding a tunnel straight down to the payday!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #36
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I just pulled most of the leaf mulch off the garlic today as the soil is still very moist underneath. After last week's heavy rains, we're now in a stretch of hot and dry weather. There's an average of six to seven green leaves left and one test bulb is confirming I should wait a bit longer.




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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #37
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Looking good, FD! And even better that you've got dry weather in the home stretch.
Scapes should start to emerge here by the end of the week... maybe? I have not much if any garlic left that's still good, so looking forward to those.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #38
greenthumbomaha
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When I pulled mine it looked like yours, FD. After two days drying in the house, it feels drier (the paper is crisp at least) and it's turning purple!

I haven't taken the straw off. There may be another rainstorm coming late on the 4th. I should get that off after the rain, and be ready to pull when the ground dries again. When is your target pull date?

- Lisa
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #39
Father'sDaughter
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I'm going to see what it looks like on Thursday. We have over half an inch of rain expected on Friday, but another dry stretch after that so I could potentially wait.

Knowing me, I'll just end up pulling it all Thursday. I had too much loss in years where I tried to hold off a little longer. Last year I pulled it maybe a week earlier than I could have and may have sacrificed a little size gain, but almost every head was intact enough to store.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #40
JRinPA
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I plan to pick tonight, so if anyone out there thinks these are not ready and could wait a while, chime in. Pretty sure I will pick anyway, but I'd like the thoughts since this I am new to this.


This is my first time with a bed of garlic that has been walking here since at least the early 70s. It seems well adapted to this clime. The original owner's (built in 50s) here were greek and had a bunch of mediterranean crops. For years I had been transplanting it out of the tomato garden and into a few spots, then harvesting some haphazardly, usually too late.

Last year I dug up a patch in July, dried it semi properly, built a box and put the best back in there in early Nov. It broke the leaf mulch in Feb, got snowed on through April, and has looked wonderful. I broke scapes a few weeks back, but still catch myself calling them scrapes.

It has been dry, lately been hot, and I think it is time for them to come out. From internet pics, I believe them to be purple stripe, but could be mistaken. I pulled one last Fri that looked ready, but I figured I'd wait until before rain to maximize potential. Well, now they are down to 3-4 fully green leaves, and eventually this weather will break.

I just picked one with 4 green leaves and the 5th with brown tip. I pushed the 2" or so mulch back to uncover the bulb. The bulb is a very nice 1-3/4" diameter, which is about the biggest they would possibly get while walking freely. This bulb is from the end of row of cloves, which received the smallest of the replanted cloves. After that was rows of rounds and bulbils, which was a cool idea, but I won't do again it was more complicated to weed and many didn't even come up.


What say you? To pick or not to pick, that is the question. <groan>
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #41
JRinPA
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Oh and other question, is it purple stripe as I keep thinking of it?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #42
JRinPA
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One last set, made a mistake in measure, test bulb from last Fri versus bulb today. Last Fri bulb was 1-3/4" and from middle of bed, today's bulb a solid 2" from smaller end of bed. I guess they are still growing. I would be plenty happy with 90+ 2" bulbs.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #43
bower
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Mmmm.. they look nice! I always tend to err on the early side myself though, so others will advise you better... I say if you like the size of them then you're good to go. Or pull a couple of rows and see what you think, you can always stop and wait another week for the rest (yes I had to do that once, when it became obvious I reaally was harvesting too early!).

Re: is it a purple stripe. How many cloves? Do the cloves have long tips? I love a good mystery.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #44
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Did you leave any scapes on the plants? You mentioned that you'd planted some bulbils, do you remember how many and size and shape of the bumbles per umbel? Purple Stripe bulbils are small rice grained and numerous often with lots of flowers. MPS bulbils much larger and 50-100 per umbel. Standard PS have more cloves per bulb and MPS fewer cloves that are fatter. Here's a good reference site with photos of whole bulbs and cloves to help decide on varietal group. http://biology.unm.edu/jnekola/Heirloom/garlicA.htm
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #45
JRinPA
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bumbles per umbel....now we're talking. lol. I think I left one on apurpose, then saw it later when I was out working, and broke it off. Next year I'll leave a whole row on. I'll have to be a bigger idiot next year to think I missed a whole row...

I have some garlic from last year still, smallest of the small by now, and some of them started sprouting in spring, but were still using them. They are in a paper bag at the top of the stairs to the cellar. Small and sprouting, but good enough, and I just used some for venison steak sandwich recipe. Point being, I don't know if a pic of them would help for ID.

That all said, I did go ahead and pull them. I went and put in my last eight homeless okra in there as a placeholder until Nov. I'm glad I did pull them because it just poured a sheet for about 5 minutes.

Maybe 50% were about that 2" or a little bigger, with maybe 25% that were only around 1.5". Pretty good I think for the first corral. I think it was 12 rows of 9. So 108. The bed is ~5x8.5 iirc. One of the cloves I planted must have actually been two stuck together, as it produced two smaller bulbs in one spot. Two of the 108 have broken wrappers. I'll take a pic of them to count bulbs and shape, hopefully tonight.

Some of the 1/4" to 3/8" bulbils I planted in the last row produced rounds that range from about 1" down to 1/2". Some of the 1/2 to 3/4" rounds I planted produced smaller cloves. Most of both, however, I did not recover. I have definitely think that space is better used for another row of garlic from big cloves. It would only cost one or two more bulbs to gain nine big bulbs.

How many cloves?
These have about 8 big cloves that I can feel without opening them. The walking stuff was alway varied by size, but always a lot of bulbs. I've always thought they had a pretty good point to them at the top.
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