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all about garlic!  RSS feed

 
Posts: 405
Location: New York
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Just harvested my first garlic scrapes ever.  Sauteed with olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper, then put in a scrambled egg and made an omelet.  Man, are these awesome! 
 
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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Congrats! I just did as well, put them on the grill plain, and enjoyed them with burgers and grilled jalepenos!!
 
Al Loria
Posts: 405
Location: New York
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Ah, the grill!  Love to do that with green onions.  Got to try it with the rest of the scapes soon to be coming.

Haha, just realized I called them "scrapes" in my last post.
 
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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I break apart the bulbs then set in in a shallow pan of water for a few days.  This gets roots started, followed by the first green shoot.  When shoot is a few inches long, I put them in the ground, mulch deeply so that only the top inch is exposed.  Rarely do I find any empty spots where a plant failed.

Heat from a bed should not affect the garlic.  Being in the top few inches, as long as it is good and cold for a couple weeks, the bulbs should not be affected.  Shallow planting will let the cold get to the clove.  Gotta have that for the clove to form multiple cloves for the bulb.  If it does not get the cold, you'll just grow a marble.  You can cheat by putting the garlic in the fridge for a couple weeks.

 
Al Loria
Posts: 405
Location: New York
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Ken, I planted ours last fall and they even sprouted before the first freeze.  They kept poking up through the snow all winter and I thought they would not survive.  They seem to have almost all made it and are so hardy and untouched by any bugs, so far.  As a first time garlic grower, and seeing the positive results, I know we will increase the size of next years plantings.
 
Posts: 106
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Al, I did the same thing, planting mine too early last year, and they sprouted and died off and resprouted and right now are at least two feet high.  I live near the ocean and I have to say that seaweed is an amazing mulch if you can get your hands on any.  I pile at least 3-4 inches on top of the garlic when I plant it and it pokes up through when it's ready.  Garlic is a heavy feeder and seaweed is loaded with everything it needs.  It's really a mulch and a fertilizer at the same time. 

I wish I knew what variety I have, but I got it from a friend and he didn't know either.  It's a hardneck variety and it's gotten huge in the two years I've been selecting and growing it.  It's also delicious, needless to say.  Last year I grew only about 15 plants.  This year I've got almost 40.  Next year I hope to have about 100.  It's never had a pest or a blight of any kind.  Deer completely ignore it.  It's ridiculously healthy.  If I could only choose one plant to grow, this garlic would be it.
 
Al Loria
Posts: 405
Location: New York
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Willy, I added dried and ground Kelp last year, and it does work.  I wish we were close enough to the ocean to get fresh seaweed.  Make sure you wash it off to get the salt off first.

We have about 40 planted too and I wish now that we had done more.  As a first timer I wasn't sure how they would grow, but as the guy who sold me the garlic said, just kick your heel in the dirt and drop in a clove and it will grow.  He was right as they all sprouted and are doing well.  You are correct about the deer not touching them at all, and I have not seen one leaf with a bug bite.  Pretty much the same with the onions we planted.

If you have the hardneck variety you should be getting the scapes.  Man, are they great sauteed!

We'll be ready to harvest them in July.  Should be great with the San Marzano tomatoes we're growing for making a killer sauce.
 
Willy Kerlang
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Actually, I've been using seaweed on various plants for many years and have never bothered to wash it.  It doesn't seem to hurt anything.  Seawater tastes salty because it contains lots and lots of minerals (including salts) but it's  not the same as just pouring salt on the ground. 

Scapes: yes, I cut them last year after they curled around once or twice, threw them in a food processor with some olive oil, and whizzed them up.  The resulting pesto was fantastic.  I found that the scape seemed to have a sort of joint or a node (maybe a botanist can tell me the correct term) and if you cut it above that node, it would grow back, but if you cut below, it would not; I guess this node is where the flower would eventually be produced.  But I read elsewhere in this thread that you could simply pull the scapes out, so I am going to try that this year.  Around here we say that you should harvest your garlic after the scape has curled three times, so we leave a couple of them in just as a reminder.

Here is a pic of my garlic that was taken on May 9 of this year.  It's easily four times the size now... I will have to post another picture later, but right now it's coffee time.

 
Al Loria
Posts: 405
Location: New York
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Nice looking garlic beds.  Looks like you have plenty of seaweed on them.

You must be right about the salts if you have not had any problems using the seaweed that way.  Every time I read something I've found it is better to have the opinion of someone who actually tries it.  There must be enough trace minerals to warrant not washing it first.  Good to know this.

I noticed that too with the scapes continuing to grow if you cut them early on the tender tip.  Guess you could get a continuing harvest of scapes that way.  I've heard it is best to cut them off so the garlic plant will put more energy into making the bulb larger.  I've not heard of harvesting at three curls of the scape, but that would be a better indicator than waiting for the leaves to wilt.  I have one I saw last night that is one and a half curls, so I am going to leave it and pull up the bulb at three to see if it is true.
 
                            
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Update on my Great Garlic Gamble....

Well, all seemed to be growing well (I never did plant the last 5 bulbs.. the ones I missed during the initial planting). My plan was to grow for the scapes or bulbils so that I could increase the quantity I had before harvesting. So.. scapes came on.. I'm thinking things are looking great. Then I made a trip out of town and was gone for three days. When I came back the scapes were gone. Someone (mouse/deer/packrat/bear/kinda someone) had beat me to the harvest.  Anyone have any idea what may have done this? There isn't a single one left. I haven't checked the garlic bulbs for size as stems are still abit green, but think Iprobably could so there's still some hope of having something to grow for next year.

 
Willy Kerlang
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Feral, where do you live?  You don't want to leave that garlic in too long!  It might rot on you.  Go ahead and harvest a couple to see if they're done!
 
Posts: 55
Location: Maryland
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I love garlic because it's one the easiest things you can grow. I've been keeping this variety I got from a local grower going for quite some time now, but ordered some this year for the first time.  I ordered 1 lb of Music, 1 lb of Siberian, and a half lb of Georgian Crystal, I am really anxious to try.

I was very happy with this years haul, but I want MORE.



 
Moody Vaden
Posts: 55
Location: Maryland
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I also got some corms of the elephant variety in a trade.  Anyone with experience planting corms?
 
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trying to think of a place i can put my cloves since it wont need much work during the year, and I am wondering if up against my house foundation would work? we have a flower bed about 3 feet by 15 feet and the back row has nothing going for it. it is mulched about 3in deep with wood chips and is mostly sheltered by the overhang of the house so it wouldn't get soaked with rain and being next to the foundation should keep the temps a bit more steady but still allow a freeze during the coldest times. I would think a row around the house might discourage some pests from coming in as well? this is a southern wall so gets lots of morning sun and is hit with the automatic sprinklers during the summer. thoughts?
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Besides keeping a lot of pests out of the house, it will also keep a lot out of your flower garden as well.
 
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This old post has got to be the best ever on Permies. Great information from everyone who posted. I am going to try Garlic in Northern Wisconsin Hopefully to sell at market, starting in 2013. No one has ever mentioned if Garlic will flower and seed. It has to start somewhere. But I can see that the best way is to break apart and plant each section of bulb. may be a dumb question but you get one plant per bulb planted and space out plants with 6" gap between plants. So you could get 200 plants in a 10x10 area. Am I hearing this properly? I am trying to eliminate mistakes and get most reasonable crop.
There is a huge section here about Grey Water for Gardens. Has anyone had a problem using water that had some kind of soap in it? I have always worried about that. using grey water for something you are going to eat?
Thanks to all who added info to this "All about Garlic"
 
John Polk
steward
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To clarify, you plant one clove, which will grow into a new bulb (a cluster of cloves).

Garlic is basically a 9 month crop - best planted late summer/early autumn.
You want it planted early enough so that it develops a good root system before frost puts it dormant.
Once frost puts it to sleep for the winter, it is best to give it a good mulching.
In the spring, once frosts are past, pull back the mulch, and it will resume growing - creating a bulb.

It can be spring planted, but will result in smaller bulbs, and cloves since it only has half a season to grow.

I highly recommend the book Growing Great Garlic
He has been in the garlic business for decades. The book explains everything you will need to succeed.
Well worth the price if you want to do this for income.

While on his site, click the home page. They have a great selection (in season), and good prices on garlic.

 
pollinator
Posts: 491
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
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Jeremiah, garlic will flower and sometimes seed, there is a noticeable difference between varieties as to their willingness to do this, and I'd bet that there is also a difference in fertility of the resulting seed. If you have the room and the inclination to experiment with growing out seed, it could be fun, but planting cloves is a more reliable way to get a crop.

If you're interested in garlic botany, the largest compendium is this - http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780881928839-3
 
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Has anyone found a way to get the "corms" from elephant garlic to grow? I've tried drying them like the bulbs and then planting them in the fall. I've tried planting them right back as I harvested the bulbs. I've tried keeping them moist in a bucket of potting soil to replant in the fall. I've tried cutting the tips of their shell off to let moisture in. Nothing seems to work. I cut the scapes off to increase the size of the bulbs, but the corms grow on the bulb so you're going to get them and it would be nice to be able to grow them out.
 
Posts: 6619
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Tom Strode wrote:Has anyone found a way to get the "corms" from elephant garlic to grow? I've tried drying them like the bulbs and then planting them in the fall. I've tried planting them right back as I harvested the bulbs. I've tried keeping them moist in a bucket of potting soil to replant in the fall. I've tried cutting the tips of their shell off to let moisture in. Nothing seems to work. I cut the scapes off to increase the size of the bulbs, but the corms grow on the bulb so you're going to get them and it would be nice to be able to grow them out.



I've been trying to do this also...I am not methodical enough to be sure, but I think some have grown. they fall off so easily, I wonder if they were just meant to be left behind as a way for the plant to spread....I know some fall off every time i pull a plant. I need to check the row of them that I planted last fall...it is kind of weedy right now. I have a basket of them that I removed from this summers crop and this has me thinking that I should just get them in the ground before they get any dryer and mark them well this time....maybe I'll pot a few and label so I can watch them more closely.
 
steward
Posts: 3937
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Hey garlic people! Just saw that groworganic.com has a little special garlic seed promotion going on. You can pre-order them so they arrive in September, just in time for fall planting! Here is the link:

Pre-Order Your Garlic Seeds

Here are a few of them: Enjoy!

Organic Garlic, Inchelium Red



Organic Garlic, Red Chesnok


Organic Garlic, Killarney Red
 
Posts: 92
Location: AB, Canada, Zone 3
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Garlic lover but newbie here, well I guess I tried before but never new about fall planting. It finally clicked last fall and I have great results i.e. every clove has almost 3ft tall leaves!
Now, scapes are the flowers which are the curls? I am getting the first curls now (didn't know they curl!) and I do what? Do I understand it right, I just pull these, fry them and eat?

Also, when do I harvest the bulbs? I read the whole thread but I am still not quite sure about this.

Thanks!
 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
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There is a cute little video on that site I just posted about. She tells you exactly when to harvest. I can't remember exactly and I have to run so just watch it! Hahah

Garlic Video
 
Josey Hains
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Holy cow! Ask and Premies will deliver! That was fast.
Great video Cassie! Thanks for the link. It was exactly what I was looking for!
 
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Is it possible to just plant a garlic clove that you get at the Grocery store? Do you need to order it from a seed retailer? I would assume you can so long as it wasn't pasteurized or irradiated.
 
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Josh, yes you can plant store bought cloves successfully.
 
steward
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Josh Tinley wrote:Is it possible to just plant a garlic clove that you get at the Grocery store?


It works for me
I don't know about over your way, but here even 'conventional' garden advice warns strongly against using that bleached Chinese garlic.
Aside from having sprouting issues resulting from its processing, it has been known to carry some nasty viruses.
I've planted home grown (stuff I grew at my mothere's-I ate all mine ), commercial organic and NZ grown supermarket garlic.
Interestingly, the supermarket stuff came up first!

It's traditional here to plant on the longest day and harvest on the shortest.
I always plant earlier: more like mid-late autumn, and usually harvest after New Year depending on the weather.

In order for my garlic to store well, I only harvest after at least a few dry days
and lie the plants in a single layer in a well-ventilated place to 'cure' for at least a week before plaiting/hanging.
 
steward
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Some handy information about garlic

 
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Location: Portneuf, Quebec
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Great videos - this week's daily-ish mail is the most timely it's ever been for me.

Just wanted to add in a little comment about the last video - the part where she says if white rot settles in the field you can never grow garlic there again. I guess most people here know that isn't true, but I just wanted to point out the soil CAN be repaired. I'm taking Elaine Ingham's Soil Food Web Course and it is changing my life. So if your soil has white rot, some well-balanced compost tea applications can populate your soil with good micro-organisms that will outcompete the bad guys. Never say never!
 
pollinator
Posts: 299
Location: Poland, zone 5
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Very useful info on the plant itself, but in the same time that's an example of a huge monoculture operation.
 
Posts: 81
Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
chicken forest garden urban
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I've got about 30 plants in interplanted among fejoa, guava,raspberries and brasicas. My hope is to multiply the bulbs to have hundreds in a couple of seasons. I hope to use them as a cash crop.
 
Posts: 6
Location: Cole Camp, MO
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Does anyone know if I can just walk through the forest and poke cloves into the soil and grow them all over our homestead? I am thinking I can because we have wild chives all over the place. I really love the idea of foraging for our garlic and the diversity it would provide on our homestead. Thanks.
 
Richard Gorny
pollinator
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I have tried that on my land and in practice all have been eaten up by "something" - not sure really by what. In the same area ramsons (Allium ursinum L.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_ursinum grows nicely.
 
gardener
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Hau, Chris, Yes you can plant garlic just about anywhere that it will get enough sun. I mostly plant along the edges of my forest but I also plant garlic around the edges of a few of the natural clearings. Mostly my garlic is planted around my orchard trees and along pathways. It has been my experience that you can plant garlic just about anywhere that it will get full sun for at least 6 hours a day.
 
gardener
Posts: 3635
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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jacque greenleaf wrote:Jeremiah, garlic will flower and sometimes seed, there is a noticeable difference between varieties as to their willingness to do this, and I'd bet that there is also a difference in fertility of the resulting seed. If you have the room and the inclination to experiment with growing out seed, it could be fun, but planting cloves is a more reliable way to get a crop.



For the past few years I have been working on growing new varieties of garlic from pollinated seeds.

My strategy was to plant as many varieties of garlic as I could get my hands on, especially if they were from the longicuspis group. The purple striped and marbled purple striped have been the best producers of seed. Chesnok Red is a variety that I am not growing, but other people had great success with it this year. Then I allow them to flower, and remove the bulbils from the flowers to lessen crowding and competition.

Garlic flower with bulbils removed:


Garlic suffers from chromosome damage from being cloned for so many millennia, but a few flowers on a few stems of a few varieties manage to produce seeds for me.

Garlic seed pods nearing maturity:


I harvest the seed pods after they have mostly dried in the field, and allow them to dry further in paper sacks. After about a month I thresh and winnow the seed pods to obtain true garlic seeds.


My harvest this year was a couple dozen seeds from around 500 plants. This fall I culled heavily to minimize the number of non-seeding plants. The crop that is currently in the ground has a much higher percentage of plants in it that are known to produce seeds at least some times under some growing conditions.

Then I plant the seeds and they grow into small bulbs.


This is as far as I have traveled on this journey. The one year old garlic plants are currently growing in the greenhouse and are about 3 inches tall. Last fall's seeds have been planted into the soil of the unheated greenhouse (walk-in coldframe). I am hoping to eventually screen hundreds of new varieties of garlic for survival-of-the-fittest in my garden. I expect that the fertility problems will resolve themselves as I select generation after generation for families that produce seed reliably.

Garlic seed germinates best with cold stratification. Highest germination rates seem to occur when the seed is planted in cold frames in mid-winter.





 
Bryant RedHawk
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Joseph, have you access to any wild garlic? If you do it might be a good pollen donor for your varieties that you are trying to get viable seed from. Doing this would probably take a few years of hybridization to achieve the best end result but it certainly should work. The wild garlic produces seed every year to spread and survive, it should possible to create a good seeding strain of purple stripe that seeds freely and with reliability by doing some crosses where the wild garlic is the pollen donor and the purple stripe is the female receptor.

I am going to try and start this process myself next year for a few strains that don't produce viable seed any more. I will post on my results as the documentation comes in.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Bryant RedHawk:

Yes, I am growing garlic that was collected from the wild a few decades ago in Central Asia. Seed production rates on those varieties is very low (averaged about 1 seed per flower this year). Nevertheless, they are the best I currently have to work with. The variety PI 540319 has produced the most seeds in my garden, and I really like it's growth patterns.



 
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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has this already been posted? http://garden.lofthouse.com/true-garlic-seed.phtml
it has good info on raising garlic for seed and landrace garlic. I found that when I was looking for info on true potato seeds which I am currently experimenting with. this is my first year growing garlic and I really want to learn about growing garlic from true seeds but I guess I am just in the reading phase for true garlic seeds
 
Meryt Helmer
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haha I just saw your last name Lofthouse, i think I posted a link to your web page? well I really like your web page and have shared the potato one with many people.
 
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