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Garlic Plants Itself!

 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 97
Location: Zone 8b Portland
food preservation forest garden fungi
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I'm in zone 7a outside of philadelphia.  I tried an experiment this year to see what would happen.  I pulled up the garlic bulbs that had fat stems and left the ones with skinny stems in the ground.  That was about a month and a half ago.  I went outside today to put more compost around the apple and cherry tree's and I see little garlic shoots coming up.  I didn't have to plant them    I noticed when I pulled up a small garlic stem that it produced only 1 fat bulb.  The fat bulbs I planted produced a bulb with many bulbs in it.  So maybe the method should be yank the big garlic plants and leave the little ones for next year.  What do you guys think?  Less work makes me happy 
 
                            
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maybe better idea is to replant garlic from biggest tubers, like this you will not go to negative sellection.....
 
Saskia Symens
Posts: 120
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books forest garden trees
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hvala wrote:
maybe better idea is to replant garlic from biggest tubers, like this you will not go to negative sellection.....

Nah, if they're anything like shallots planting big bulbs will give lots of small ones the next year and planting small ones will give a few fat bulbs (or one in the case of Cholcombe one :lol, so it will alternate. Or if you want both big and small plant a little of both...
 
Dan Wallace
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hvala wrote:
maybe better idea is to replant garlic from biggest tubers, like this you will not go to negative sellection.....

No sexual reproduction involved when planting from bulb; same genetics repeated
 
                            
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bikemandan wrote:
No sexual reproduction involved when planting from bulb; same genetics repeated


yes but sellection doesnt mean there must be sexual reproduction. and genetics is so simple. there are genes that interact with external conditions for plant growth, and "tell" plant how much to grow according to those i next generation. this is how we ended up today in situation where domesticated plants are so advanced that for some we cant find their original ancestors. sexual reproduction plays important role in this, but doesnt mean plant will stay same forever.
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 97
Location: Zone 8b Portland
food preservation forest garden fungi
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Yeah I just thought this was cool because I kept reading online to pull the plants up in june/july time frame and then plant them again in September.  I was wondering if I just left them alone what would happen.  There are a lot of perennial plants in the allium family so I figured it would be fine.  Seems I was right so far.  Maybe more years will tell a different story. 
 
                                    
Posts: 147
Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
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you might be interested in this article about 'perennial' garlic by Larry Korn:

"Joe Capriotti doesn’t plant garlic, but every year he harvests hundreds of pounds from his backyard in Montesano, Wash. His technique goes against the common practice of planting and harvesting garlic each year as if it were an annual plant. Most people don’t realize that garlic can be grown as a perennial."

http://www.mulandscaping.com/ArticleGarlicYouOnlyPlantOnce.htm

i've been meaning to try it since i came across the idea several years ago.  just planted garlic today actually!  i'm not sure if it works better w/elephant garlic (thats what the guy in the article uses).
 
Chris Holcombe
Posts: 97
Location: Zone 8b Portland
food preservation forest garden fungi
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yeah I did read that actually.  That's what got me thinking originally that it would be possible.  I still have some fat clove bunches that I saved.  I plan on planting out a few extra's to really make the garlic ring around the tree's thick again.  The initial signs are encouraging though.  Next year we will know for sure.  If the little bulbs then produce big bulbs I will just leave all the small stalks and let them do their thing for me 
 
Hugh Hawk
Posts: 225
Location: Adelaide, South Australia (Mediterranean climate)
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This page describes the alternation between cloves and 'rounds' (little bulbs) for elephant garlic:

http://www.greenharvest.com.au/Plants/elephant_garlic_info.html

Perhaps true garlic can grow in the same way?

I found some elephant garlic bulbs flowering in my parents' garden last year. They have been growing there for at least 20 years, since before my parents moved in, so I'd say they are naturalised here.  Of course I've taken a backup of that genetic material to my garden now
 
Travis Philp
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Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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I've left a small patch of red russian garlic growing at my parents cottage for about 4 years now.

Unlike the article, I don't even till the soil. It is planted in a raised bed with good garden soil. All I've added is one application of woodchips, one light dusting of wood ashes, and a few applications of grass pulled from the edge of the garden bed. My parents thoroughly weed the area a few times a year, since it is mixed in with their ornamental flower beds. No manure or other fertilizer added, and I the majority of the garlic grows to medium sized heads every year.

All I do is pinch the flower heads aka scapes when they form, pull out about 1/4 to 1/2 of the heads, and leave the rest to

PS- with flower heads; even if you harvest them immaturely, (before the baby garlic bulbils form) they will often continue to grow and form the bulbils, which you can plant. So I suggest keeping them around if you don't eat them. The bulbils take 2-4 years to grow a full head but hey, it's a good way to multiply your crop.
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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@Cholcombe

Did you use elephant garlic or regular garlic? Store bought or from an official vendor? Hard or softneck?

I had that happen to me as well and I dont remember what kind of garlic it was LOL. I also pulled up some small onions last year that were grown from seed and didn't really turn into a full bulb, I replanted some and left others in the ground. This year they grew to complete bulbs! What is strange is that they were supposed to be red bunching onions, so Im assuming that red bunching just means that its a regular onion you can grow close together and harvest early AKA a marketing gimic?
 
            
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I tried this method and it works great.  I planted in fall 09 harvested about half of the garlic in summer 10 and this summer I had 2 to 6 new plants bunched together from all of the cloves that were left in ground in 10.  I actually left town and my sister in-law did not realize my method and pulled all the garlic up.  I ended up with a variety of bulb sizes, most are nice and large and others were quite small but still garlic!  Despite the crowding of plants nice bulbs were formed.  I mulched with thistles and small twigs, and the garlic was in shallow basins which were flood irrigated.  Flood irrigating in heavy clay soil makes for difficult pulling of garlic FYI.  I will for sure do this again and maybe tell my fellow garden keepers what i am up to next time
 
Hugh Hawk
Posts: 225
Location: Adelaide, South Australia (Mediterranean climate)
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What type of garlic Ryan?
 
Paul Cereghino
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Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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I keep doing this by accident... always a little bulb among the rest that I miss, or my daughter just pulls to top off when we lift them.  In particular, the elephant garlic seems to come back strong.  Half my elephant seed crop is going into the food forest this fall.
 
Varina Lakewood
Posts: 116
Location: Colorado
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Rob Sigg wrote:@Cholcombe
I also pulled up some small onions last year that were grown from seed and didn't really turn into a full bulb, I replanted some and left others in the ground. This year they grew to complete bulbs! What is strange is that they were supposed to be red bunching onions, so Im assuming that red bunching just means that its a regular onion you can grow close together and harvest early AKA a marketing gimic?


More or less. Well, not exactly a gimmick. What most people mean by bunching onions is scallion-stage onions.
There are, however, evergreen or everready bunching onions of the Welsh type and Japanese type. (The Welsh type is supposedly originally from the orient, sometimes the name is used interchangeably with the Japanese type.) What makes these 'bunching onions' isn't just an immature stage. They never bulb up, merely divide endlessly, much like shallots. Basically perpetual scallions. Cool, huh?
I just found that out today, after spending about three days puzzling over a couple seed catalog descriptions, and rereading a short section of an onion book until it gave up and made sense. lol
 
Morgan Morrigan
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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I am going to use scallions as green manure tops down here in the desert. they bulk up moisture overwinter, and have sealed stems for drought tolerance.

Lots of good stuff in the greens, and easy to hack off for composting.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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