Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm thankful I had the foresight to put a stick in to mark where I planted the garlic on my swales. From what I read you plant it and then cut it back right before winter. I planted and I've got nothing to cut back. I even dug a bulb up and nothing...... What did I do wrong and is it too late to plant more???????????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
I've never heard of that being done with garlic before - planting and cutting back before winter. What kind of garlic is it and what month did you plant the garlic cloves?

I always plant my garlic in October if it's really cool outside, or else November before it gets too cold, then I let it go dormant for winter and don't do anything else with it until it's time to cut the scapes in late spring. Cut only the tops of the scapes off in late spring/early summer and then harvest the garlic bulbs in summer.

If your planted cloves are not doing anything but look healthy then just leave them alone for winter. They're supposed to go dormant in the ground for the winter like other bulbs, and then they start growing in spring when the soil warms up.

It's not too late to plant more if you wish but do it now before the snows come (supposedly next week some time) then leave them alone.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I planted them in September. I'd read it online from a garlic growing blogger. I guess I shouldn't believe everything I read. :p

As far as the kinds it was a hard neck garlic variety and elephant garlic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
You are okay then, you didn't do anything wrong. They are slow growers and will go dormant during winter. They need the chill and the dormancy. Watch for first growth in spring and don't cut anything back. Towards summer after the scapes grow above the very topmost sets of leaves and begin to curl you can cut the scapes off about 3 inches above the top leaves. (keep the scapes, they are edible and deliciously hot and garlicy, you can cook them fresh or dice and dehydrate or pickle them like asparagus).

Then leave the garlic plants alone for the bulbs to continue to grow, more growing energy will go directly into bulb development when the scapes are removed. When the leaves all begin to start yellowing you are near time to harvest. You can take one up to check the development of the head. If it's a nice size you can probably harvest them all. If it doesn't look developed enough yet give them another 2 weeks, by which time most of the leaves will be very yellow and droopy. Then take all of them up, snip off the roots, brush off any excess dirt or possible insects or worms and then hang them whole with the stems and leaves on to dry in a place with lots of air circulation.

When the stems no longer have any moisture in them and have yellowed and shrunk, you can cut the stems off about 2 inches above each head and store the heads in a cool, dark, dry place with moderate air circulation until you are ready to separate the cloves apart to plant your next crop, or to prepare for preservation. In your climate you can probably wait until October next year to plant your next crop, September is okay but a wee bit early. The heads you decide to keep fresh for consumption through winter and spring can be kept intact in the refridgerator for up to about 5 months and then they will start to grow even in the fridge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
I'll tell you one more thing you can do if you're interested in experimenting with some of the scapes.

With the thickest, longest scapes that were cut off, I would hang them in clusters upside down in a place where they would get daily light and allow the flower tops on them to develop. The flowers take their nourishment from the stalk as the stalk is drying. When the flowers have finished growing and expired they will grow the little bubils which will be the size of peas or smaller. Then I'd collect the bulbils off the stalks and broadcast the bulbils over a patch of ground and gently rake them over with soil. They will grow tiny garlic plants the next year, about the size of chives. Leave them alone for 3 years to do their own thing and then you will have a patch of ground full of bigger garlic plants with heads big enough to harvest.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,660 Posts
I, too have never heard of cutting off any garlic leaves before winter. While ours might grow some tips peeking out of the ground, those bits will freeze but the rest of the plant is fine and will stat growing next spring. Perhaps the original informant (the blog) didn't like seeing dead leaf tips? Anyway, I agree that your plants are fine; they won't bulb until early next summer.

We find that if we leave the bulbs in the ground until all the leaves have yellowed runs the risk of naked cloves. Since each leaf corresponds to a layer of bulb wrapper and yellow leaves indicate a deteriorated wrapper, we like to dig our garlic when only about 1/3 of the leaves have yellowed. This includes the leaf closest to the ground, which is easy to overlook.

Leaving them in the ground too long risks having too many bulb wrapper disintegrate, bulbs splitting apart, and dirt getting into the bulb. And perhaps disease. And they don't store well, either. So please, check them and dig at the appropriate time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I planted them in September. I'd read it online from a garlic growing blogger. I guess I shouldn't believe everything I read. :p

As far as the kinds it was a hard neck garlic variety and elephant garlic.
Garlic usually won't start sprouting until it's been in the ground at least two weeks. The roots get established before the tops. If it gets cold and pretty much stays cold they won't sprout at all until spring and even if they do it's nothing to get worried about. Did you mulch the beds like you're supposed to?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I'll tell you one more thing you can do if you're interested in experimenting with some of the scapes.

With the thickest, longest scapes that were cut off, I would hang them in clusters upside down in a place where they would get daily light and allow the flower tops on them to develop. The flowers take their nourishment from the stalk as the stalk is drying. When the flowers have finished growing and expired they will grow the little bubils which will be the size of peas or smaller. Then I'd collect the bulbils off the stalks and broadcast the bulbils over a patch of ground and gently rake them over with soil. They will grow tiny garlic plants the next year, about the size of chives. Leave them alone for 3 years to do their own thing and then you will have a patch of ground full of bigger garlic plants with heads big enough to harvest.

Why would you want to go through all that unnecessary hassle? Just plant cloves and be done with it. Who the heck wants to wait 3 freaking years?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
Why would you want to go through all that unnecessary hassle? Just plant cloves and be done with it. Who the heck wants to wait 3 freaking years?
I had 40 acres planted properly in hundreds of rows of several varieties of garlic that got planted and harvested every year and sold commercially. I wasn't waiting for anything.

I mentioned the experiment with the bulbils for the OP because I know the OP is working hard putting a lot of effort, heart and soul into improving her land and working with permaculture.

Playing with the bulbils isn't a hassle, it's simple and the bulbils serve their own separate purpose. Growing the bulbils from cut scapes was a fun experiment and scattering them was a good thing to do towards improving the soil in a spare bit of wild scrubby ground that was unused except as free range for farm animals. The bulbils were mixed and scattered with many types of herbs and edible flower seeds, tiny marble sized seed potatoes and vining vegetable and melon seeds and all was allowed to grow wild together and do its own thing. The goal was to allow the plants to improve the soil for future use, add more organic matter to the soil each year and also allow additional forage for the animals. Any edibles that I harvested from it at any time was just a bonus.

Growing things should not always be just about hard work, anxiety and impatience while you wait for the harvest to grow for you. It's good to have some things to grow just for the fun of it and to be a playful experiment with mother nature that doesn't matter and no harm is done and nothing is lost if it doesn't work out for you the way you think or hope it might. If you have bulbils, remember waste not and want not - scatter them somewhere and leave them alone to do their thing and they'll do good things for the soil.

:D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,869 Posts
I just put my last 50 garlic cloves in this afternoon. I enjoy collecting named varieties, eating part and planting a few. I did not care for French garlics when I went to a local festival, and elephant garlic seems kind of mushy and bland to me when cooked, but everything else is fine. I nibble raw garlic when preparing to cook with it :) Yes to what folks said about planting and leaving to go dormant. There's a big-time garlic grower in Colorado (?) who was experimenting with letting the scapes go without cutting. I found it when googling for other info. Didn't save the link, but you might find the topic if interested.
 
U

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
This is 2 rows of bulbils I got from Martin a few weeks ago and planted. The "Martin's Garlic" will go from bulbils in the fall to full size garlic with cloves the following summer.

Below that is a picture of a couple rows of bulbils I planted in fall of 2013. I did nothing other than plant them. When weeds started dying back this fall, I weeded around them. They look good and will be full sized next year. No real work to it.



 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
you are exactly right. That is exactly something I would do. Thank you very much for the idea!!

Otherwise I did mulch. They are in the swale so I will just wait till next year and see now.

I had 40 acres planted properly in hundreds of rows of several varieties of garlic that got planted and harvested every year and sold commercially. I wasn't waiting for anything.

I mentioned the experiment with the bulbils for the OP because I know the OP is working hard putting a lot of effort, heart and soul into improving her land and working with permaculture.

Playing with the bulbils isn't a hassle, it's simple and the bulbils serve their own separate purpose. Growing the bulbils from cut scapes was a fun experiment and scattering them was a good thing to do towards improving the soil in a spare bit of wild scrubby ground that was unused except as free range for farm animals. The bulbils were mixed and scattered with many types of herbs and edible flower seeds, tiny marble sized seed potatoes and vining vegetable and melon seeds and all was allowed to grow wild together and do its own thing. The goal was to allow the plants to improve the soil for future use, add more organic matter to the soil each year and also allow additional forage for the animals. Any edibles that I harvested from it at any time was just a bonus.

Growing things should not always be just about hard work, anxiety and impatience while you wait for the harvest to grow for you. It's good to have some things to grow just for the fun of it and to be a playful experiment with mother nature that doesn't matter and no harm is done and nothing is lost if it doesn't work out for you the way you think or hope it might. If you have bulbils, remember waste not and want not - scatter them somewhere and leave them alone to do their thing and they'll do good things for the soil.

:D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Garlic usually won't start sprouting until it's been in the ground at least two weeks. The roots get established before the tops. If it gets cold and pretty much stays cold they won't sprout at all until spring and even if they do it's nothing to get worried about. Did you mulch the beds like you're supposed to?
Yes to mulch. And 3 years is nothing compared to th 10 I'm waiting for some of my trees. I prefer so save seeds anyway. I didn't eat a single pea this year but next year's will all be from my seed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,804 Posts
Martin and I were corresponding on the fall growth and whether it is a problem or not. He said he hasn't seen any printed studies about it. From his experience, he said that if the garlic grows in the fall it's not a problem but when they grow 6 inches and it dies back over winter, they have to start over in the spring. It's a problem and when the leaves in fall die off, to the point of being unable to recover in the spring. He says to plant in October or November and avoid the fall growth. (I paraphrased what he wrote.)He's been advising me for 5 years and I trust his experience and opinion.

I've grown garlic for about 5 years, I always plant in October, we get almost 100% success. (one clove makes one bulb) (full sun is better) (Wisconsin)

I grow 6 types, Martin's is one of them.
There is a planting page, describing our planting habits attached to it.
http://tinyurl.com/qccrorq



 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Martin and I were corresponding on the fall growth and whether it is a problem or not. He said he hasn't seen any printed studies about it. From his experience, he said that if the garlic grows in the fall it's not a problem but when they grow 6 inches and it dies back over winter, they have to start over in the spring. It's a problem and when the leaves in fall die off, to the point of being unable to recover in the spring. He says to plant in October or November and avoid the fall growth. (I paraphrased what he wrote.)He's been advising me for 5 years and I trust his experience and opinion.

I've grown garlic for about 5 years, I always plant in October, we get almost 100% success. (one clove makes one bulb) (full sun is better) (Wisconsin)

I grow 6 types, Martin's is one of them.
There is a planting page, describing our planting habits attached to it.
http://tinyurl.com/qccrorq



Thank you!
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top