Garlic

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Sondra Peterson, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    422
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Anybody know if it is too late to plant garlic in N. TX?? tonight it will be 26 degrees tomarrow in the 40's, however then will go up and be in the 60's and 70's by the week end. Ground is not frozen. I know they suggest planting in OCT.
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    It is never too late to plant garlic! In the past two weeks, I've sent sampler packets to California, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Ontario. The Canadian gardener planted them yesterday, 5 January. September has often been used as the normal planting time in the extreme northern states but most of us are finding that mid-October is much better. Those from Maryland through South Carolina are now leaning more to mid-December for best results. One major market grower in North Carolina plants as late as New Year's Day. The absolute rule is that the latest you can plant is 31 December, the earliest being 1 January! I indeed did plant some on 31 December 2003 by chipping holes in the frozen ground to prove that it can be done. 100% success! So, if you've got the cloves, get them into the ground now.

    Martin
     

  3. bonnie lass

    bonnie lass Semper Fi

    Messages:
    194
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Beautiful Cape Cod
    Thanks, that's good to know, I was going to wait.
     
  4. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    422
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Thanks MARTIN!! now tell me how to keep the my goats from eating all the new shoots HA! (fence in the garlic I do believe) can't seem to keep all the goats in all the time so maybe I can keep them out. ;)
     
  5. Sylvia

    Sylvia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    One tip: plant the largest cloves from your largest bulbs. When you harvest make sure that you leave a long neck at the top, 3 inches is ideal, then you can tie them together with string to hang.
     
  6. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Supposedly, no animal will bother garlic. More damage is done with the hooves than the teeth when deer get into a garlic patch. We had a rather long discussion on this on the GW Allium Forum and it was generally agreed that deer or young rabbits may nibble on one garlic shoot but then leave the rest alone. But then, animals aren't supposed to like tomato leaves and vines but we all know that they do!

    One thing that you may also do is mulch them with pine boughs. Those are available nationwide right now in the form of retired Christmas trees. Lay them over the rows after planting. Most animals won't mess around with eating pine needles. Leave them in place until well after the shoots are up. Shake off the needles when you are ready to remove them. The growing plants will appreciate the extra nitrogen and their acidity.

    Followup on the Canadian who is still planting, he's at it yet. His beds were all worked up before the cold hit. When it snowed, he piled well over a foot of snow on the beds. He simply removes the snow and plants. He's getting some garlic bulbils from myself and a North Dakota gardener early next week and is all set to plant them.

    Martin
     
  7. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

    Messages:
    1,120
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    CA (Northern)
    I will back up what Martin is saying here. Last year I planted in the snow, and except for what the gophers took I had a good crop. My best results have been with mid-October plantings, but later planting still produced, I simply did not get as consistently large heads. The mulch will also help to keep the ground from freezing for a bit longer so that you can get that early root start. The main reason for the fall planting is to let the plant get the root started so that it is ready to go in the spring. If you don't get any growth in the fall, and then get a lot of wet in winter, you may get rotting and lose some cloves though. In Texas you likely will get a good growth start through the winter though.
     
  8. desnri

    desnri Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    128
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    I live in East Texas and I planted my garlic in late November or early December. I've got a lot of good growth on them. BTW, goats love pine boughs.
     
  9. Old Jack

    Old Jack Truth Seeker

    Messages:
    232
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    West Virginia
    This is some great info!
    Where is the best place to get garlic bulbs to plant?
     
  10. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Jack, at this time of year, you are about out of luck for most of the better stuff. Virtually every major company is sold out until next September. There are a few major seed companies who do sell garlic for spring planting but they often refuse to ship that until normal time for spring planting according to ZIP Codes. Even most hobby garden swappers have shut down for the season. I'm officially also done for the season except for several specific requests for spring planting. So, to get garlic for eating yet in 2005, check out the various seed catalogs. Jung's and Gurney's are several which offer a few common early varieties for spring planting.

    In the garlic gardening world, several companies are considered to be the standard among suppliers. They are Filaree Farm and The Garlic Store. The Garlic Store does still have some varieties available.

    http://www.filareefarm.com

    http://www.thegarlicstore.com

    Martin
     
  11. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,576
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    I have planted garlic that I bought in the grocery store before. Maybe luck, but it grew quite well. If I did that, I picked the largest bulbs and planted the largests cloves from them. It might be chancy whether they'll grow for you, so I'm not going to recommend it's the best thing to do.
     
  12. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

    Messages:
    1,120
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    CA (Northern)
    You can often get away with store bought, though you won't know the variety, but you can never tell if they may have sprayed with growth inhibitors. If there are any farmers market still in session you may be able to get some there as well.
     
  13. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    There are NO growth inhibitors used on garlic. Alas, that's a myth which has been around forever and usually is the only reason that a gardener can come up with for NOT trying to grow the most common garlic variety! Commercial non-sprouting storage is controlled only by keeping the temperature at a constant 32F/0C and very low humidity. Even your own refrigerator is not normally cold enough to prevent sprouting.

    The vast majority of the supermarket garlic is the generic California White or Early White. In the US, it's a 60% chance that it was not even grown on this continent but in China. In Canada, it's probably as high as 90% imported. Gilroy, CA may now only lay claim to being the garlic capitol of the US. But Shanghai is now the garlic capitol of the world!

    Nothing wrong with growing California White other than being at the bottom end of the garlic taste scale. It's early and adaptable to almost any climatic conditions. It will also return a divided bulb from a spring-planted clove. It's a good one for first-time garlic growers as it is quite forgiving. The main failures usually are from those cloves which had their bases trimmed too close to where root development can not take place. If you are going to plant supermarket garlic, be certain that the base of the bulb is intact and showing remnants of the original root system.

    Martin
     
  14. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

    Messages:
    1,120
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    CA (Northern)
    Does not surpize me, I was not sure if anyone used inhibitors on garlic or not. I know most of them I've bought seem to sproat just as quickly as the ones I've grown :).

    Soon Gilroy may not even make it for the US. Christepher Ranch (sp?) announced at the garlic festival (a big event for Gilroy) a year ago that they will be terminating all of their contracts over the next few years as they simply can not compete domestically with the Asian imports. It is actually cheaper for them to buy the garlic an repack them. The small farmers are overjoyed, but all of the big garlic farmers are in a full panic.
     
  15. ravenstark

    ravenstark Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I guess that's what I planted then when a 5 pound bag full started sprouting. I'm a little worried that it wont form cloves because I read that garlic needs a certain amount of cold weather to stimulate bulb formation. I'm in Florida so it only gets cold a few days out of the year here (not as much fun as people often think). Would the cool storage they may have received done the trick? Should I dig them up now and pop them in the fridge? They look beautiful, much better than I'd ever dreamed they would.

    If they work out, next year I'm going to plant some real garlic.
     
  16. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Ravenstark, leave them be! This was also possibly the best time to have planted and have them mature before the hot weather sets in. Since they were already sprouting, it won't take long for them to kick into high gear and begin growing.

    In addition to being "generic", the cheap supermarket garlics are almost bulletproof to grow. In fact, being softnecks, they are more suitable to growing in the South. They originated around the Mediterranean where they do not have very cold winters.

    Martin
     
  17. ravenstark

    ravenstark Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Uhg, I've got over 200 plants in my crisper now. I had to rip all their leaves off and clip the roots and pound them with a hammer to get them to fit in there... Just kidding. Thanks for your help.

    If I don't kill these easy ones, do you have any advice on what would be a better tasting variety to try next year? I really like garlic. I use it the way most people use onions. I think bubbly garlic juice would be better than Coke. It would be a bonus if the variety had edible leaves for putting in salad. Mine have the tooth appeal of burlap.
     
  18. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Raven, I just spent over a half hour with a long and detailed reply. When I had it polished and hit Submit, "Page Can Not Be Displayed" came up! I'm NOT going to type it again! Go to http://www.filareefarm.com and study the Creole types first and Artichokes second. Those are the only ones which you can figure to get anything good for your efforts in Florida.

    Martin