I have had limited success with garlic. I believe I may have a good crop this year. I am not sure when is the right time to pick. Last year I waited until the leaves fell over, and picked it. This year I planted elephant garlic along with regular garlic. They both seem happy...when is the perfect time to harvest?...thanks in advance.
Really nice looking garlic Hornstrider. Last year my garlic was ready about the same time as my onions (late May). I pulled when the tops were pretty well brown. I didn't get any garlic planted this year... I still have bulbs for cooking from last year's crop. I'm guessing that planting about every two years will keep me in garlic, since I don't use a huge amount. As nice as those plants look, you should have good-sized bulbs.
dreaves...thank you neighbor. The bigger leafed plants are elephant garlic. I don't believe it is really garlic... but it has a sweetness to it. Really good. One of these days we are going to have to walk across the street, and meet each other.
Thanks everyone...I kinda' knew that, and that is what I have done in the past. But this years crop is really special looking, and I don't want to mess it up. What about when scapes start to appear? I have read I need to cut them...is that correct?
Yes, cut the scapes - and eat them. They should add a really nice spicy (hot?!) touch to many dishes. I add them to anything that calls for garlic and hot peppers, reducing the amount of hot peppers. Yummy. Your garlic sure looks good.
I save my own garlic from year-to-year and choose the largest cloves for replanting. I've noticed that they grow better every year, so I guess I'm getting them to adapt to my climate/growing conditions by doing this.
HoneybeeNC wrote "I save my own garlic from year-to-year and choose the largest cloves for replanting. I've noticed that they grow better every year, so I guess I'm getting them to adapt to my climate/growing conditions by doing this."
Wow that is good information...thanks for posting.
darius wrote "Indeed they do. I wrote several articles on garlic for DG several years back, you can find them near the bottom of my member page."
darius...can you tell me more about growing garlic. What exactly is elephant garlic? I grew it last year w/ limited success, and it is really is tasty. The bulbs are huge.
Honeybee, the garlic that seems to do best in my 3-county area is "Music" and I've noticed over time (just as with your own garlic) that it changes and improves growth a bit as it adapts to the soil. It's not my favorite garlic, but it grows well so I plant it. I haven't yet determined which one garlic I want to keep and propagate, too many to trial!
[quote] There are a few softnecks that flower, but not many... out of several hundred garlic varieties [/quote]
Thanks for that clarification Darius. I was wondering as I had a friend share an heirloom start of garlic years ago. It grows well and does produce beautiful scapes early in summer. Is your pickled scape recipe in your articles? I will have to go search.
I leave my garlic in a permanent bed. If I relocate the bed, I find it keeps popping volunteers in the old bed for years to come. One of these days I'll have it where I want it I guess... Kristi
No Kristie, the recipe is on my blog but should be easy to find. I'm not allowed to post the link here.
I have some garlic left in the root cellar and I plan to encircle my new fruit trees and shrubs with it, densely planted in hopes of deterring the voles from eating the roots. That garlic will stay in the ground. Should be interesting to see what it does in a couple of years without harvesting!
Not to worry... I go to your blog on a regular basis. Some of your blog posts are favorites that I reread occasionally. I easily found the garlic scape recipe, thank you. Do you eat them as pickles only or use them in cooking also?
Thanks for sending her the links. I fight with Admin over that all the time, but the policy is "no advertising". Since I don't sell anything, I don't see it as advertising, but rather as an information source. If YOU had a blog, even a blog selling something, I could post a link to it... but just cannot post a link to my own blog.
It would drive me crazy trying to write (and uphold) rules for half a million gardeners who visit here!
hornstrider, I have the opposite. The garlic stalks are browning but my onions are still strong and green. Found this on Goumet Garlic Gardens website:
Once any given variety of garlic starts losing its leaves and there are still eight leaves left (a week to 10 days from harvest), discontinue watering and let the soil begin to dry out some so as to make harvesting easier - it's easier to pull garlic out of loose soil than mud.
I think it's just wording-pull= taking out of the soil. And maybe they figure that digging carelessly could cut into the bulbs? Anyway, I do it the easiest way! Sometimes the *experts* don't give us credit for possessing any common sense!
We harvest our garlic by pulling and we have clay soil. It has never been an issue.
Only the hard neck garlic have scapes. We usually harvest the mature garlic in July. The scapes are sometime in the May/June time frame. If you cut the scapes to early then they keep growing and if you cut them too late then they are tough.
We also only harvest when most of the bottom rows of leaves are turning brown from being ripe (as opposed to not getting watered enough). The bulbs get washed off and then hung to dry for a couple of weeks.
Horn, My EGs look exactly like yours. A few of the larger stalks are near wrist thickness. I removed the scapes a few weeks ago. Only a few lower leaves have turned brown. The main/larger leaves still green.
Curious, I dug down...and was disappointed, no bulb. Looks like they are widening a bit, but as it looks now...I still have a long way to go and they sprouted 150 days ago. Is that normal? Regardless, I'm in for the long haul. Gonna wait until they really start dying before I dig'em. Hope they start forming bulbs soon.
Similar here. VERY small bulb but they the stalks are dying back. Maybe I'm under-watering - at the point I saw some brown stalks, and thinking I would be harvesting soon, I cut back a bit on the water.
Well dang...I just stuck my finger down, and I felt a bulb...I mean its much bigger than the stalk from what I can tell...my stalks are probably your wrist size, not mine...but it has bulbed I am sure...I guess I will leave them...I planted in oct...help
We had such a mild winter and it's already been warm, so the garlic is probably going to need to be harvested earlier than normal. I planted mine in late October and it's almost ready to harvest. Many of the lowest leaves are dying, which is an indication that it's getting close to harvest time!
stephanietx...wow mine looks like yours. When are you going to pick?...I am a bit warmer down here in Central Texas. I picked most of my onions over the weekend. My onion crop was nothing to brag about. It's OK, but not like years past. I saw Dreaves crop on another thread, and his onion crop was impressive.
Also what is the best way to cure the garlic? I asked a similar question on the onion thread about onions. Please give a step by step method to follow.
Mine is still in the ground. I will wait another couple of weeks. More of the bottom leaves need to be dried up. I usually just use a pitchfork to dig up the dirt around the garlic, far enough away from the bulb to do any damage to the bulbs, though. You don't want to pull it by the stalk and you don't want to cut or bruise the bulb. In the past because I've not had much, I've just laid them out on my compost sifter (wooden frame with hardware cloth) for a few weeks until the rest of the stalk dries up. We have a large area that has a carport covering that doesn't get any sun and that's where I've left them to dry. This year, though, I might have to bunch them up and hang them from the ceiling in my laundry room because I have so many. You want them to cure in a dry place with little to no direct sunlight.
urbanveggies412 - interplanting crops is a great idea. I have onions interplanted with sweet potatoes. Sweet peppers interplanted with onions in another raised bed. Peas interplanted with onions in yet another raised bed.
The onions don't seem to mind other veggies growing all over them. I got this idea last year when I ran out of room to set some onions - so I stuck them in the same bed as the melons. They grew and made large bulbs despite being almost smothered by the melon vines.
I suspect you could do something similar with garlic, although I haven't tried this, YET!
I have just interplanted Witloof Belgian Endive between my rows of garlic. The garlic will get dug about the time the endive plants need more room. Last year I interplanted veggies all over my flower beds, with great success and fewer pest problems.
I have a huge mole/vole problem, and I've been adding powdered garlic to the planting holes for everything this year. So far I've only lost 1 seedling and it probably wasn't due to a tunnel rat.
Si - me too. My cavaliers don't dig but they love to roll in fresh compost - or anything else stinky. For the digging issue, see my thread about cats! grrrrr...she's a sweet kitty but when she's gone, no more cats.
Help garlic experts. I dug up one clove of Elephant Garlic, and it looks like an onion. The cloves have not formed. I have quit watering them. How long before the cloves form? Or will my garlic form cloves?
From what I've read, all you can do with the single clove elephant garlic is replant it next year for a full head. It is my understanding that if you plant the small, hard, cloves that form with the elephant garlic that the first year they will form a single bulb. If that bulb is replanted then it will grow a larger bulb, of cloves. If you plant the large cloves from a head, then they will normally form multi-clove heads and some of the smaller, hard cloves. I've only planted one year, and I had a few small cloves that grew into single bulbs, The larger cloves I planted grew into heads, but they also formed some extra, very small, hard, cloves.
We don't harvest ours until sometime in July. It takes that long for a fall planted garlic crop to mature for us. In the meantime, you can either use the green leaf tips for cooking with or pull an inmature garlic bulb to use like a green onion.
I'm going to harvest today and tomorrow, which is definitely early for us. It's a bumper crop this year. I don't know if it was the mild winter or the new varieties or what, but I'm going to have a LOT of garlic!
Lorz Italian and Broadleaf Czech. I dug up half the Lorz Italian this morning and this was the "small" stretch of plants. Nice full heads, a couple of little ones and a couple of big ones.
Considering I dropped the cloves into unamended clay loam, top dressed with some semi-finished leaf-compost and a little cottonseed meal, and the beds were full of weed, I'm impressed they've performed this well.. The Lorz Italian will scorch your tongue off right now so I hope it mellows a bit while drying!
I have a few questions, growing garlic is pretty new to me. I pulled a few today for a test. I got about 6-7 with large formed bulbs and 2-3 that didn't form cloves(like hornstrider showed above). They were all planted from the same sized cloves. Did I pull the ones that didn't form too early? Or does that just happen from time to time with Elephant Garlic?
I'm more than happy with the first ones I pulled, but now I have to wait 3-4 week for them to dry? Could I speed up the process by sticking a few bulbs in the dehydrator a couple hours a day until dry?
[quote="Ray_Der_Phan"]I have a few questions, growing garlic is pretty new to me. I pulled a few today for a test. I got about 6-7 with large formed bulbs and 2-3 that didn't form cloves(like hornstrider showed above). They were all planted from the same sized cloves. Did I pull the ones that didn't form too early? Or does that just happen from time to time with Elephant Garlic?
I'm more than happy with the first ones I pulled, but now I have to wait 3-4 week for them to dry? Could I speed up the process by sticking a few bulbs in the dehydrator a couple hours a day until dry? [/quote]
Remember "Elephant Garlic" isn't really garlic. It's only called that because of the form of the bulb and because of a vague resemblance of the aroma to a very weak garlic. These days it has become just a term to help market the stuff. It is really a form of leek, so it may not behave like garlic.
AFAIK there is no reason to wait. The drying and curing process is only to help bring them to a point where they can be more successfully stored (though the flavor may change a bit). I don't know what the effect of forced air drying would be. Personally I would be concerned that forced-air drying (without heat, of course) would cause the outer portions of the bulbs to appear dry while the moisture content of the inner portions was still quite high.
Ahhh! Thank you both...sounds like I should start using them whenever I need :) Then I'll let the next harvest cure for later use. I was always told you had to let Garlic/Elephant Garlic cure, glad I asked.
Jo, that's exactly what I've been wanting to do with a few bulbs. Yum indeed!
Or, we have permanent garlic beds that spread and thrive for years, inground, off the side of a tree, and use year round, they do like a rich well drained area, they like water but want their feet to stay dry my mom used to say