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Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Last spring or early summer, friends of our daughter gave her a bundle of garlic starts. These folks live on a farm and they said this good strain of garlic has been raised by their family there for over 100 years. They also said it spreads in the garden and into flower beds, so they have to pull it back sometimes - hence the young plants to give away.

I planted the starts in a corner of my vegetable garden but they didn't do well last year. I'm pretty sure garlic should be transplanted in the fall, not spring - so these pretty much just went away over the course of last summer and I thought I'd lost them. Much to my surprise, they've come up real nice in that corner this spring (picture). When I saw what was going on, I gave them some liquid fertilizer and they're doing well.

Tell me about growing garlic, please - I've never grown it before. My wife uses a lot of garlic in her cooking and I'd like to keep this patch going permanently and get some good use out of it. I have no idea what kind of garlic this is (hard neck, soft neck, etc.) or how to handle it from here. Thanks for any info!

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Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Good place for it! It returns in fall, dies back in summer. Can use tops or dig whole plant while growing. I do not harvest garlic, so mine just grows, doubles, and is there to use. Likes a rich loamy fast draining soil, afternoon shade in Texas (we grow them under the peach trees or other like areas for morning sun. Easy care, bulbs love bonemeal, but other than that, they do fine and will always return

Avon, IN(Zone 5a)

So if you don't harvest- do you just dig to use as needed?

We dig ours in the fall and dry on a screen then store like onions.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Mine stay in ground and return. Not sure about using when dormant, but digging where they were def finds bulbs and bulblets...some of ours stay green awhile, but may be not the more commercial garlics...gone to tesearch...

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

If not harvested, the cloves split. I keep finding Heartsongfarms.com popping up with info. I also read of two planting times, fall and spring, so believe this could be an almost continual crop. If the cloves split they are getting ready to regrow, so I wouldn't use them from dormancy.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

I got online and did some reading about garlic and I found some REAL good reasons to grow your own:

(1) Garlic has hardly been grown at all commercially in the U.S. for years now. China grows it so cheaply, they supply nearly 100% of the U.S. market, and garlic is a high-profit commodity for food companies because low production prices don't get passed down to the consumer.

(2) Chinese garlic fields are often fertilized with human waste.

(3) There are many varieties of garlic, with a wide and interesting range of characteristics and flavors. However, virtually all garlic in the U.S. supermarket and commercial food chain is of one variety that is not particularly flavorful but it stores and ships very well.

(4) U.S. consumers have come to expect garlic that is very white, so commercially grown garlic is bleached.

(5) Once commercial garlic bulbs are bleached and dried they're very stable so there's no rush to get them to market. Most supermarket garlic is over a year old when it reaches the consumer, and it has only a fraction of the flavor of fresh garlic.

Interesting stuff - so, I'm growing my own garlic and looking into other varieties to grow also. :>)

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Very interesting!

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

Our garlic planting is under way-
we have 2 more varieties to plant ,- Tia [my daughter] and I plan to plant 40,000 cloves , we use raised beds for all of our garlic.

This message was edited Oct 2, 2016 8:47 PM

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Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Wow!
Yum!

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

Cabbage is ready for harvest- but will have to wait until garlic is all planted,

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Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

We are planting "German Extra hardy" it is called "Extra Hardy" because of the early vigorous root growth- that helps it resist "frost heave" and "winter kill"

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Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

little better picture,

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Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Do you have a mechanical harvester for garlic? Drying shed?

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

Quote from Pistil :
Do you have a mechanical harvester for garlic? Drying shed?


We have a "potato harvester" we use to dig the garlic, and an enclosed trailer with mesh bottom bins and forced air ventilation.

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

Growing great Garlic
By, Michael Porter

Growing great garlic begins long before the cloves are planted.

Soil should be amended with generous amounts of composted organic material, [fall leaves are almost perfect for this]. Amendments to your soil just before planting should have a relatively a low nitrogen content. Too much nitrogen at planting time encourages top growth; - early, tender top growth can be damaged by harsh winters.

Bed preparation
Garlic performs best in a raised bed; raised beds allow excess moisture to move away from the developing bulbs. If too much moisture is in contact with the developing bulb rot, and deteriorated bulb wrappers will be the result.

Planting
In most areas of the US, planting dates start about the time of your first fall frost, and end about a month before the ground begins to freeze solid. This gives the clove at least a month to form good root structure in the fall.
Plant individual cloves pointed end up, root scar down [just like they grew] .If cloves are planted sideways or upside down some will not grow, and those that do grow will have deformed bulbs. Planting depth depends of your climate, in areas with harsh winters planting depth can be as much as 4 inches. Here in Zone 5, we plant 2 inches deep [ 2 inches of soil over the clove] adequate planting depth helps prevent “frost heave”[ ice expands under the clove, forcing the clove out of the ground where it is freeze-dried] and “winter kill” [plants that do not survive the winter]

Spring
In early spring top growth will resume, or begin. As soon as this top growth is noticed, it is time to top dress with a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Aged manure is very good for organic growers and ammonium nitrate for conventional growers. [Ammonium nitrate damages soil microbes, and can negatively affect flavor, and storage time.]
Vigorous top growth is wanted, the larger the stem diameter when bulb formation begins, the larger the resulting bulb.

Summer
Bulb formation begins in late spring or early summer. Scapes will begin to form on hardneck varieties at this time. Removing scapes as soon as practical is important for maximum bulb size. Scapes are very tasty, and good for kitchen use, [we especially like them in stir-fry dishes.] If harvested early they are tender, if you wait too long they get tough.
Water garlic enough to keep it moist but not wet; stop watering as soon as you notice the bottom leaves are beginning to yellow. Harvest when there are still 2 to 4 green leaves on the top. This ensures a good covering of “wrapper layers” to protect bulbs in storage, and preserve bulb appearance.
Hang harvested garlic plants in a shaded, well ventilated area, until tops have dried, then remove tops and store like you would onions.

[this article is posted on my website]

Lynnwood, WA

Growing Great Garlic by Ron England

With a planting the size of 40 k in cloves, mechanization would be inevitable! I have grown organically and commercially in Massachusetts but never at your scale. For earlier posts, though you could leave the garlic in the ground, it is a much better management approach to harvest and cure properly. You then will know how much garlic you have for culinary use and Fall planting. Based on where you are located, there are varieties that are best suited for planting and you can find that information online. Your season length often will dictate the varieties you may elect to plant, as will your intended use- ie fresh eating or prolonged storage. I put in a bunch of garlic in for a fruit tree companion planting one year in the Spring( wrong planting time I know and it was garlic off the shelf at Whole Foods from Gilroy Ca) and it did not do much that year, so, thinking that I had lost it, I left it in the ground and forgot about it. However, the following Summer, I was able to harvest several pounds of tasty garlic. So with garlic, there can be many ways to succeed in a small garden setting

Pistil if you are looking for a good source for seed garlic, I have been happy with Filaree farms in Omak

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

Sadly, I can't grow garlic at my current house. I used to grow it when I gardened in sand (just a mile away from here), here it is icky soggy clay. I miss the shallots even more than the garlic. In fact the only allium that survives for me now is a tiny patch of chives right at the edge of a rock wall. I have tried lots of ornamental alliums too but they never return here.
Are you able to grow garlic in Lynnwood?

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

I have / had very heavy sticky clay soil, in the kitchen garden -and garlic did not do well,[most just rotted] - however- with a lot of organic material added to the soil, and the use of raised beds, garlic now performs great.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Sounds like Pistil could grow garlic and other Allium sp. just fine in pots...

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I had that thought too. But for now I am too busy to grow stuff in pots- since it hardly ever rains here all summer they need frequent watering, which I just don't do. Probably when I retire I will get more into vegetable gardening. Now I pretty much grow stuff that can survive without watering for a few weeks.

Lynnwood, WA

Quote from Pistil :
Sadly, I can't grow garlic at my current house. I used to grow it when I gardened in sand (just a mile away from here), here it is icky soggy clay. I miss the shallots even more than the garlic. In fact the only allium that survives for me now is a tiny patch of chives right at the edge of a rock wall. I have tried lots of ornamental alliums too but they never return here.
Are you able to grow garlic in Lynnwood?

I am able to grow garlic successfully in Lynnwood. I use raised beds as my soil tends to be bit on the wet side. I am able to grow what we need in 32 sq ft closely spaced, however, I expanded this year so we will see what happens. With the heavy soil you describe, raised beds would definitely lead to success for alliums

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Glad I found this thread. I was given two garlic heads?. It has several cloves in it.
I was told to plant it now and harvest in the fall. I'm in zone 6b SE Mo.
Do you separate each clove and plant it?
I have a raised bed I plan on putting the garlic.

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

separate into individual cloves, then plant right side up [just like it grew] cover with an inch or two of soil,
- after you harvest this season- and if you want to replant- plant in october or november- [you will get a larger bulb that way]

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks!

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

weeding garlic

Thumbnail by Michaelp

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