Author Topic: Growing Garlic  (Read 18719 times)

Offline LoveSunflowers

  • Master
  • Posts: 778
Growing Garlic
« on: July 28, 2006, 06:08:32 AM »
Hello All-
I'm hoping to plant garlic this Fall. Any advice? This is my first year with a garden so I only have tomatoes, jalapenos, habeneros and cayennes but because I will be leaving my job to stay at home, I'm hoping to do more next summer. I know that you have to plant garlic in the Fall but I'm not sure if there is anything you need to do through the winter. I live in Michigan, pretty close to the Lake so it gets nice a chilly!  ;) Thanks everyone!
Jessica

YoopreMama

  • Guest
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2006, 05:23:32 PM »
Hi!  I'm in the Upper Peninsula and just planted my first crop of garlic last fall.  It was easy...separate a bulb into individual cloves and plant them 4-5 inches apart, pushing them into the soil until the pointed tops are just barely covered (recommended--ours were a bit deeper to avoid frost).  Garlic planted this spring is still going to be ready this summer, too, but apparently the fall crop will be bigger.  The bigger the cloves, the bigger the bulbs!  Best wishes!  Jen

Offline DawnsEarlyBirds

  • Adept
  • Posts: 516
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2006, 05:47:35 PM »
We live in NH so probably pretty close to your kind of weather.  We grow LOTS of garlic and were taught by some friends who grew garlic organically for a living. Once you start growing garlic ALWAYS save some to plant the next year.  Garlic acclimates itself to your soil and gets better as you continue to use the next generations of it.

First make sure your soil is nice and loose very deep down.  We have our's loosened up 18inches below the surface.  Then we add about an inch of compost to the top of the soil before we start planting.  We always push the cloves down a finger depth and then cover with soil.  We plant nearer to 6 inches apart, produces bigger bulbs.  Also we mulch it heavily.  Most books you read say to mulch with straw, but that costs $7/bale here, so we just put on 4-6 inches deep of leaves (or more!) we rake up from neighbors yards. 

We have been growing our garlic in raised beds the past few years and it works very well.  We cover the leaf mulch with bird netting held down with rocks to hold the leaves  down from the wind. Or we just spread some sticks on top of the leaves if we run out of netting.  I've even circled the bed with tomato cages (which we get by bunches at the dump) and then fill it with leaves.  One year the kids built little stick forts around the bed and we filled it with leaves - sort of looked like some primative grave!   In the spring we remove the mulch, then add some back on later when the garlic is about 12 inches high.

We do a foliar fertilizer a couple times before mid June and then just leave them alone.  Snap off the scapes (flower pods) when they start to curl around.  This helps the plant put its energy into growing bulbs instead of flowers.  Harvest when it looks tired of being in the ground - some say when there are 6 green leaves left, others say when 1/3 to 1/2 of the bottom leaves are brown.  Different varieties (hard neck and soft neck) are ready at different times.  I just think when it looks like it won't be growing any more then you can pull it.  It is our favorite part of gardening, pulling garlic, so exciting to see how big it is this year!

This year we got some incredible garlic from our "front beds" and I was wondering why the difference.  The amount of sun?  Did I add more manure???  Then it dawned on my husband that those beds are right over our septic tank and we wonder if the year round heat from below could have made the difference? :)

YoopreMama

  • Guest
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2006, 01:53:40 PM »
 8)  WOW!  Thanks for sharing what you did about the garlic...I can't WAIT to put it into practice.  I want to plant lettuce in b/w the heads...any experience w/ that?  Trying to conserve space. 

The little mini-cloves of garlic in the flowerhead...what do you use them for?


Offline DawnsEarlyBirds

  • Adept
  • Posts: 516
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2006, 03:09:16 PM »
8)  WOW!  Thanks for sharing what you did about the garlic...I can't WAIT to put it into practice.  I want to plant lettuce in b/w the heads...any experience w/ that?  Trying to conserve space. 

The little mini-cloves of garlic in the flowerhead...what do you use them for?


I experimented with that this year and planted spinach between the garlic in one bed.   It worked great, and you are right, grew 2 crops in one bed.  I have a great garden, but for some reason have never been very successful with lettuce, so we plant lots of spinach, which I can grow.  I did better with lettuce this year, but still not like I want to! 

Another thing we have done for the past few years is plant green beans in the beds after we harvested the garlic and get one good picking of beans, which we canned, before the frost.  This will all depend on the year's weather whether it works or not, but worth the try for the price of some been seeds.

The little mini cloves  can be planted, but in my opinion are not worth it.  They seem to come up very small the next year, and then you replant them again, and each year they improve.  Seems to be more productive if you just go with planting the cloves from the bulb.  But, if you snap off the scapes, the flower pods, after they appear, you don't get those mini cloves anyway.

Offline 4my3rascals

  • Adept
  • Posts: 125
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2006, 03:46:28 PM »
How do you store the garlic?   How long does it last?

Offline DawnsEarlyBirds

  • Adept
  • Posts: 516
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2006, 04:38:38 PM »
How do you store the garlic?   How long does it last?

We hang our garlic to cure for 3 or more weeks, depending on the weather (and with the continueing onslaught of rain here this year it will be 4 or more weeks for sure!) then cut the stems about 1/2 inch above the bulbs, cut off the roots near the bulb and store it in a basket in a cool place (like our pantry or root cellar.)  It can last until the next year's garlic is harvested if the conditions are right.  We usually eat it all before then.

By hanging I mean, take several bulbs and tie them up with some sort of string and hang from nails on the porch or from beams in the house.  OR we got some old refrigerator grates from the dump, support them on both sides with something (right now our's is hanging between 2 stacks of unused bee hives on the porch) and hang the garlic down through the grates.  Last year we layed flat them on bread crates, but that takes up a lot more room.  They just need to be positioned somehow to have air flow around them to dry them out. 

 

Offline makingchanges

  • Adept
  • Posts: 443
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2007, 09:15:27 AM »
I live in TX and I was wondering if anyone knew if I could plant garlic now?

Offline boysmama

  • Global Moderator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 2199
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2007, 03:19:30 PM »
I live in TX and I was wondering if anyone knew if I could plant garlic now?
The first garlic I ever grew I planted in the spring. The bulbs were not as big and didn't store as well, but I still had my own garlic  ;D I think there are several kinds of garlic that get planted in the spring anyway, at least elephant garlic bulbs are not shipped until spring whereas other kinds get shipped in the fall (from seed co.)

Offline Julia

  • Master
  • Posts: 799
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2007, 03:32:40 PM »
You all just started with garlic you bought from the store, right? The bigger the cloves, the bigger the bulbs? Oh, I hope it works, so I can finally have organic garlic!

Offline makingchanges

  • Adept
  • Posts: 443
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2007, 05:02:00 PM »
I was looking on No Greater Joy website about the different types of garlic. I wonder if the different types have different planting periods. I guess I need to some search,huh?

Offline Whiterock

  • Jesus Knows Me, This I Love
  • Guru
  • Posts: 3410
  • Eph 6:16
    • Yarb d'Farb Knarb
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2007, 09:06:00 AM »
Last year, my uncle decided to plant a new garden at my grandfathers old farm and he started plowing up the garden spot nearest to the old house. My grandparents had several garden spots but I don't think this one had been used since my grandfather died almost 15 years ago.

Well, it was filled with garlic plants! Those little suckers had just kept going all those years. So my uncle gave some of the plants to me and my mom before he plowed the rest under.

I was so confused when I saw the plants because the bulbs were not divided in "cloves" like all the other garlic bulbs I've seen. They were just solid bulbs (I cut one in half to make sure). But I went ahead and planted them in a big square pot just to see what would happen. I thought it would be wonderful to keep these going so that my kids could one day have, in their own gardens, garlic from their great-grandfather's farm.

The garlic started sprouting green tops this fall and are doing well. Some of them must have developed cloves at some point during the year because there are clusters of sprouts where I know I only planted one bulb, but others have only one sprout for the one bulb that was planted there. I am going to transplant them so they will have more room, since my local organic farmer told me it would be ok to do that. But he had no explanation for the no cloves/now some cloves  mystery?

Do any of you have an answer?
If seeing pictures would help, I can post some pics I took of a few of them before I planted them.

WR
« Last Edit: January 09, 2007, 09:21:04 AM by Whiterock »
Who Needs God?

My Blog - Yarb d'Farb Knarb Check out the Wellness Wednesday tag for your health-related blog posts!

Offline boysmama

  • Global Moderator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 2199
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2007, 10:08:06 AM »
WR, I wonder if you have a shallot? or possibly a multiplier onion?

I have sometimes pulled wild garlic that has only one clove per bulb, and it seems they reproduce more down the multiplier onion line...plant one clove, which is the whole bulb and other bulbs grow around it but not like cloves together in one bulb... does that make sense :P ::)

Just some thoughts :D BTW I love old, heirloom plants... When I have the time and space I want to grow some old varieties just for the fun of it and to keep them going! Good work on planning to keep them in your family ;D I don't think there are any old seeds and plants left in any of my families gardens :(

Offline Whiterock

  • Jesus Knows Me, This I Love
  • Guru
  • Posts: 3410
  • Eph 6:16
    • Yarb d'Farb Knarb
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2007, 10:36:29 AM »
My organic gardener said it might be leeks when I described it to him, but it didn't have the layers of a leek. I just figured that maybe at some point in it's growth, garlic has to develop cloves and before that it's just one bulb... but I have no experience with this and so I don't know.

Hey, I just found this online...

"In early June the first, skinny garlic heads, with their long green stalks, start piling up in stalls at the Union Square Greenmarket..." "They look almost exactly like scallions...." "A few weeks into June the long stalks start to form small heads at the root end, but individual cloves are not yet completely discernible. As the summer unfolds, the garlic develops cloves and the heads become bulbous and more recognizable as garlic."

But that doesn't really explain why only some of them developed cloves. Do you need to let garlic grow for two years before harvest (like rhubarb and such)? If so, maybe some of these are first year and some are second year garlic. 
???

WR

P.S. Here's a pic of one before it was planted.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2007, 10:48:44 AM by Whiterock »
Who Needs God?

My Blog - Yarb d'Farb Knarb Check out the Wellness Wednesday tag for your health-related blog posts!

Offline makingchanges

  • Adept
  • Posts: 443
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2007, 08:48:35 AM »
I found this website  http://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com

It has so much information on different types of garlic. I want to get some to grow next year.

Whiterock I'm hopping maybe this could help you.

What is round or ball garlic?--

What you seem to have gotten are garlic rounds. As garlic goes through the development underground from a clove to a fully cloved bulb, it first swells into a large round undivided ball with a lot of wrappers that are almost fused together. As it grows, it begins to divide and sub-divide into as many cloves as it can before the heat causes it to lose its leaves. If the temperature increases before the garlic has time to divide, then the result is a large undivided round. Every time we harvest we find some of them. If replanted as is in the fall, they will form large fully divided bulbs the following spring. These rounds have the same taste and other properties as the clove they came from. Mild tasting garlics yield mild tasting rounds and strong garlics result in strong tasting rounds. For spring planting, rounds are your best bet to produce a good size bulb by the time early summer heat forces maturity.

From a cook's standpoint, one large cloves means a lot less peeling, etc. Also, they seem to keep much longer than fully developed garlic, probably due to that heavy, thick wrapper they have

Offline Whiterock

  • Jesus Knows Me, This I Love
  • Guru
  • Posts: 3410
  • Eph 6:16
    • Yarb d'Farb Knarb
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2007, 09:13:02 AM »
Thanks!
WR
Who Needs God?

My Blog - Yarb d'Farb Knarb Check out the Wellness Wednesday tag for your health-related blog posts!

Offline healthyinOhio

  • Guru
  • Posts: 4024
  • Happily Married for 12 years and proud mama of 2.
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2007, 09:18:25 AM »
I bought my first garlic bulbs from here:
http://www.filareefarm.com/

They are organic garlic growers and very nice people.  I wrote them many times with my endless questions and concerns.  They were happy to address them.  This is my second successful year of growing.  I love it!!!


Offline makingchanges

  • Adept
  • Posts: 443
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2007, 09:28:36 AM »
That's great to get a website for those in the north and hence colder weather. http://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com is in the south and has garlic that grows well in the south. I live in TX.

Offline healthyinOhio

  • Guru
  • Posts: 4024
  • Happily Married for 12 years and proud mama of 2.
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2007, 09:32:26 AM »
Sorry, I guess I should have clarified that filaree farms(the website above) does have garlic for all types of weather in all states.  In fact, if you are not sure what kinds of garlic grow best in your area(Rocambole, Purple Stripe, Artichoke, etc) they will send you your own starter pack that is right for your area!

Offline makingchanges

  • Adept
  • Posts: 443
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2007, 10:48:37 AM »
All rightm Great information. I'm going to get on it. Thanks

Offline Julia

  • Master
  • Posts: 799
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2007, 08:40:50 AM »
So do you start with a "starter pack"? Is there something that doesn't work about using grocery store garlic?

Offline healthyinOhio

  • Guru
  • Posts: 4024
  • Happily Married for 12 years and proud mama of 2.
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2007, 09:04:10 AM »
So do you start with a "starter pack"? Is there something that doesn't work about using grocery store garlic?

You are not suppose to use the store bought garlic because it is usually sprayed with something that does not yeild to big enough cloves to be even considered garlic.  But that is what I have read, and not tried.  You could try orgaic garlic cloves, but I would research before you use store bought.  Just my opinions.

Offline DawnsEarlyBirds

  • Adept
  • Posts: 516
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2007, 04:20:05 PM »
You can plant garlic until the ground freezes, which for us this year was - unbelievably!-  the day after Christmas.  On Christmas day we planted 6 cloves, and look forward to having something special next Christmas day from our Christmas Garlic!  Garlic is so good for you, and so much fun to grow!

Offline homesteadmommy

  • Adept
  • Posts: 295
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2007, 09:34:31 AM »
I should have read this beofre I planted my garlic. I just got done planint garlic - did I plant it at the totally wrong time of the year?

Offline carolinachic

  • Adept
  • Posts: 292
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2007, 10:01:51 AM »
I'm wondering the same thing ??? I live in SC it's been 70 degrees or better here, is it better to wait till the fall to plant in the more humid climates! I would love to start growing garlic already!!! :)
I love my kids! Austin 9, Avery 8, Haleigh 6, and Genevieve 4!!!

Offline mommie

  • Master
  • Posts: 1201
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2007, 08:57:25 AM »
so you just peel the clove and plant it? which side down? and how much do I water it?

Offline mommie

  • Master
  • Posts: 1201
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2007, 01:03:44 PM »
bump ;D

Offline boysmama

  • Global Moderator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 2199
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2007, 02:05:38 PM »
so you just peel the clove and plant it? which side down? and how much do I water it?
Don't peel your clove. Just separate the bulb and plant the large outer cloves. Plant them wide part down. The leaves come out the pointy tip and roots out of the wide base. Mulch heavily and then you don't need to water much and the moisture is more even anyway.
I planted in the spring the first time and I got some garlic, but it didn't store well. What is to lose? Plant a little now and a large bed in the fall for next year.  ;D

Offline mommie

  • Master
  • Posts: 1201
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2007, 05:16:57 PM »
so it grows  above the grouns...sorry for my ignorance here :) ... or do i have to pull it up...will each bulb make a whole new clove or just individual bulbs...

Offline mommie

  • Master
  • Posts: 1201
Re: Growing Garlic
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2007, 06:05:25 AM »
bump :)