Martin's Heirloom Garlic

coho(z8/9 N. Calif)January 18, 2006

Planted 10 cloves and 26 bubils. Two cloves came up right away and three bubils. The rest have been very slow but only one bubil at this time is still hideing.

I suspect that they think they are still in Z 4b. It will be interesting to see how they acclimate over the next three seasons.


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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

Good to see that they are at least growing in their new tropical paradise! I would have thought that the bulbils would have taken off quicker as that was usually the case here. With both bulbils and cloves planted at the same time, it will be interesting to see how long it takes for the growth of one to catch up with the other. And then also to compare at harvest time.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 10:54AM
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coho(z8/9 N. Calif)

Bubils are much behind the cloves. Last bubil is sprouted.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 11:36PM
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coho(z8/9 N. Calif)

The clove plants have mostly 13 leaves and no scapes showing at this time. Bigger plants are 1" at base. Leaves are closer togeather than any other garlic I have. A very attractive plant about 18" tall. Wide dark green leaves drouping near the tips. First leaf has dried and 2nd just starting. Clove plant scapes will be all left to mature on the plant.
The bubil plants have 8 to 10 leaves and are a little shorter. Stalks mostly around 5/8" in dia. About half have scapes from just starting to 3/4 curl. I intend to remove a few scapes to compare size of bulbs with and without scapes. Scapes will be put in a shady place in water to compare size of bubils resulting.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 12:49AM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

They certainly are different, aren't they? Music and Siberian are the only two which are close to Martin's for thickness of stem. I think that you'll find that to be a sign of how large the bulb will eventually be. As you note, even the plants started from bulbils have a stem as big or bigger than many larger varieties started from cloves.

It's also got the widest leaf of the two dozen or more varieties being grown here. But instead of being stiff like many others right now, these bend about three-quarters up. If the leaves remained erect, the plants would be about the same as Siberian here.

When it comes time to harvest Martin's, I'm very certain that you'll be very much impressed with it.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2006 at 12:51AM
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pdxjules(8, Portland, OR)

An allium a box, marked Martin H.

The only garlic I'd ever harvested before today were those papery whites from the store. And some spectacular elephant garlic (ok, it's a bulbing leek!) that I'd rescued from a curbside garbage bin.

So imagine my delight when 6 good size heads of purple garlic poked thru and began showing off above ground last month. They were ready for harvest before all others. 6 heads of garlic are all on one plant, with big sturdy stems flopped out around all sides. They they sort-of broke at the top of the cloves, and I see one of the smaller outer clove had already begun to push out a new green shoot. I may replant him in a shady area till fall to see if I can get a bigger head next Spring. I'll compare that wth a few I'll replant as normal in Sept/Oct. (You can call me nuts, but I think experiments are half the fun. When i read the uniform practices on the Ag Websites, i think, Gawd how boring and regimented their lives must be...despite the success rate)

Anyway, I had only planted single garlic cloves, and it is abnormal to get such a big yeild from only one, yes? So, how did the six clove clusters-from-one phenomenon happen, one wonders? Well (after a hellish wait - loaded with allium-anticipation) it was finally my turn to receive 7-8 different garlic varieties from Martin. Mysteries all.

Failure sometimes brings greater success. My fall harvest season was so busy (I dig and bring in all peppers and many tomatoes) so garlic got set aside and I got my gems planted *very* late, and in the chilly rain, when they were very they didn't get that burst of vigorous fall growth I'd wanted to begin fattening up the momma clove.

By the next July, I didn't exactly get monster heads. Due to my Oversight or Procrastination (which is certainly not the same as Sloth - for someone who grows dahlias and much of her own food!) I thought most of the garlic were too small to bother harvesting last spring - and I had still loads of Elephant Garlic to chisel out of concrete summer soil - so last year I just left the Test Garlic in place, and threw more compost on top for summer mulch. I let the area stay mostly dry until the fall rains.

By fall of last year they were all coming back. Now leaves of all are starting to dry, despite intermittent spring rains, so I'm watching carefully for harvest timing hints.

Will definetly re-plant soem of the red/purple. Haven't eaten any yet, but it was so productive and early, it was worth the wait! Am still on the discovery tour with the other varieties.

The Potato Onions I tried are truly wonderful little critters. I want to try re-planting some bulbils (or is it Golden Shallot?) that was also left in for a second year come-back frenzy. this plant has fat round leaves and a surprising lot in one whorl. Very round seed heads top almost every one. I clearly need to separate bulbs and harvest greens nand topsets at some point, but I'm not sure when? Is this one (with prolific fat round leaves) a potato onion? I've been eating the leaves partly to beat the Slugs to em, since they are so hardy and juicy. I just topdress with more compost and they come right back. In early Spring lots of slugs or snails were inside the juicy tubes.

More fun from Martin's gift-box....

After the first year, my Catawissa patch is spectacular! Garlicky-looking _fruit_ went to friends with assorted scapes in floral arrangements, and the rest are falling over from sheer weight of the purpley topsets. I'm wondering - is time to separate & plant, and if so - do I dry them first, and save till fall in the basement? Should I use most (with greens) now for Pesto - or do I stop watering and let the whole mass dry in place?

The Egyptians (also from Martin) are very pretty and delicate plants - I was definetly sad to see them die back last summer. I still have not eaten any. What is the optimum timing/way to eat them? Their topsets are falling over now too...but no sign of drying yet. Can I harvest some or all leaves (that aren't fruiting now) as scallions - or is it better to let them fade back to the origional bulbs? At some point - is it better if I cut off the fallen heads and cover with compost/soil mix (so i can eat the rest? I think I tried that with one last year and it died - so I'd hate to lose meore to experiementing.

What an adventure. In fall I plan to renovate soil to be looser, and plant the smaller garlic varieties together in a raised bed box to better contain my garlic test bed..and interplant with some leafy summer table green, harvest to fall. I also pledge to do a better job of mulching in winter. And I will eat all these guys before mind-winter when any left they dry and rot. Elephant garlic will get me thru the rest of the year. I'm giving away lots from 2005 now, as it looks like I'll need to harvest EG, and all remaining garlic much earler than usual.

I appreciate any advice...and am still reading - sorry if you've seen these questions before.

Thanx again, Martin!


PS: Thanx also to others who take the time to answer questions...GarlicLad, GarlicLady, and GarlicMan for tips I've seen in this - and other Forums. btw, while GarlicMan differs sometimes from others, his tips usually fit my situation since I'm also in Oregon - and I'm happy to consider all reasons/approaches - as any garden can have several kinds of eco-system environments, and seasonal challenges. Peace to all!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 5:53PM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

Pdx, you couldn't have received plain Egyptians from me since I haven't had many of them to send out. Some have gone out but I don't think that it to GW members. Should have plenty this year. You may have gotten Heritage Sweets or one of the old pearl onions.

Martin's is looking better and better every day now. It's still the one with the widest stem at the base. That usually is a sign of a potential big bulb. They are even bigger than Music or Siberian in that respect. All leaves green so far and the scapes still coiled. Now will be the critical few weeks for water so everything can develop, both bulbs and bulbils.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 11:24PM
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coho(z8/9 N. Calif)

Pulled first two yesterday. Scapes are very slow to develope on clove planted stalks. First one is just showing and have 2 to 5 dried leaves on all remaining. 15 scapes counting the two bubil planted heads pulled yesterday.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 11:28PM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

How about some numbers like these?
51 - 3" to 3.5"
171 - 2.5" to 3.0"
19 - 2" to 2.5"
2 - 1.5" to 2.0"

When the final tally of the entire field crop was harvested and sorted, Martin's beat Music for average size. It was the same with those varieties grown in my home beds. I always thought that there may be something special about it but never realized its potential. For years, all we were interested in was saving enough bulbils or a few cloves to have a few dozen bulbs and it never failed us. When we branched off into other varieties, it was almost lost. Ain't going to get lost now!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 12:03AM
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maryinpnw(z8 OR)

Hi Martin,

I did not get in on Martin's but I did beg you for whatever garlic cloves you had left. Anyway, everything has been pulled and is hanging under the eaves. Some of excellent size, some not as big as I would like. I think the smaller stuff is due to all the rain we had in the spring.

Anyway, as a garlic fanatic, I look out and see all that garlic goodness and thank you with all my heart.

Mary in Oregon

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 12:15PM
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