Garlic Mulch

garyt33(5/6)March 9, 2005

This year I got serious about garlic and actually applied about 6" of mulch. My ? is, When do I remove it? Should I wait until I see growth through the mulch? Garlic planted was elephant and german hardneck.

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I apply about 3 or 4 inches of mulch. I do not remove it since it's valuable as a moisture retaining cover, a weed suppressor and later after harvest, it enriches the soil.
But, if you love to weed, you can remove it !
Happy growing
Maryanne in WMass

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 12:13PM
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Maybe I'll just spread it out a bit when the new growth pops thru. Thanks Maryanne

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 2:37PM
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UncleJohn(z4 NH)

I can't speak to the elephant garlic, but the hardnecks should have no problem punching through 6" of mulch. That is roughly the depth I aim for, usually grass clippings.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2005 at 3:16PM
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thorspippi(z9/s14 CA Sacramento)

If 6" of mulch smothers weeds, wouldn't it smother the garlic too?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2005 at 4:01PM
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UncleJohn(z4 NH)

Hardneck garlic is notoroiusly determined. This past october I had a few poking out of my mulch already, just daring the frost. If they haven't punched through 2-3 weeks after the ground has thawed can always gingerly check to make sure that they aren't being deterred. I wouldn't worry about it though.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2005 at 4:58PM
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jayreynolds(zone 6/7)

I've found the elephant garlic is later pushing up, so don't be worried. You could dig and check.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 7:23AM
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pdxjules(8, Portland, OR)

My Elephant garlic is 2' tall and beginning to flop already. I've just begun mulching it lightly with light compost and leaf mold...but should have done so sooner I think, as we had quite the enjoyable L.A.-like drought during Feb/March. Most of the walking onion and garlic cloves martin sent me last fall has barely started to show.

Cool Spring Rains have begun however - so all the allium will now grow like crazy, thank goodness. I'm gonna harvest and cook some elephant garlic greens so they don't just rot on the ground. And add a soft top mulch of dry leaves. (please let me know if that is a bad idea - thanx!)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 5:45PM
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pdxjules(8, Portland, OR)

What a difference a Month makes!

The Elephant Garlic has doubled, and the cool windy rains of Spring has seasoned and toughened the stalks - not a floppy one in sight. Seems they also liked the leaf mold and coffee grounds I scattered around last month. It's like these EG plants were infused with testosterone! Only One Slug in sight also, and now he's a goner.

I'll have a good EG harvest by August...
with plenty left in the grove for the next year's Table.

Today I will roast what (I think) is the *last* of the Garlic that Conan bought me at the World-Annual Oregon Elephant Garlic Festival. I'm also growing 2 kinds of Shallots we found at the Fest too. It's an enjoyable source - if you can come to the NW in late August.

btw, *most* of the source
for my groovy EG patch
was from a curbside bin -

Someone else had grown impatient and yanked theirs.
I spotted some ratty-looking greens on the curb,
waiting sadly for the city compost truck -
so I called out to my (often tolerant and generous) neighbor Dana to PULL OVER!! I jumped out
and rescued a smelly armload -
and heeled them into a barren spot last summer.

Very happy they came back - and will feed me,
and friends for years.

Sun is expected, so they get more leaf mulch TODAY!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 3:52PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

All my hard necks are doing great. Most have greens almost a foot tall. The nearby walking onions are also the same height. Just weeded today, and there weren't many to deal with anyway. Its because I put down corn gluten in the garlic patch, as well as in my asparagus patch.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 6:42PM
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pdxjules(8, Portland, OR)

Well it turns out that just adding leaf mold and compost now and then was just great. Here is a photo of just part of my first-ever elephant garlic harvest! The jar overflows with Seed...which forms at the base of bulbs.

I got enough for all year - with seed to share - and plenty of cute _yearling_ bulbs and seed to replantr so i'll have sevral years of harvest. All from grabbing an armload of discarded greens found out on a curb in spring of 2004!

It's so cool that even the round elephant garlic yearlings produce seeed. Plenty for everyone! I might plant the flower seed too - altho that should take years to harvest...if they germinate.

The shot below shows how seeds form at the base of elephant garlic bulbs. Individual Cloves can be re-planted too...from teh mature heads - as with regular garlic. In Oregon - we get a season of Fall growt, and all are sure to come back in Spring - with just a light mulch and no watering. So EASY!

Here is a link that might be useful: all this can be re-planted for future abundance

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 5:20PM
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