Garlic - Zone 4-5 Status

byrdzeye(z5 OH)April 9, 2005

First timer here for garlic. The only green I see is a single clove that made it through the winter that way. Are any of you zone 4 or 5ers seeing green yet?

For reference, daffadils have been peaking for 3-4 days, don't need to cut the grass yet, apple trees are just breaking bud...

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JohnGuelph(z5 on)

All my Garlic is up. First time in my half dozen years of gardening that all bulbs have germinated 77 for 77, hard neck, planted Nov. 11. Now Multiplier Onions are starting to pop up.

    Bookmark   December 2, 0002 at 12:07AM
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JohnGuelph(z5 on)

All my Garlic is up. First time in my half dozen years of gardening that all bulbs have germinated 77 for 77, hard neck, planted Nov. 11. Now Multiplier Onions are starting to pop up.

    Bookmark   December 2, 0002 at 12:07AM
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JohnGuelph(z5 on)

All my Garlic is up. First time in my half dozen years of gardening that all bulbs have germinated 77 for 77, hard neck, planted Nov. 11. Now Multiplier Onions are starting to pop up.

    Bookmark   December 2, 0002 at 12:07AM
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anniew(4-5/PA)

My daffs are much more advanced in terms of inches showing than the garlic...however, if you didn't mulch the garlic, you may have lost some of it. I mulched two double rows, ad they are coming up pretty uniformly. Yesterday I mulched two other rows, and many of the cloves had "heaved." Some were okay while others were just mush. I think you should give the garlic more time...Ann

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 8:07AM
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evan1(z6nj)

I'm a first timer as well here in zone 6. Mine was mulched and is up around 3-4 inches. Most of my daffodils are blooming as of the last week.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 10:34AM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

25 of 27 varieties made it through the winter with possible 100% survival. Every clove from every hardneck appears to have sprouted in the past week. Even the elephant garlic finally may give 100% for a change.

Two nameless softneck varieties, from Coho, may have suffered 100% loss. Prolonged lovely fall weather resulted in too much growth and all that I'm finding is mush under the mulch.

Martin

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 3:22PM
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rxkeith(z5 MI)

snow is only now starting to disappear off the garden here. going to be a week or two before i start walking in the garden to check. assuming we don't hit a late cold spell and get another dumping of snow which is always a possibility.

keith in calumet

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 11:24PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

My garlic has been geen most of the winter and is about 5 inches tall right now. They were planted last fall about the beginning of October. The area has some dead oak leaves in it now and these usually remain until they break down naturally. I just added fertilzer to the area as well as some corn gluten to reduce any weed sprouting.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 1:44PM
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oldroser(z5)

If it's a hardneck it's probably OK - if a softneck it's probably dead. Mine is just coming up and the daffs are in full bloom. I notice the German Red doesn't seem to sprout in fall the way Music and a few of the others do.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 1:07AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I didn't plant any soft necks this year, as they all died last season. Hardnecks usually do better in colder zones.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 11:14AM
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makalu_gw(z5b NY)

All of mine is up and at around 5 inches except 4 Music that rotted - far end of the bed and with no mulch they just turned to mush. The daffodils just started blooming yesterday, I'm less than a week away from the forsythia blooming and the blueberries are just starting to leaf out from the buds.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 7:47PM
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byrdzeye(z5 OH)

Thanks all, the reference points are especially helpful...

Bummer...looks like a total loss.

I mulched with about 3 inches shredded leaves.

It doesn't look good, Saturday I sifted through the mulch with kid gloves looking for signs, nada. Sunday I raked the mulch back to let the warm things up a bit but I don't have any expectations of seeing anything.

The sole survivor isn't growing, just sitting there looking like it did November, partial rot I suspect, its a Gilroy garlic.

I planted 2 kinds, Gilroy garlic from the store and something that is purplish from a farm market that was grown locally. I planted on Sept 25, was that too early? All the cloves came up and looked good with 2/3 leaves before winter set in. I thought that was a good thing.

The soil has lot of organic material mixed in and is raised, good drainage but the leaf mulch tends to keep things very damp.

Any ideas as to what went wrong?

Help me turn this into something positive and figure out what went wrong so I can do better next year. It didn't really cost me anything, garlic was cheap and the garden space was just sitting anyway.

My speculations in order of most probable to least in my gestimation.

1) I planted too early. Wait until mid or end of October.

2) Too wet. Don't mulch. This would keep the soil much drier but would get a lot colder.

3) Too much compost. My native soil is clay/silt and is wetter than a frog or rock hard dry so I make raised bed rows by adding lots of OM to the paths, mix with soil and shovel into the rows, good tilth year-round but did the OM rot the cloves?

4) I had a bad year, better luck next. Well that idea stinks, means I can grow garlic sometimes, sometimes I can't. Seems like that would get expensive if I had to buy garlic to plant when I was planning on it perpetuating itself.

5) Variety selection. I will put a lot more effort into finding locally grown garlic and talking to growers to see how there past season went but based on my first experience won't be spending big bucks to order garlic for planting.

If I don't get much response, I'll post another thread since I'm really changing the topic to "Garlic Failure" or "Garlic Success in the Future".

Thanks again.
byrdzeye

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 10:05AM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

Byrdzeye, I'll take a stab at answering your 5 points.

1. It may indeed have been too early for softnecks. 25 September has never been too early for me but always hardnecks until the past few years. Never a loss until this past winter and I suspect that it was due to too much fall growth.

2 & 3. Wet and soil condition often go together. If the soil is one that drains quickly, water should be no problem. My soil easily gets 2" of compost worked in each year but it's also 20-25 percent sand in most allium beds. Presently, the shredded leaves mulch is as deep as 3" in the main bed and the garlic is growing up through that with no problem.

4 and 5. These both involve variety selection but after resolving the matters involved in 2 and 3. If you can't supply them with a suitable environment, even the best of sources will disappoint you. Locally grown varieties are usually the best choices but your growing conditions may be exact opposite of what the vendor has.

Martin

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 10:30AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

One important issue about leaf mulch (especially oak leaves) is the fact that its usually fairly acidic, like pine needles. When these leaf mulches rot, they tend to make the soil acidic too. As mentioned, hardneck types usually do better in zones 6 and below. In my compost pile, where I mulch a lot of oak leaves, I also add some lime to the pile.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 11:22AM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

Garlic tolerates a wide range of soil pH from 6.0 to 7.5, and does best in soils which are slightly acidic!

Martin

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 12:40PM
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dakotagarlic(zone 3 ND)

Zone 3 is now emerging.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 6:37PM
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garlicgrower

Your observations seem to make sense.
Mulch perhaps with something other than leaves which compact, flatten out and don't "breathe". Raising beds is good. Good drainage is important, but lots of composted manure if drained well should not add to to rot problems.
Try adding a teaspoon of bonemeal to each hole when planting.
Try different varieties of garlic, including locals. Not gilroys!

Good luck !
Maryanne in WMass

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 12:11PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I have four hard neck types all coming up around each other. Right next to these, I have some walking multiplier onions too, as well as planting some shallot seeds, and some seeds that had sprouted with 2 inch long greens. I doubt if the shallots will survive, but anticipated such a problem. I planted a small amount of full grown shallots in another location next to my chives and these multiply underground. Hopefully, I should see several shallots in fall, as well as harvesting Music and three other garlic types throughout the late summer. Most of these have dead oak leaf mulch removed, except for one small area. That area seems to have yellow garlic leaves and probably needs to have the oak leaves removed . I did apply plenty of that corn gluten on the whole patch as well as on my nearby asparagus, so weeds will be less of a problem this year.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 5:50PM
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coho(z8/9 N. Calif)

Mine grew all winter and I expect to harvest with in the next month. Earliest since I started growing. I wonder what it would have done if it had been planted on time and treated better.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 1:22AM
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glane1219(northern OK.)

Hi, My garlic here in zone 6 is almost 2 feet tall already could not ask for better growing weather for the last month. Have 33 differant kinds growing with about 95% making it trough the winter

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 9:34AM
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oldroser(z5)

Planted German Red on Columbus Day last year. It came up a week or two ago and is now 4-" high and has been side-dressed with fertilizer. The soil is light and well drained and I mixed in a lot of composted cow manure and mulched with a bale of wood shavings.
You need fairly well-drained soil and a hard neck variety and then you shoudl be off and running.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 4:46PM
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UncleJohn(z4 NH)

I am a solid Zone 4, and about 80% of the cloves are up, and this is despite the fact that my heavy mulching held the frost in the beds a couple of weeks after it was gone from the surrounding ground. I am growing Gerogia Fire, Siberian, Korean Red, German Extra Hardy, Purple Glazer, Mexican Red Silver, Spanish Roja, Music and Chesnock Red. The only ones that are not entirely happy so far are the Mexican Red Silver, and to a lesser extent the Korean Reds. The MRS had mostly sprouted last fall, and those sprouts, of course, turned to mush over the hard winter here.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 8:14PM
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heidi41(z5 Mass)

Zone 5: First time galic grower. All three types are doing great. Saint Helen and Polish (soft neck) Silverskin(hardneck) I planted in mid October and mulched with a layer of ground up leaves. Garlic is about 6-8' tall. I think I did something right with these!!!!!!!!!!!Heidi

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 6:01AM
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chuckr30(z5, GR-MI)

We have loamy soil here, it's between plain sand and rich organic soil, so it is well-drained. We grew garlic for 4 years and it came up fine. We never pulled it up, just left it in the ground all year round. Didn't mulch it either.

In winter it was common for temps to go down to -20F for 1-3 days, but temps usually hovered around 0-10F. (Zone 5a)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 1:49PM
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