no cloves

Nancy zone 6June 21, 2005

I purchased some garlic late last fall & got it in the ground quite late. I just bought it from local lowes I think, & it didn't have a particular name on it. It never sent up scapes, but a lot of the leaves have started dying on it. I needed some garlic in the kitchen so I pulled one up, the base of the leaves was looking quite brown. The garlic had not formed cloves, still looks pretty healthy. Did I just pull it too soon, or is it due to planting so late (early Dec probably), or too much rain? when I cut the garlic apart, it looked like it was "thinkin" about forming cloves, but still quite a while away. It was so late I when I planted these I really didn't get the bed beefed up as much as I should have & little or no fertilize. On another note, I think it was Martin who was so kind to share a variety of cloves with me. Every single clove seems to have come up, they produced scapes last week, & almost half the foliage has turned brown. I haven't dug down, but I have a feeling these will be the same. Can I dig these then replant the whole bulb in the fall, will it go on to form cloves? Maybe I am just being too early, I tried growing garlic before & waited too late, so maybe I am just too anxious?

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gardenlad(6b KY)

What part of Kentucky are you in?

No, it wasn't from late planting. It's almost impossible to plant garlic too late. If you can work the soil the cloves should be ok. I've planted as late as Christmas with no ill effects.

Garlic almost goes fully dormant in our winters. There is some slow growth, but it's mostly not noticable. Then, long about February, new growth starts in earnest. Days to maturity are counted from that spring spurt, not from when you planted. If you divided your seed stock in fourths, and planted 1/4 of it in September, October, November, and December, it would all mature at the same time.

Other than Xian, which by me comes in in mid- to late-June, most varieties start maturing in July.

If the cloves Martin sent are doing as well as you describe, I suspect there was a problem with the cloves from Lowes. Or perhaps it's just a late-maturing variety. Why don't you give it a few more weeks and see what happens.

Meanwhile, if all you get are rounders, cure them as usual, then replant them this fall. Next spring they'll produce full, differentiated heads.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 11:24PM
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Nancy zone 6

Thanks, I am just south of Bowling Green. I am just getting too anxious I guess, I left them in the ground last year way too long & almost all rotted. I'll leave them alone & be more patient. Cloves or no cloves, the fresh garlic was wnoderful!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 7:33AM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

Sounds like my gardener's mix is doing well and right on schedule. I'm having trouble to determine just how much water to give to mine since we're now under drought conditions. All hardnecks began forming scapes about a week ago and are now rushing to maturity in the dry heat. They are due for one more good drink in the next two days and then they will be on their own.

One little softneck, Wildfire, began to dry up as expected when it's done. Alas, only rounds were found so it will be another year before I enjoy that variety in the kitchen.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 12:26PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

>I left them in the ground last year way too long & almost all rottedLast year was an abberation. Remember, we had non-stop monsoons, which kept the bulbs wet. So it's to be expected that there was a lot of rotting; particularly since garlic doesn't like any water during the last three weeks of growth---which is the major bulbing period.

In your area I would expect maturation to start about two weeks earlier than it does for me in central Kentucky. So you should start seeing mature bulbs about now and onwards for the next few weeks, depending on actual variety.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 2:09PM
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mindsmile(z5 ma.)

Sounds like my gardener's mix is doing well and right on schedule
Like NGraham Martin generously sent me a bunch of cloves back in late fall last year.

Just an update as long as I have time.
All garlics Martin sent are doing well
All are at least 3 ft but less than 4ft tall
Stems are at or close to an inch around
Bottom leaf here is just starting to dry and turn yellow on some.
Snipped off 3 dozen scapes a few hours ago,stir fried most and chopped a few into a salad.They were great.

*Martin I tied a peice of ribbon on the only 2 I have that dont seem like they will get the scape.Any idea what the variety could be if its a softneck?These are the only 2 I have that dont have any hint of scape whatsoever.
Martins old heirloom-of the 4 I have,1 I have left the scape on-very curious about the flower/or bulbils it will produce,the only corms I have are on someones feet LOL.

I'm wondering also where those Golden Shallots can be,those I thought were the shallots sent up flower stalks and turned out to be overwintered Ebenezer onion sets that never came up or died back and came again somehow.They are out there somewhere,I'll find them as soon as I can differentiate them with my purple type.Wish they would hurry along,they seem very slow this year-probably due to the cold cold sunless spring.

Catawissa in the ground are small(planted late),few leaves and the mainstem has had the first tier started for a few weeks,growing slow-but thats ok-still another 80-90 days till frost.
Martin,I'm having a good usual wet year-So how do I keep the garlic dry after I stop them from getting water from the sky With the bottom leaf going yellow and the scapes already curled should I still give water or when we get our usual inch or so downpours will they be ok until the plant has half of the leaf area yellow?
Thanks for your input Martin and everyone.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 8:51PM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

Bill, since I didn't include any of the cheaper softnecks, I think that only Inchellium went out as a softneck in those mixes. That had done fairly well here and I did have some extra bulbs. However, no guarantee of what you got as there were a few other odd leftovers as well.

Also, don't remove the scapes from my old heirloom. They should give you rather large bulbils which may be planted just as if they were cloves. They'll give you a divided bulb even with spring planting here.

For those who are complaining about weather being too wet last year and this year, I'd love to have that condition again. In 2004, we were barely sprinkles away from being the wettest year ever. It was also my best garlic year! One has to play with the soil to have it able to handle extra rain or drought. I'm thinking that when it comes to sand and super drainage, I'd rather err on the dry side.

The main garlic bed still looked great this evening when 30 gallons of water went onto it. Somehow I wasn't surprised to note that the two largest are Music and my old topsetter. Hopefully there are also great things happening underground as well.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 12:56AM
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mindsmile(z5 ma.)

Thanks Martin

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 9:08AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Well, Martin, there's water and then there's _water_.

My alliums bed had standing surface water covering it for most of the year. There's just no way you can play with the soil enough to drain that away, short of going to pure sand. We're talking about beds that are about 4" higher than the natural surface level.

Those conditions persisted right up to January of this year.

Now, of course, as I predicted, we are in a pre-drought condition, and there's no rain in the foreseeable future.

Ach! Just when you think you can win the game they go and change the rules.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 4:40PM
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Nancy zone 6

Isn't that the truth. Last year was really wet, I was surprised I didn't lose a lot more bulbs & plants to rot. Luckily, I have pretty good, loose soil; but sometimes there is just no place for it to go. This is the longest stretch we have had without rain in over a year, its been about 11 days since it rained. I admit, I was getting a little tired of the rain, but not quite ready for a drought.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 6:27PM
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Warthog7(8 OR)

Martin now I am curious what is your old topsetter? Martins Old Hierloom? sounds interesting.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 6:40PM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

Warthog, nobody is more curious than myself about my heirloom garlic! Nobody knows if it ever had a proper name. It did not have a name when offered by Jung's over 20 years ago. It was simply a topsetting garlic which could be grown from bulbils to divided bulbs in a single season. More than likely, it was not even previously grown in the US until then. I base that on a problem with the planting instructions which were on the packet. It called for planting 4 to 5 inches. Of course, that's not planting but burying! I contacted Jung's about the mistake and their explanation was that the original instructions called for 4 to 5 cm but someone forgot to convert it. Thus the stock had to have come from some other country. Nobody now has a clue as to where they came from since many old records were destroyed in a huge fire several years ago. Among most of the group that are now growing it, Martin's seems to be the accepted name for the record. It indeed is one which never had a name when first grown rather than one which was forgotten over the years.

This aft was major watering again. About 5 gallons of water per each dozen plants. Growth conditions are still the same with Music being the largest among the true garlics. Scapes are being allowed to mature on some of every hardneck and the biggest there is my old one with Music close behind. With the present drought conditions, I'm crossing my fingers that my watering plan is ample enough for proper division of all hardnecks. Should be, since I don't think that they would produce scapes from a solid round.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 11:37PM
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Warthog7(8 OR)

If you can spare some after harvest let me know I will gladly give her a whirl.

Oh I wish my hardnecks did well this year.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 5:00PM
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Nancy zone 6

Well,thought I would give an update of my garlic situation :) I dug the Lowes' garlic this weekend, most of the tops had died. I had some pretty nice garlic considering I really hadn't fertilized etc. I was pleased, a few didn't make cloves, but most did quite well. Haven't dug the ones from Martin yet, they still have quite a bit of green above ground. I'm feeling pretty good, I think I'm gettin' the idea now! This fall I am going to get a real bed prepared for my garlic.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 11:08AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Sounds like a plan.

How much green is "quite a bit?" You want to lift the garlic when 1/2 to 2/3 of the leaves have turned yellow. So they might be ready, now.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 4:31PM
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Nancy zone 6

Headin'out now then, I would think 2/3 is right where they are. Thanks! Funny how these things sneak up on you. The Lowes ones still had about 1/2 green so I thought I would give them a few extra days. Two days later I took a look & some were completely dead. I guess it was the sudden heat we had finished them off faster than I expected, or maybe that is just their nature?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 8:27PM
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mindsmile(z5 ma.)

so as not to start another thread and your heirloom *
Martins Old Heirloom has been mentioned a few times.
Can you let us in on what we can expect as far as the heat from these guys?
Are they on the mild side,medium heat or hotter?
I'm sure whatever your tastes tell you that in my small new world of garlic that I will probably feel they are hotter than you.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 9:54PM
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paquebot(Z-4b WI)

Bill, I never thought of "my" garlic as either mild or hot. For years, I could only compare it with itself since that was the only one that was grown here. In the past 4 or 5 years, I've branched off into many other varieties. I can say that it's not one that I'd be eating raw but it also won't take the top of your head off. We used it for cooking year around as it stored very well. In short, we simply liked it a lot and saw no reason to abandon it. Now I suppose that I'll have to share it with even more this fall so that it's better preserved for the future. I think that I have 25 to 27 plants so I won't be passing it out by the pound!


    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 11:33PM
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Nancy zone 6

Another update on my latest digs. I dug the remaining varieties last week, and am pretty pleased. One variety I planted seems a little mushy, cloves seem firm but not holding together well, if you understand what I am saying :) I guess you can tell I am NOT an expert. The others all look pretty good to me & I have some pretty nice cloves. I left them out on my front porch for a couple of days then the rain hit & I didn't think that would be quite the place to keep them with all the moisture in the air & brought them inside & hung in my utility room. Hopefully, that will work. I have started a special bed for a fall planting & hope to do even better next year, I think I will know better what I am doing then. I was wondering, on those mooshy heads, should I take the cloves apart & put them in the fridge to ensure they make it to planting time?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 10:58AM
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mindsmile(z5 ma.)

You may be able to freeze the mushy heads-thats what happens when you plant in the fall/early winter-the bulbs just lay mostly dormant until its warm enough for them to grow.Then again I also have come to understand the garlic keep growing roots even in the coldest winter even if its just by millimeters a day.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 3:51PM
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