my first year growing garlic

SmokyMist(7 East TN)June 17, 2013

I planted 5 different short rows of garlic in a large raised bed last November. I am in zone 7, TN. I have cut off the bloom scapes and watched this like a mother hen along the way. I harvested two rows last week of a small creole garlic, braided them and have them up drying. I have three more rows left, two of which are elephant garlic ( which I understand is more of a leek ). I have asked gardening friends and they tell me that when the leaves start to brown you can dig your garlic. To test that theory today I dug up an elephant garlic that had browned the most, and what I got was a big single bulb with a few tiny bulbils growing on the side, but it didn't look like a big garlic bulb with multiple cloves like I expected. Did I dig too soon ?

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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. It's common for elephant garlic to make singles.
The odds are that most of the others will be more garlic like.

Timing when to dig elephant garlic is tricky and I find it better to err on the safe side. If you dig early it's maybe not quite as big, but if you wait too long it splits and does't look good for sale and won't keep quite as well (this doesn't matter if your not selling it or don't have much to store).

-Mark

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 11:51PM
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mckenziek(9CA)

This is my first year growing garlic, too. I dug mine a little early due to gopher activity. (Scapes appeared, and I cut them off, and a few leaves had turned brown.) Eight total plants. A couple of bulbs were good sized, one small and the rest medium. When I first dug them out, the individual cloves were hard to see. I thought it was one big clove. But now that they have been curing for a week or so, I can see the individual cloves. Maybe something like that will happen to you, or maybe that is even normal for full term garlic. Like I said, this was my first year.

--McKenzie

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 2:21AM
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still_kris(z17 NoCA)

I have edited this post so no one will be led astray. Thanks for correcting my grave error,

This post was edited by still_kris on Wed, Jun 19, 13 at 9:13

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 6:17AM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Stillkris, while it's nice to leave advice here, it should be about something you know. People reading this in the future will think they should leave the flowers on their elephant garlic and what will they get? Smaller heads.

As I said, from my experience growing a lot of elephant garlic for sale is that every once in a while it just doesn't divide. If it's something other than genetics, I can't say.

-Mark

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 9:58AM
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SmokyMist(7 East TN)

Thanks Mark...my other garlics did so well, I just thought I had done something wrong with the elephant. I should post a picture too

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 12:46PM
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