Soak & Peel Elephant Garlic bulblets?

blueberrier1July 8, 2009

Would soaking in hydrogen peroxide 24 hours, peeling and then a quick rinse in vodka shorten the germination time for early fall planting of EG bulblets?

Believe someone (UncleJohn?) mentioned this is how he treats his regular garlic cloves prior to fall planting.

Recently dug EG. No spectacular sizes: largest is 2.5". As they dry, can see that there are cloves in some that I thought were 'rounds.'

These grew from spring transplants that were 3/8" max, from a neglected patch.

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computergardener(z7 NC)

I posted a simalar question last fall and it seemed the consensus was soaking was not needed, in regards to regular garlic.

I have grown garlic for 5 years without soaking and I seem to get good results but I asked the question because I am always looking for an edge.

The best advice for me is ensuring I plant in early fall so the roots get a great start before winter.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 8:48PM
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Many varieties of garlic now coming up through the heavy mulch. I kept count of each clove planted and so far nearly all varieties have 100% growth, including the elephant leek. I chose to soak in diluted seaweed/kelp plus baking soda and used vodka for the rinse. The peels were naked cloves. In removing peels, noted that some single cloves were doubles.

Due to a heavy rainfall, some of the regular garlic sat over 48 hours in the presoak. These 'grew' root stubs. Will do final counts at the end of March...if 100% emergence, and the crop meets my standards, I will continue the extra effort.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 4:55PM
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Garlic cloves are just like daffodiles, tulips. They are bulbs not "dry seeds"I dont think they will absorb ant water, unless they are very old and shrunk.
About "to peelor not to peel" I did an experiment last fall.
There was zero difference in sprouting and growth.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 8:40PM
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dirtdiggin(8b NW WA)

Has anyone had luck with dried/shrunk cloves? Would the soaking method help them at all? I have a bunch of left over garlic types that I didn't have room for last Fall, however I'll have room soon. Was wondering if planting them is pointless or not?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 11:43AM
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It's worth a try, your climate is probably cool enough they'll do okay in the summer.

Another way that garlic (and probably elephant garlic) is like daffodils is that they are induced to sprout by cold. Last fall I did an experiment and put one head each of two types of garlic in the fridge for 1 month, while another head from the same lot was at room temperature. I planted them at the same time after 1 month. The pre-chilled cloves sprouted sooner and are significantly larger to this day. In the photo there are two rock ringed beds with blue flags in the middle, in each the refrigerated cloves were planted in a row along the right hand side. You can see the difference is significant.

If you've got the time this is a very easy method compared to peeling and soaking. I've never peeled or soaked garlic, just break apart the cloves, plant and water.

This was my first year growing elephant garlic, and I planted it at the same time as my regular garlic (including this experiment). It did come up relatively late.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 3:07PM
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dirtdiggin(8b NW WA)

Oh yay...I think I'll give it a try. I had to go out and take some pics of my little treasures peaking up through the mulch I placed over them. Had to plant in half drums, but from the looks of the 7 half drums, I'll have garlic coming out my ears.... Each of the drums have two types of garlic (one soft and one hardneck) and two 5 gallon buckets have Georgian Crystal in their second year from bulbils. So 15 varieties plus a few giant cloves of Elephant garlic. I think I'll be able to keep track...and I placed labeled cups in each.

Here are two of them looking very healthy!!!...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 3:54PM
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I have 14 garlics going, plus elephant garlic. I've never had critter problems with garlic, so they're in the ground. That'll be over 300 heads to dig in a few months, but then a year of pungent food. ;)

Here's a photo of my elephant garlic at the beginning of the month. Just 5 cloves from one head I bought at the grocery store.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 4:27PM
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dirtdiggin(8b NW WA)

So what varieties do you have going? I actually may have more, but some were from a 2lb variety pack from a company that only sells gourmet hard neck varieties. They have over 20 varities and I may have some from any number of them. I'm hoping I'll get really good at identifying garlics from their characteristics. I've learned a lot, but I'm not that good yet lol. Good at identifying soft and hardnecks, but not the other sub classifications yet. I'm bound and determined! LOL

So far, I have...

Extra Hardy German
Ontario Purple Trillium
Purple Glazer
Persian Star
Silver Rose
Georgian Crystal
Lorz Italian
California White
Purple Italian
and Elephant

Oh I can't wait to harvest them!!!! So when is the typical time in CA? I would imagine we're a bit later than you on harvest, probably late July. Well at least it was the last two years. I'm on year number 3 for growing garlic, but our season has been so crazy this year. It's so ahead of schedule with our unseasonably warm winter...who knows when it will be ready.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 4:49PM
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Early Italian Purple (artichoke)
Inchelium Red (Artichoke)
Kettle River (artichoke)
Lorz Italian (artichoke)
Red Toch (artichoke)
california early (artichoke)
Asian Tempest (asiatic)
Sonoran (asiatic)
Ajo Rojo (creole)
chesnok red (purple stripe)
german stiffneck (porcelain)
Silver Rose (silverskin)
Red Janice (turban)
Shilla (turban)

This is my 3rd year with garlic too, last year I only grew ca early and german stiffneck. They ripened in May and July, respectively. I'm expecting the turban garlics to be done even before that this year. Silver rose was the last to emerge this year by about a month, so it may be go past July. The german stiffneck didn't do so great in July last year, presumably due to the heat, which is why I did the refrigeration experiment to see if I could get them to do more of their growth in the more favorable fall/winter/spring rather than winter/spring/summer.

I've also got a bunch of onions, american flag leeks and some generic shallots going, and will get in some picasso shallots and potato onions from fedco in a couple weeks. Bad timing for those, but worth a shot. Alliums grow really well here, and at a time when not much else except salad greens thrives, so I grow many of them. I should have a plump trade-list for most of those between July and Oct.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 3:36PM
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dirtdiggin(8b NW WA)

Oh it would be fun to trade different garlic types. I should also have a nice selection of what I've planted. A bit more research to figure the types...I know I have a few rocamboles and some porcelain types, but on the soft necks, I'm not sure which are aritchokes and which are silverskins. Looks like you've done a little homework for me on some that I have, so this is excellent info...thank you :)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 6:02PM
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computergardener(z7 NC)

I originally replied on Sun, Jul 12, 09. Since then, the fall and a new batch of bulbs went in the ground. I decided to try pre-soaking this year and I have to say I had much better germination then last year. And the extra work really only meant adding a Tablespoon of Fish Fertilizer to a gallon of water and letting the bulbs soak for a few days. It did stink a little but well worth it when I saw quicker germination. Some of the bulbs had already started to show roots after just a few days of soaking.

Best of luck....

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 1:57PM
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I guess next year I can do a 4-way split, of: control, soaking, refrigerating, soaking and refrigerating.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 3:43PM
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