garlic ground cover dilemma

pagardenguy(Z6-PA)November 16, 2008

i planted all my garlic a few weeks ago, covered everything nice an neatly with straw, just like i've always done. much to my suprise, it looks like the seeds were still in what i thought was straw!! i now have several really nice rows of garlic covered with sprouting wheat(?). not sure what it is, but i do not care for it.

i tried pulling it out, but the weather has turned very blustery, and it is VERY tedious. i assume the sprouting things (i'll call it wheat, just to give it a name) will die off when the freezing temps arrive. but if i leave things go, will the wheat ruin my garlic come spring? maybe in spring i will need to pull up anything that is not garlic?

or just start all over again next october.... (a real bummer!)

anyone able to give me hope?

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TJG911(z5b CT)

i don't see any problem. it will all die in another 3 weeks, come spring if it grows too much for you to tolerate you can always remove the straw and re-mulch with new straw or shredded leaves. i don't see how it could harm your garlic.

tom

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 5:38PM
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glib(5.5)

Next time use wood chips, with some wood ash and urea to balance the pH and the N. Garlic is notorious for being weak against weeds, and leaves, if matted, can stop a garlic shoot from coming through.

If you are really good with timing, you can try interplanting early lettuce, without the chips. Whenever I tried that, I got good lettuce but I still had to weed. I also tried grass clippings. Only wood chips eliminate weeds in garlic.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 6:46PM
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bloosquall(Wa 6)

Don't stress over it, I pull some wheat out of my garlic rows every year..hazards of using straw as a blanket. in the spring I go out and pull some out every day it's nice and have a few minutes to spend in the plots. like Tom said..it isn't a big problem.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 9:24PM
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still_kris(z17 NoCA)

Yes, I sometimes use a composted wood product for mulch (sawdust consistency) and have started to mulch with a heavy layer of composted chicken manure in mid-winter which does a GREAT job of smothering any weeds that might dare to come up in my raised beds.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 11:09AM
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