when planting cloves do i take off the dry shell?

hoorayfororganicDecember 19, 2006

so that nothing but the shiny/smooth clove is left? or do i leave on the dry protective layer?

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snappybob(SaTexas Zone 8)

I just planted garlic for the first time this year and was told to take the dry skin off so that they would sprout easier. The garlic have come up and seem to be doing very well so I guess they were right. They also had some other rather strange advise that I followed also such as soaking the cloves for a few hours in liquid seaweed and then for a few minutes in alcohol which I did. For more information check out the link below. http://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com/

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 9:44AM
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glenn9643(z8 MS)

I've had good results from simply separating the cloves and planting the larger ones. I never peel the cloves before planting. Plant with the pointed end up.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 7:45AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

The recommendation has always been to leave the skins in place.

In theory, planting naked cloves could result in them rotting before they have a chance to sprout. The reality is, however, that they sprout pretty quickly, and it rarely happens.

From a time point of view, however, leaving the skins intact just makes sense. That, too, is one of the reasons I don't like the directions given in SnappyBob's link. Nothing they tell you to do improves how the garlic grows. And some of it is just a waste of time. For instance, they tell you to peel the protective coat away from the cloves, but then tell you to dip them in alcohol to kill any surface pathogens.

Those pathogens wouldn't have been there if the skin had been left in place.

Much of what they suggest doesn't do any harm. But it doesn't do any particular good, either. For instance, liquid seaweed provides N to plants. But the clove doesn't need it. Indeed, the clove provides all the nutrients needed until the plant is established, and the roots take up nutrients from the soil.

SnappyBob: Next year try prepping half the cloves the way they suggest, and just planting the other half with the skins intact. I guarantee there will not be a significant difference in plant growth or size/condition of the bulbs.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 8:09AM
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garliclady(z7 NC)

Garden lad Fish emultion Is high in Nigtrogen Seaweed is not. Seaweed help promote root growth. It is high in minerals, increasing health and vigor in plants. Helps with transplant shock and frost protection on foliage and flowers. Also a fungal and insect inhibitor. With a overnight soaking I have seen the results, the roots do grow overnight!
The advise given on the website is to help prevent diesese, fungus, and hidden insect problems. If you are using your own seed each year these steps may not be necesary but if you are buying or trading seed It makes sence to be cautious and try preventitive measures.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 5:54PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Maybe I've just been lucky, GarlicLady. I have bought and traded garlic seed, as well as grown my own, and have never had any sort of infection---fungal, bacterial, or otherwise.

I know there is a whole list of pathogens that garlic is supposedly suseptible to. But I've never actually seen any of them, except in photos.

And, frankly, I can't imagine anyone who puts in a crop of any size going through the rigamorole of peeling and treating hundreds, sometimes thousands, of cloves.

If there was an identified problem, or if you were unsure of a small batch, perhaps then as a treatment. But not as an overall preventative.

If it ain't broke, why fix it?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 8:10AM
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snappybob(SaTexas Zone 8)

Gardenlad, accually I did plant half and half as you suggested. I planted 4 cloves on one weekend treated as the site suggested and 2 cloves the next weekend in another bed peeled but no other prep to the cloves. Both seem to be doing fine. It won't be a true comparison because the second planting was in a bed on the north side of my house which recieves very little if any direct sun. I will be surprized if these garlic do well at all but I am experimenting to see if I can get anything to grow there. I agree that for large plantings this proceedure would be very time consuming and unless the benefits were very pronounced it would not be worth all the effort. Being curious by nature and having the time and materials to do it I counldn't resist the experiment. I've seen and heard of, and done a lot of crazy things in the garden but that probably a thread all it's own.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 10:31AM
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I plant out at least 20 varieties of garlics each season, and cannot imagine peeling the cloves. It always works. Also, we are fortunate to have no allium diseases or pests of any consequence year after year. Mom Nature and good soil take care of most all problems here.
Good luck with your own experiment!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 11:30PM
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