2013 Garlic Experiment Results

thirsty_dirt_77(3a)February 1, 2014

Until last year I've tried unsuccessfully to grow garlic many times; I've only ever tried growing garlic that was planted in the spring with bulbs that were bought from a greenhouse or a seed catalogue. I could never find garlic in the fall to plant and was always doubtful that it would survive the winter.

Last year I decided to do an experiment and want to share my results because of the success I had.

Last year in mid February I bought some organic garlic from the grocery store. (I have no idea what variety it was but can tell you it tastes great.) When I got home I separated all the cloves and only kept the ones that were in good shape and a decent size. I put them in a baggie (that I didn't seal) in the fridge crisper with the date on them and a message to my husband not to use them because they were for the garden; they stayed in the fridge until they were planted in May.

When it was time for planting the cloves were still is good shape and were starting to grow roots and were barely starting to show green tips.

I planted some greenhouse bought spring garlic bulbs and my fridge organic garlic at the same time. The fridge garlic grew like crazy and dwarfed the other garlic all summer. Once the cloves were planted they were treated identically.

The tops of both garlic started to yellow and fall over in mid August. I harvested everything on August 23 and probably could have left them longer but we were at the end of a dry spell with heavy rain in the forecast so I thought it best to pull everything while they were dry.

See my results below:

Fridge Garlic - June 20

Fridge Garlic & Smaller Greenhouse bought garlic at the end of the row - July 10

Results - Aug 23

From Fridge Garlic

From Greenhouse Bought Garlic Bulbs

We only keep a few of the bulbs that were from the greenhouse bought garlic because the cloves were so small. This is what we did with the garlic grown from the grocery store bulbs.... and some of it is still hanging downstairs. :)

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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Thanks for this. I've been thinking about growing garlic and this has convinced me to give it a try.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 10:35AM
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What a beautiful braid of garlic :)

If you want garlic to grow from fall planting, get the hardneck varieties, as they're hardier. I grow it all the time and have never questioned whether it would grow after my first attempt and success. It's not for braiding though and doesn't keep quite as well. We've always eaten ours before that became a problem.

Having said this, it certainly looks like it's worth doing the fridge experiment for the softneck.

Marcia, with all the other things you're capable of growing, you won't have a problem at all with garlic :) Just plunk it in, wait, and voila !

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 11:05AM
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So these were grown from softneck garlic?

No scapes were produced that you had to clip off?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 3:13PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I mentioned this to my husband and he said "They probably kept their garden really clean and no weeds." Uuuuuum, yeah. I didn't even show him the picture! LOL

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:21PM
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Marcia, you may want to show him the picture of what looks like it could be about a 1945 Chevy in the background.

Thirsty, am I close??

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 4:45PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Oh believe me, i saw the car and thought that if i showed him the picture, it would be a toss-up as to what he'd be more interested in! LOL

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 6:34PM
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The garlic would have been soft neck as there were no scapes. The only other thing I can tell you about it is that the cloves are wrapped in a purplish paper.

As for the car I'm not sure on the year, it actually belongs to our neighbor and is on his property.

Last year I found some hard neck garlic to plant in the fall so this year I'll get to see if it survives the winter and the deer in the spring. :)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 7:32PM
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May I ask - was the gh-bought garlic 'scapless' (softneck) too? About the size: could that be totally different variety? I planted some last year (bought few varieties), and one of them was much smaller bulbs with just few cloves.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:27PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

That sounds good. But I think what you experimented might not be an outcome in other zones with warmer summers. That is why in zones 8,7,6 ... they plant garlic in the fall so it will bulb before it gets real hot from mid June on. Aliums (onions family) are cool crops. As long as your summer is cool that would be fine to spring plant them. That is just my take on this.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:20PM
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rina - The gh bought garlic were also softneck and therefore no scapes either. If I recall correctly the gh bought ones were supposed to be close to the same size as the others. I think the cold stratification is the main reason for the difference in the bulbs produced.

seysonn - I wish I had the troubles on growing in a warmer zone... lol. You're probably right but I'd be curious to know if cold stratification for garlic before planting in a warmer zone would make a difference.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:55PM
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excellent idea, thanks
we have always grown small bulbs, just like your pic

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 7:55PM
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