garlic harvest

gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)June 28, 2010

This years harvest is looking and tasting good. I just got in from a long weekend and the garlic was screaming harvest me.

[IMG]http://i626.photobucket.com/albums/tt344/gjcore/garlicharvest2010001.jpg[/IMG]

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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

Oops posted the picture wrong.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:07PM
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elkwc(6b)

Very nice looking garlic. I have been digging mine for a week now. Might finish tomorrow evening. Some matured earlier. Overall has been a good harvest. Many bulbs in the 2.5-3.7 inch range. My elephant bulbs are all around 4.25 inches or more and I feel most if not all will weigh a pound or more after drying. I'm harvesting 23 varieties. Only have one Musik that I'm disappointed in. Not sure it will be back. All of the Estonian Reds but one went 3.5 inches diameter or more. Again congratulations on your harvest. Will post a link to my photobucket site with pictures of some of my harvest. Just a sample as I will harvest around 225 bulbs or more. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: 2010 Garlic

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:32PM
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Dan Staley

I'm interested in Jay's elephant garlic, I've been reluctant to plant it. Maybe I'll give some a whirl this fall. I'm also interested in the results of the Musik, as I've been wanting to try that as well...

Some time this week I'll start harvesting some of my early-maturing vars, my garlic isn't screaming at me to get it out of the ground yet, but it's been whispering.

Made our first pesto recently out of the scapes, quite a bit more potent than we'd been led to believe, but cut with the basil in the freezer it came out quite well and even the BH liked it.

Dan

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:36AM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

Wonderful! I have a lot of garlic planted last fall and just starting to see the very outer leaves dry out, so I think two or three weeks to harvest yet. Hope they look as good as yours!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 1:17AM
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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

elkwc! Wow! That's alot of garlic that you grow. And it is looking really good. 23 varieties that is awesome.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 2:25AM
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elkwc(6b)

Dan,
The elephant garlic I grew this year came from South Road Garlic in Pueblo,CO. It was by far the biggest of any Elephant garlic I've grown.

I will know about the size of the Musik after it dries and I trim it up. I had read about it having a large bulb and didn't see that here. Not sure why. Most of the other bulbs sized up very well. I will post more later. Jay

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 11:06AM
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david52 Zone 6

I had to pull my Music garlic today, the bed was flooded and they were pretty close anyway. Ok harvest, last year was better size-wise, but still I got a vast majority of 2-plus inch bulbs.

I've left the Tochliavri that Peterpotato gave me last fall, the stems and leaves are still bright green and looking good. I pulled one to check, and the head is already over 2".

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 8:32PM
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Dan Staley

AIUI the 'Musik'/'Music'/some other spelling isn't large but prolific and can be crowded so yields per unit are high.

I think I'm going to rotate out some softnecks and am interested in the 'Music' and 'Duganski' and I wasn't sure if the elephant garlic would grow here, so might give 'er a whirl this fall...

Jay, do you do anything to your bed to overwinter the elephant? Heavy hay/mulch?

Dan

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 10:45PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Great looking garlic, gicore and elkwc! I've never grown it, but love it and have been thinking about ordering some for planting this fall.
What's the difference between the hardneck and softneck varieties? Does one type grow better here than another or is a preference thing?
Thanks for the tip on South Road garlic farm. I checked Potato Garden and they are completely sold out, but South Road still has some in stock.
I was reading on the Alliums forum that one poster plants garlic in the tomato bed after first frost as part of a crop rotation. They pull the toms, add compost then plant the garlic. Do you folks do something similar or do you have a designated garlic bed?
Barb

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:32PM
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elkwc(6b)

Barb,
I will share my opinions and add a link or two that will give you some good information. Sites I go to when I have questions. In my opinion garlic is easy to grow. Good draining soil is the best. If you don't have that I would suggest raised beds or even containers. You can grow in poor draining soil but chances are you will experience more problems. These sites especially Gourmet Garlic explains the difference between hardneck's and softneck's and also the many sub-varieties.

If you mean Ronniger's when you say Potato Garden they will start taking orders for fall shipment in August. Their site will be updated then. I plan on buying a few from them although I don't really need anymore.

You could do that. Most say to plant 4-6 weeks before frost. So the garlic has time to establish a good root system before the ground freezes. Here I planted most of mine mid December due to working the soil after my soil test results. Planted one variety in mid Jan. It produced
2 1/2" bulbs. I will try to plant mine this year in October. If that don't work out I don't get too excited. I do try to rotate my garlic every year. Sometimes I use the area where I had early corn. I try not to use the area where I have onions. Otherwise I don't worry about a previous crop. But know some large growers who grow in the same field every year. So rotation isn't mandatory although some will say it is. If growing organically and using manure ect I would suggest adding it in July or August along with bone meal, cottonseed meal or whatever else you are going to add and let it set till you plant. Last year I mold boarded the whole garden after frost. So that is what I planted later. And my soil tests showed all readings high so never added anything except worked the 6 inches of mulch on top into the soil and some sulfur for the high PH reading I had.

You will find some garlic types and varieties that do better in certain areas. And then just like tomatoes there is a personal taste issue and also what are you going to use it for.

Dan,
I mulch all of my garlic. Usually 3-4 inches. Then in the spring pull it back to maybe 2 inches deep. Some say to remove the mulch. I never have. I have followed the advice of a great gardener in WI. I grow his garlic named Martin's after him. In the one link you will see a picture of him. Of course they get a lot colder than I do. I imagine you do also. Two years ago I never pulled the mulch back and all the garlic came through fine. If I see on being distorted a little I will pull the straw back a little. I like to leave the mulch to conserve moisture. I also have deep sandy loam soil so don't have to worry about the soil staying too wet and causing rot or disease issues. I feel the Elephant should grow for you as it grows well for the folks at South Road Garlic. I'm sure they would answer any questions you had about it. They have for me. If you have anymore questions please ask. Jay

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 12:07AM
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elkwc(6b)

Forgot the links. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: We Grow Garlic

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 12:18AM
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elkwc(6b)

Here is the other one. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: Gourmet garlic

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 12:19AM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Jay,
Thank you so much! I'm glad I'm not the only one stuck inside not watching fireworks in the rain! Yes, I meant Ronnigers, their site comes up under both names. I will check out the sites and probably will have more questions. I really appreciate the info!
Barb

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 12:38AM
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elkwc(6b)

Barb,
With all the popping of fireworks couldn't get to sleep till after midnight. They are supposed stop at midnight. But after one when one neighbor quit. So moving slow this morning. I also try to be home and stay up on account of my animals. I've found fireworks in there pens that people set off without any regard for where they end up. My dogs and horses were on edge. The dogs wanted to follow me into the house and they have never been inside. My cats just go into the garage and nap. I remember when I was young and liked to set off fireworks. But seems so many have no or little respect for animals,ect. The noise is one thing. When they aim them where they come overhead and land in the pens I think that is uncalled for. I'm told by one coworker that runs a stand some of what I found last year is illegal to sell here. He said they have to be bringing them in from somewhere else.

In my opinion there is lots of good information on the sites. And if you have questions just ask. If I don't know I'll ask and try to find out. Growing garlic has become a new passion for me like growing tomatoes. And really it is so easy that I'm surprised many more don't. Although the demand for bulbs is going up. I could sell most of mine for seed garlic if I wanted. I saw where Filaree farms is already sold out of a lot of their garlic for this year and haven't harvested yet. So more are growing it. I think a lot for the health benefits. Jay

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:54AM
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david52 Zone 6

When do you guys pull softnecks / artichoke varieties such as Tochliavri?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 9:51AM
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Dan Staley

I let my softnecks get as far as most of the lvs going brown. I was going to pull some today, but 1.6" rain making me wait 'til Wed.

I agree with Jay about the ease of growing garlic. I enjoy giving the neighbors some & always they are surprised at the different taste from the one variety available at most stores.

Dan

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 10:25AM
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elkwc(6b)

David,
I let at least 1/3 and most of the time 1/2 of the leaves go brown. This is a general rule of thumb. It depends on several issues including rain ect. If close to mature and left in the ground they can rot I'm told. I have never had that problem. But did pull some after a good soaking with only 1/3 of the leaves dead this year. One huge elephant bulb still had lots of green but the skin had broke and the cloves were falling away from the bulb when I dug it. I always let 1/3 die and like Dan up to almost all going brown. If it is dry weather like last year I just quit watering and let them mature and die in the ground. But if it is wet I dig earlier.

Like Dan said you will never dream of the taste range once you start researching and growing your own. The range is almost as wide and variable as a bell pepper to a Bhut Jukia (sp). Something for everyone. Those you can eat a clove a day and the friends and coworker never know you ate garlic to those that hanging under the carport the neighbors know you have hung your garlic. Jay

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 12:24PM
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david52 Zone 6

I've two vegetable gardens, and this is the first time I've planted garlic in the lower one. The soil won't dry out because there is an underground seep - an advantage most the time with raised beds that allow the roots to get down into the constant moisture.

The Tochliavri is not only bright green, there's new leaf tips showing up between the existing leaves and the stem. It looks like it would go another month, at least.

Maybe a better question would be, roughly when do you pull it, date-wise?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 2:13PM
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Dan Staley

Maybe a better question would be, roughly when do you pull it, date-wise?

I thought I'd be pulling garlic at a later date this year, but they weren't paying attention to the calendar. ;o)

Dan

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:18PM
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elkwc(6b)

David,
I never much attention to dates. Depending on the variety and year I will usually start harvesting in late June and go for about 10-14 days. This year harvest started on the 17th of June and I dug my last this weekend. Length of harvest was about the same but it started and ended at least a week earlier than normal. I know as far north as WI they are either digging or getting ready too. I had a grower in IA tell me they were about done. So I would think it should be about time for yours. Then again climate issues can influence maturity. Jay

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 12:02AM
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david52 Zone 6

Ok, thanks, guys. I only have about 20 of the things, so I'll pull a few and see how the cloves are forming, and if it looks good, I'll harvest the lot.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 10:27AM
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Dan Staley

Mine are almost all out and drying. By far my best hardneck is 'Siberian' and the 3 volunteers I missed last year were even better, and my best softneck might be 'Susanville' or 'California Early'. We'll wait to taste to see what ones get rotated out and replaced...

Dan

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 5:59PM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

I harvested mine today. Not a sign of mold or rot. I think this is the easiest crop I've ever grown.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 12:49PM
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elkwc(6b)

Jnfr,
Great looking garlic. Mine is about ready to trim up and the sort by size of bulb. So I will know what I have extra. Yes if you fertilize well when you fertilize the ground and mulch well. Watering is about all you have to do till you dig it. Jay

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:22PM
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david52 Zone 6

I trimmed mine up yesterday and hung them in mesh bags in the canning store room, where its a bit cooler - 75ºish, instead of the 100+º heat everywhere else.

And we've about half way through the first batch of the famous '52 Vampire Repellant Bean Dip®

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 6:31PM
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Dan Staley

I have these nice cardboard produce boxes that have good air circulation and mine are sorted in them in the basement. I have a separate box for the 'seed garlic' going out in fall - all my mesh bags seem to go to holding up fruits trellised & never go to onions or garlic...

Gave away some bags of garlic yesterday with different vars. at dinner to couple different friends - they still think it is a big deal and aren't convinced garlic is so easy.

My garlic gets a squirt of 12-6-6 after their lvs are up a bit in fall and another in spring when soil is warm. Otherwise, they are on their own and I just have to be patient. Why don't more folk grow garlic?!?

Dan

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 8:46PM
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david52 Zone 6

You know, there is an amazing difference in flavor between Music and Tochliavri.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:15PM
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