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Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Posted by pepbob1 zone5, nh (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 10, 07 at 11:08

Were you happy with your garlic harvest this year? Did you do anthing differently this year that affected your plantings in a positive or negative way? Will you be trying new varieties next year, or new fertilizers, or planting ideas? I had planted a small amount of "Spanish Roja" last fall, it was the first ime i had ever planted garlic, iam fairly satisfied with the yield, although i thought it may have gotten a littl larger, but i think thats where i got confused on cultural practices, which i will change for next year. So, lets hear it!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Almost all of my cloves came up. I harvested the fall-planted garlic July 4th weekend, and the spring-planted garlic I harvested the last week of July.

It turned out well. All of the bulbs were firm and healthy. They were smaller than I expected, though. I think that might be because of my poor soil. The spring-planted garlic was pretty much a wash, though. I waited till it turned yellow and fell over, but almost all of the plants only had a single clove.

I planted Bogatyr, Lorz Italian, Applegate, Simonetti, Silverskin, Transylvanian, Inchelium, and Achatami. I haven't taste-tested them yet, but my dining room smells quite heavenly of garlic. Well, that's a matter of personal taste, I guess. :-)


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

some of the garlic that i have given away has been a hit some of the "cooks" that i know. i will be planting my garlic in an area that gets more sun, and i will be adding more compost/organic matter to the bed, i think that will help size mine up a little.


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

For all the work I did getting the soil just right and mulching, cutting the scapes, etc, it was not worth it. Took up valuable space in my garden and the price to grow it was way out of line with other vegetables. Had people try different types of the garlic and most said you can do better at the market. Won't try to grow it again. For cost effectiveness garlic is down at the bottom. Can use the space for much more important things such as shallots and onions along with different lettuce crops. This was my second year at trying garlic. In March I would look at the garlic leaves and say I wish you were Arugula, Raddicio or Watercress! Sorry guys after 2 tries I think garlic can be bought much cheaper than growing it. I paid $18 a pound from the garlic store for 6 different varities last year and found out that 3 were to hot for anyone and the other 3 which incude Spanish Roha and Italian Red (?) could be bought at the local Spanish market for 1/5 the cost of growing them. I'm Irish and I walk into a Hispanic market and see the same thing on the table at 99 cents a pound it does not make sense to even try to grow it.

Sorry Guys, can use the space more effectively. Get back to me if you want to issue this.

edgman/ Tom R



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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Each to his own. (shrug) It's worth it to me to have firm, flavorful garlic, instead of the mushy, sprouty things I get from the store. And the only thing I've ever seen at the grocery is Silverskin types and Elephant Garlic. No variety.

Probably growing potatoes isn't cost effective, either, but again I can get a greater variety if I grow my own, and fresh spuds just taste more spudlike than supermarket spuds. The flavor hasn't leeched away yet.

I'm Irish, too, btw.

Now onions I don't care that much for. I'm allergic to raw onions, and if I need one for a stew, that I'll just go buy.


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Edgeman/Tom, interesting comments. I would NEVER pay 15,00-18.00 per pound for garlic seed. the stuff i planted last year was $5.00 per pound and that would be my limit. Others suggest visiting local farmers markets etc for better prices, i have found 2 sources for this fall that will sell the seed garlic to me for 5-6 dollars a pound. two different suppliers. i do want to try some different varieties this fall and will give it another try!


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Sorry it didn't work out for you edgman/Tom, I guess some items do better in some gardens than others.

I grew 80 bulbs, 12-13 varieties and we've been finding it worthwile. Is it cost-effective? It could be since I can save some bulbs for next season's plantings but there are other varieties I'd like to try. I guess as long as I can at least get another season or 2 from my seed purchases and I enjoy the flavor(s), and the cost? Well, I just do a general control and try to not spend more than $x each season.

I do have my list of "won't grow that again" though, so I can sympathize.


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

I grew Martin's Heirloom, Asian Tempest, and Siberian this year. June was dry, dry, dry, and I didn't water enough. The Siberian is still a nice size (not as large as last year, though), but the other two are a bit puny. Then I left the MH out on the patio to cure and it got rained on, so the wrappers are breaking now. I'll probably just plant an extra large plot of that this fall, since I don't expect it to keep well now. Add to that, the boy who weed-wacked my yard just before I was ready to harvest knocked down half of my AT and I'm sure I missed digging some of it because of that. Ah, well....

Anyway, I'll be planting the same 3 varieties this fall, and I'll be adding potato onions, shallots, and leaks in the spring.

Catherine


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Quote from Lilacs_of_May above "Each to his own. (shrug) It's worth it to me to have firm, flavorful garlic, instead of the mushy, sprouty things I get from the store. And the only thing I've ever seen at the grocery is Silverskin types and Elephant Garlic. No variety".

Seems like you dont get out too much if thats all you can find at the stores. Try some place other than the Acme or Wal-Mart. You will find at least 5 to 7 different kind at most good Farmers Markets. A good Farmers Market being one that requires the sellers to only sell what they grow. Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, PA being 2 of them. They have the "Garlic Lady" who sells 12 different varities of garlic. My main problem with growing garlic is that it takes too long, takes up valuable space from other crops and now after shopping around I find I can get most of the same varities at the better markets grown by professionals and just as fresh whenever I need it. Spanish Roha and Italian Red are all over these markets. I just didnt know where to look before. Now that I know what a scape is I know where some markets are that sells them. Didnt know what they were before. Like them better than the garlic itself. Keep on growing whatever you are happy doing. Its always good to have someone disagree a little. No harm meant. Just stating my reasons.

Thanks

edgman/TomR


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

I didn't know that Walmart had seed garlic, but then I haven't been to a Walmart in 5-6 years. And what's Acme? Other than Wile E. Coyote's company.

Safeway and King Soopers only have a couple different types of garlic, and they tend to sprout or go mushy way too soon. Firm, fresh garlic from the garden is a delight.

If by "Scranton, PA" you mean the city, that's waaaay too long a commute. There used to be a couple farmer's markets close to me, but they've either shut down or moved.


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

This is exactly the type of thread i was hoping for, good give and take, Pros and cons, suggestions etc. Its not like we are talking about a plan for world peace here, just some friendly exchange. ive really learned a lot from this forum and other Garden Web forums as well, oh by the way, i will NEVeR buy a box of "...Bunches of Oats" or whatever that cereal pop up is. there are more seasonal farmers markets popping up around here, the only garlic ive found so far at those markets has been "Music". i think iam going to buy some of that from one of the vendors to plant, because it did so well for him this year, of course there is no gurantee it will do that well for me next year! Ha Ha Ha ! I planted garlic last fall for the "fun" of it,now i think i'll continue, of course where i have my garden is almost unlimitless space, fortunately for me. i have lived in other places where ive had to grow stuff in containers, tomatoes, peppers etc. The hot peppers i have in containers this year are way nicer than the ones i have in the ground, go figure?


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

I'll take 20 lbs of that Spanish Roja from the Hispanic market edgman...

I find that hard to believe 99 cents/lb... maybe per head? Depending on variety, that can be (8) two-inch heads, or 5 or more 2.5'' heads to make a pound. Do you really think you can get 8 bulbs for 99 cents? I'll gladly take 200 heads/bulbs. Also, most market garlic is softneck.

Garlic is one of the most cost effective plants you can grow... you pay high pound prices but get your money back the following spring. I traded 8 packs of heirloom tomato seeds (my own saved seeds) for 7 heads of garlic on ebay. I also paid shipping from Martin and got about 4-5 varieties. Planted almost everything and harvested at least 124 heads/bulbs. Total investment under $10 for 10 varieties, 124 heads, sounds like a deal to me. All you have to do is replant some and it's eternally free after the initial investment. I plant every 6 inches, 96 per 3ft x 8ft bed... here's a partial harvest:

I probably could have let them in another week or 2 to get even bigger. Somewhere in the pic is a US Quarter for size. I'll plant the largest cloves of each variety in mid-late October for next year's crop.

Mark


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Maybe I did not make myself clear on my replies. It is not cost effective for "me" and only me that I was talking about. Need the space for other items. Only have 3 8x10 raised beds and they are fully planted with other lettuces, onions, spinaches, etc. right up until mid December. Then the beds get turned,amended and replanted in late Feburary. Need all my space especially for onion plants from Dixondales and shallots. The Amish Farm Market in Dover, De is where I buy my Spanish Roja and I will double check the price next time I go. Sure its a lot cheaper in August than in December. They also have it at the Newark Farm Market. You can tell me about eating some and planting the rest to save money and that is quite true but its the time and space used that is not cost effective for me. In reply to korney19 I also grow heirloom tomatoes mainly Black from Tula and Black Crimm but I have just found 2 places locally that have them for sale buy the pound (3.49). Never thought I would have seen that but they are local organic growers and adding more heirloom tomatoes each year just as markets are starting to sell more types of garlic.

Keep posting, am starting to enjoy this.

edgman/Tom R


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

edgman/Tom,

I thought you were clear. :)

Hmm, you have me thinking now...you have a longer growing season than the rest of us that are responding. I tend to pull out my garden clean up around October and my ground is still frozen in February.

When my garlic comes out during mid-June through early-July, I do the rest of my transplants, which is about when I'd do it anyway. Early for me these days is Mother's Day.

Perhaps if I were in similar climate as you, I'd feel the same. I did get a little anxious in June waiting for garden space.


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

What I did was harvested the garlic in mid-July, then planted in the same 3ft x 8ft bed:

100 Sugar Snap peas
38 radishes
36 green beans
18 yellow/wax beans
28 carrots
14 spinach
36 beets
30 lettuce
plus about 6 sq ft of mesclun mix

I will take whatever is ready by Halloween and replant the garlic.

Shallots I got coming out the azz--I grew them along some tomatoes in a strip about 6'' by 44'' along the edge [inside] a raised bed and couldn't harvest them all and let them go... now they divided so much they are probably 4 inches deep. I just throw some compost on them every year to cover the next layer.

Onions I grow amongst other things, plus in a half barrel about 2ft diameter. Along my corn bed on my blacktop driveway, I have about 60-65 onions (Ailsa Craig & Red Bull, both from Dixondale Farms), 26 more between some Sophie's Choice tomatoes growing in a pile on the driveway, and 22 more in the half drum.


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go? garlic spacing

For garlic, I lay a flattened piece/sheet of concrete reinforcing wire/mesh (the kind used to make real tomato cages) over the bed and plant a clove in each square. The squares are 6'' x 6''. I actually leave the sheet over the bed--at least til Spring when the garlic starts growing thru the openings--leaving the mesh sheet on the bed keeps the cats from using the bed as a toilet!


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Seems like a little disagreement brings out the best in you people. Lot of good gardening information is coming out in these follow-up threads. Unlike a few of the other forums there wasnt any name calling or nastiness. Even though for the immediate future I give up on garlic I may ome up with extra space and try it again sometime. 2 or 3 years ago I was harvesting green tomatoes up until Christmas time. That was unusual but not rare. Planted spinach in Jan that year. Love to see the spinach leaves growing through the light ground snow.

Keep posting

edgman/Tom R


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Thanks Korney 19 for the pics a good info, i think one the things that added to my confusion, in my quest to grow the perfect garlic the very first time, was that i was reading all the posts and subconsciously thinking that every suggestion or tip was going to work in my zone 5 garden,wrong! although i will read every post, because no matter what there is going to be something in there that i'll be able to use, or pass on to someone else, i will zero in on folks from zone 4 or 5 more closely. hope fully some other folks in other parts of the country will chime in and get some discussion going for folks in there neck of the woods. i visited a local farmers market to day and picked up 2 really nice heads of "Music" for 2.50 which i will use as seed this fall. There is a garlic festival in Orange Mass which is in the western part of Mass which think iam going to be able to go too, that should be fun. And yes, i agree with Edgman that its nice that folks arent flying off the handle over garlic, and how people plant it, or dont plant it! Iam a big onion eater also, but didnt get my plants into the ground this year, my mom was very sick and passed on all around that time, so the onion plants just kinda wizzled up and ended up in the compost pile. There is always another year! Right?


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

For pepbob1:

Hate to tell you but I lived in Derry, NH (on the shores of Big Island Pond) for 10 yrs and then in Wolfeboro (on the shores of Lake winnie) for 4 yrs and in that time I could not grow anything in either place. Dont know why but almost gave up on gardening at that time. Hope you have better luck than me. I have a lovely cottage on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Crystal Beach, Md right now but I sure as hell do miss New Hampshire. I envy you. If it wasn't for 2 beautiful grandchildren here I would be back in NH really fast. This is not to say MD Eastern Shore isn't nice but I love NH. It is changing from what my daughter tells me. I gave here my house in Derry as a wedding present. Wish I had it back.

Caught me in a moment of weakness, sorry

edgman/Tom R


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

So Edgman/Tom youre a Yankee at heart, huh? Yes, New Hampshire is changing, and changing fast. The whole lower tier of the state, at least in my area has become a bedroom community for Boston, at least for the people that havent moved up from Mass as of yet. Iam in the Nashua area, not far from where you used to live in Derry. Yes, it can be challenging gardening in New England, and iam sure harvesting so late where you are now and planting so much earlier must be a great satisfaction for you. The president of France has been vacationing at Winnipausakee recently, so you can imagine the traffic that all entails besides the vacationers already there.Iam glad you jumped in to the discussion!


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

pepbob1

Left NH in 95-96. Same year we had 14 1/2 foot of snow. Remember getting a 23" snowfall in late April that year. Last time I was up was 3 mos ago and Salem NH looked like downtown Lawrence, MA. Still miss it though.

Sorry, have to remember this is not a travel forum. Good luck growing and "Happy Garlicing".

edgman/Tom R


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

I planted Music in a 3'x3' raised bed within my existing garden and was very pleased with the results. I had 100% germination (only 24 cloves planted, because of the allotted space.) Out of the 24, I'd say maybe six were smaller than expected, but the rest were beautiful! This was my first garlc attempt, so the harvest was better than I expected it to be. I had good advice from the wonderful people on this forum.

Chris


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Hi Chris, iam going to be planting about 15 diffrent varieties this fall as sort of an experiment, i only put a small amount of "Spanish Roja" last year however. I purchased some "Music" from a local farmers market recently and will be using that also a seed.Iam glad you were happy with your endeavors, and yes, you can learn so much on this forum!


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

You can actually grow 36 plants quite successfully in a 3ft x 3ft raised bed...use the square foot method and plant 4 per square, 6" spacing overall... that's 50% more plants Chris! Just plant 3" in from the sides and then 6" spacing both directions...

I converted a 3ft x 8ft bed to garlic. I even snuck in some in the corners (not pictured.)

Mark


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Hey Mark, i see on the grid youve posted that you have a space for elephant garlic., i was under the impression that it would not do as well in the northern climates, Yes? No? Does it attain good size etc etc etc ?


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

I grow it every year here, even without mulch... gets about 4-5" diameter. Don't know what your low temps are there, I think the lowest it got here last winter was around minus-8 or minus-10.


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Nice! Great pic also. Where did you get the original seed to start off with? I think our winters got a little colder than yours did, but we didnt have the snow that you probably had. Maybe i'll try growing Elephant garlic, this year!


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

I originally got it locally from a farmer's supply place here in Buffalo that went out of business 3-4 years ago... they had all kinds of bulk garlic, seed potatoes, seeds, supplies, custom mixed fertilizers, seed starting trays & huge assortment of inserts, etc, & now realize how much I miss them since they closed. It was a 2-minute drive from my house too, and right in the city--not really the area you'd expect to find a farmer's supply. I haven't found a similar place anywhere around here. I also got walking onions from them back around 2000 or 2001.

I heard you can try elephant garlic from a grocery or health food store.

I think many places still have elephant, fairly cheap--much cheaper than regular garlic prices. Peaceful Valley (groworganic.com) still has some different garlics left too, I think... $9.99/lb for most garlics and $4.99/lb for elephant.

I actually got a deal on many of my varieties of garlic on... ebay! I traded heirloom tomato seeds for 7 heads last fall!


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

I tried some of my Silverskin tonight. Very tasty. Full of garlic flavor.

And I got my food dehydrator a couple days ago, so I'll be drying some of my hardneck for garlic crumbles.


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Working on the principle that a picture is worth a thousand words, here is my garlic harvest photo with the traditional quarter included for size comparison.
I was only growing a small area, about 4 square feet total.

I just grow the stuff I get from the grocery store that starts to sprout. I know the advice is generally not to do so, but as you can see it worked well for me. Very cheap, obviously. And the scapes were both cool looking and very tasty. I read the advice here and removed the scapes at the right time (and put them into salads and stir fries.) Watered and didn't water at the right times and so on.

Some of the garlic came out really large, most is ordinary sized. I am planning to keep the bigger stuff for planting material this fall, hoping the children will be similarly big. The biggest one, the plant was so large several people asked me if I was growing leeks. It tastes great and is so much firmer than the stuff from the store, we are quite pleased with it.

I read the Seed Saver's Exchange catalog and think about getting their fancy expensive heirloom bulbs, but for now I will stick with this! I grew mine in raised beds made using the lasagna technique, so the soil is quite good.

Marcia


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Hey Korney and pepbob,
Thanks so much for the advice and the encouragement! My husband thought I was nuts for even attempting something that took so long (in his opinion) to grow. Until he tasted it! He and my friends are all hooked now. I think I'll try to squeeze in the 36 bulbs in my little bed and see how it works out this year. My town has purchased a former farm and had proposed using it for a community garden, for those who don't have the space to grow in their yards. I'm hoping that it comes to fruition; I'll rent a 10'x10' plot and grow all the garlic I want!

Chris


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Hey Marcia, that is amazing that your harvest is so good from super market sprouted garlic, at least from what ive heard, Maybe once it had been planted and was acclimated to your area, there wont be any problems with it not growing. Chris, a 10 x 10 planting of just garlic? Wow!!!


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Pep,
I know! Doesn't it sound great?!!!

Chris


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

I think I paid $5. about five or six years ago for the start of the German Red I'm growing now. Each year I save a half dozen large heads for seed and the rest ends up in the kitchen. So not an expensive item to grow.
They were planted last October with a goodly amount of compost and side-dressed with 10-10-10 early in spring. I pulled/dug them July 15th. The heads were smaller than last year which I put down to hot, dry weather (though I did water).
Planted cucumber seed (Garden Oasis) where they had been - planted on July 15th and started picking cukes August 15th.
When the cucumber vines freeze (mid October), I'll pull them and plant the garlic I've saved.
Have been using garlic in the kitchen, making pesto to freeze, adding to pasta sauces, chopping up and cooking in a little olive oil before sauteeing succhini.... I'll have enough to last through to spring.
Flavor of home grown much better than purchased stuff.
I also grow elephant garlic - that row was planted alongside a row of swiss chard and pulled before the swiss chard shaded them out of existence. I had started with a couple of bulbs from the market and now have 20 - will use some of the cloves to plant next month. it's a good veggie to roast with other root veggies for winter meas.


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RE: Your Garlic harvest???? How did it go?

Hey "Oldroser" youve got quite a system going, iam going to try growing Elephant garlic this year if i can find any that might not be treated not to sprout. If Korney can do it, why cant I? The seed garlic ive gotten so far this fall has been great, i got some from a farm in Massachusetts, and iam waiting on an order from Minnesota, and oh, i picked some up at a local farmers market also...


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