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A few questions from a relative newcomer

Posted by agardenstateof_mind 7a/b NJ (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 7, 07 at 15:33

Since it will soon be time to plant my third crop of garlic, I thought it best to pose my questions now:

1. Despite my best efforts, the garlic bulbs I've grown are smaller than the ones I bought from The Garlic Store, and lack the colorful, papery outer covering. Is this a soil fertility issue or a timing issue? (I did wait until about 1/2 or more of the leaves were browned before harvesting.)

2. One scape was overlooked and set tiny bulbs; if I were to plant these, does anyone know how long before they would be ready for harvest? I suppose the size of the stalk might tell me, but anything I know in advance would be most helpful.

The flavor of the garlic is great, and I love having home-grown garlic to use in my cooking ... just wish they were as large and lovely as the originals!

Thanks in advance for any guidance.

Diane in Coastal NJ


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: A few questions from a relative newcomer

Different locations, soil types, soil ammendments, climate, etc can give you a different appearance... some purple stripes can have less or more color because of this.

Fertility & watering can affect bulb size, as well as how long they've been in the ground--usually fall planted in October and harvested sometime in July.

I think the bulbils take about 2 seasons/years to get an appreciable size head. The first year they may make a round, and the next year a bulb.

Hope this helps.

Mark


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RE: A few questions from a relative newcomer

Different locations, soil types, soil ammendments, climate, etc can give you a different appearance... some purple stripes can have less or more color because of this.

Fertility & watering can affect bulb size, as well as how long they've been in the ground--usually fall planted in October and harvested sometime in July.

I think the bulbils take about 2 seasons/years to get an appreciable size head. The first year they may make a round, and the next year a bulb.

Hope this helps.

Mark


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RE: A few questions from a relative newcomer

Garlic needs a rich soil. I dig a trench about 10" deep, half fill with composted cow manure and mix, then plant garlic. And side-dress with 10-10-10 in spring. Hard to give them too much fertilizer as long as soil is well-drained (mine started out as bank run gravel).


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RE: A few questions from a relative newcomer

I had the same problem with bulbs from the Garlic Store. I think in my case it was a mix of poor soil and not enough sun. The bulbs did fine. They're healthy. But they were smaller than I expected. This time, my second crop, I'm planting some in an adjacent bed, similar conditions but I'm putting in more compost, and some in a raised bed that gets full sun.


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