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  1. #1
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    Default Garlic growing tips

    My plan to to take on the Chinese garlic market has had a slight setback.

    Most garlic in Australia comes from China and I wanted to grow my own and more. This year I planted a couple of thousand bulbs in autumn and have now picked them. Unfortunately it was not a great success. While they all grew, they weren't as big as expected, and most did not form cloves. I had successfully grown 600 in my home garden so thought they would grow on the farm.

    My vegie patch at home is sand with a bit of compost and possibly a bit alkaline as it is near the sea. The farm is clay loam with a PH of about 6.

    Does anyone have suggestion why they did not grow as well.

    Weedpharma
    There are 10 types of people who understand binary, those who do and those who don't.

  2. #2
    Super Member 2LaneCruzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garlic growing tips

    Quote Originally Posted by weedpharma View Post
    My plan to to take on the Chinese garlic market has had a slight setback.

    Most garlic in Australia comes from China and I wanted to grow my own and more. This year I planted a couple of thousand bulbs in autumn and have now picked them. Unfortunately it was not a great success. While they all grew, they weren't as big as expected, and most did not form cloves. I had successfully grown 600 in my home garden so thought they would grow on the farm.

    My vegie patch at home is sand with a bit of compost and possibly a bit alkaline as it is near the sea. The farm is clay loam with a PH of about 6.

    Does anyone have suggestion why they did not grow as well.

    Weedpharma
    Here's an interesting article that may be of some help:

    tp://www.garlicfarm.ca/growing-garlic.htm

    One thing I noted was that garlic may take a couple seasons to adapt to your soil and climate. I have also learned that if you want mature garlic bulbs the first year, you have to plant the cloves and not the scapes. My garlic (Elephant Garlic) has been here for probably 25 years, and it always comes up every year. I cut the tip off after they begin to mature, and harvest when the stems are dry. This year was the worst year I can remember for garlic, but the tomatoes did great! Usually the opposite. Good luck.
    Have Wings, Will Travel.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Mousefield's Avatar
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    Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, BC. Canada
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    2008 CK35 HST

    Default Re: Garlic growing tips

    We planted garlic 3 years in a row, about 1,000 each time.
    This year we planted in different beds as I understand you should not plant garlic in the same spot for more than 2 years. We have raised beds and add good composted dirt. Hard neck varieties produce a central stalk which goes straight up and then usually makes one or two loops. The garlic top is called a scape, garlic flower or top set, and contains a bulge where bulbils will form. Did you remove the scape? If not you will not get much in the way of bulbs as the growth will be in the scrapes and not the bulb. Garlic requires fairly even soil moisture during the growing season with no additional moisture during the last few weeks. The variety we grow is a Russian hard neck Chesnot Red and this year we also planted 52 hot Ukrainian cloves.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garlic growing tips

    Weedpharma -
    What's your climate like?
    We've had good luck planting cloves in sandy/clay loam in late Fall and "compost" with a thick, top layer of leaf litter from the lawns.
    They start sending up sprouts through the snow in February & March.
    Mmmmm. Yum.
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Garlic growing tips

    I planted 150 bulbs last year and got a good yield, so I did the same this year. The original bulbs were from a friend who had several types, but most of mine seem to be the German red hard neck variety. My bed is heavily modified clay....lots of compost. I also throw on some high nitrogen fertilizer when I work the bed for the year. Big bulbs yield big heads. I've had a very few single bulb plants develop in my regular bed, though where I let some scapes go all the way to bulbils I had a number of single bulb plants develop. I've read mixed views about the effect of cutting off the scapes. I think I read that soft neck and hard neck varieties differ when it comes to the effect of letting the scapes go. OTOH, I've always cut them off. They are pretty tasty themselves, by the way. Not the developing bulb, but the green stems. They go good in stir fries and I hear they make pretty good pesto. The area where the bulbils fell a few years ago is now producing a pretty good crop of "free" garlic.

    Chucl
    k

  6. #6
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garlic growing tips

    There are many different types of garlic. Do some research and pick a few varieties for your growing conditions.

    Check out Egyptian Onions. They are sorta intriguing and taste good.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
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  7. #7
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    Meridian Idaho
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    Default Re: Garlic growing tips

    How were they watered? I grow about 100 hardneck each year. Mine are watered by a 'shrub' type head that is basically a mini sprinkler. The garlic is in a raised bed and a single water line runs down the middle. I have noticed the ones further from the water are usually smaller than the ones closer that get more water.

    In the spring I throw down some 16-16-16 fertilizer and mulch with shredded leaves that I collected/piled in the fall. This keeps the weeds down and helps keep the moisture in the soil. I always have really large bulbs. I had less large bulbs this year so I think it was an 'off' year for garlic as others have noted as well.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member magicheater's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garlic growing tips

    I also grow garlic, I don't water, had the driest year since I started and also had the largest overall bulb size ever. The pic is the biggest of the crop, 7oz. and over 3" in diameter, chesnok variety. I grow hardneck varieties exclusively for now. I have 3200+ in the ground and have noticed a difference in emergence between varieties. I used raised beds this year after making a raised bed maker for my rototiller.

    -dscf1408-jpg This was taken mid May -dscf1304-jpg
    Working to increase the scope of the small tractor experience, one quick attach at a time.

  9. #9
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    Upstate NY
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    B2150DT / Oliver OC-3

    Default Re: Garlic growing tips

    I've noticed that the soil softness seems to influence bulb size, they grow better in the soil I've really worked on with leaves, compost, rotted manure, etc. It is now finally to the point where I can plant by hand just simply pushing the clove in the ground. Last year was my best crop ever, both soft and hardnecks. Obviously you have to work on Ph and nutrients too...
    Marty

  10. #10
    Veteran Member magicheater's Avatar
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    Default Re: Garlic growing tips

    Quote Originally Posted by moeh1 View Post
    I've noticed that the soil softness seems to influence bulb size, they grow better in the soil I've really worked on with leaves, compost, rotted manure, etc. It is now finally to the point where I can plant by hand just simply pushing the clove in the ground. Last year was my best crop ever, both soft and hardnecks. Obviously you have to work on Ph and nutrients too...
    Agreed.
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