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What's the secret for growing garlic?

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What's the secret for growing garlic?

Post  gjet72 on 2/8/2012, 10:10 am

I planted garlic last year (my raised beds hold about ten inches of a great soil mix). The garlic really didn't do anything. I'd like to hear from the garlic pros.

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Re: What's the secret for growing garlic?

Post  Glendale-gardener on 2/8/2012, 10:29 am

I'll be interested in hearing the responses to this thread. This October was my first time planting garlic. I have some sprouts out there so my fingers are crossed. Next year I'll have to do something about the critters though. I've gone out a few times and noticed the cloves had been dug up by something- I assume chipmunks but I'm not sure. Whatever it was, they didn't actually eat the cloves- they just dug up the whole bed treasure hunting and left all the cloves sitting there.

Chipmunks are jerks.

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Re: What's the secret for growing garlic?

Post  gwennifer on 2/8/2012, 11:17 am

@Glendale-gardener wrote:Chipmunks are jerks.
rofl

Sorry I can't help. I bought garlic to plant for the first time last fall, but never planted it. Embarassed So you're one step ahead of me already!

Garlic got talked about a ton last fall. Be sure to search through the old threads using the search SFG function in the upper left corner and read up. But I'm sure someone will come along with some advice for you as well.

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Re: What's the secret for growing garlic?

Post  camprn on 2/8/2012, 11:42 am

@gjet72 wrote:I planted garlic last year (my raised beds hold about ten inches of a great soil mix). The garlic really didn't do anything. I'd like to hear from the garlic pros.
this is what I have done for a good garlic harvest.
1) good garlic seed heads, break into individual cloves.
2) in October I prepared the bed with much compost mixed into the mix
3) make the grid and plant6 per square
4) when planting the individual clove, make sure the root scar is downward and the pointy end upward. push into the mix about 2 inches.
5) water well
6) after the first hard freeze when the temperature is staying pretty cold you can cover the bed with pine boughs, several inches of straw or leaves. This will help keep the mix stable if there are fluctuations of temperature throughout the winter.
7) Plant it and forget about it!

Garlic planted in the fall will develop some of its roots before freezing and has a head start on growth in the spring.

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Re: What's the secret for growing garlic?

Post  littlejo on 2/8/2012, 12:01 pm

@gjet72 wrote:I planted garlic last year (my raised beds hold about ten inches of a great soil mix). The garlic really didn't do anything. I'd like to hear from the garlic pros.

I'm not a garlic pro, but will give my 2 cents.

Is your soil mix Mel's mix or some other formulation?

Garlic does not like soil/fertilizer with an over amount of nitrogen, a 'bulb' fertilizer would be ok, but not needed with MM. May have planted too deep. A couple inches is enough, then, if your area gets heavy freezes, mulch for the winter. In spring, remove the mulch so garlic can grow.

As far as the chipmunks, attaching hardware cloth to the bottom of the bed will stop them from digging from the bottom. A layer of bird netting on top, sort of bunched up, may prevent the digging from the top. They didn' take the garlic cloves to eat for they are too smelly. Maybe if you take a couple cloves, put in blender with water, and spray/pour on the soil, they would leave it alone?

Jo

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Re: What's the secret for growing garlic?

Post  gjet72 on 2/8/2012, 7:51 pm

@littlejo wrote:
@gjet72 wrote:I planted garlic last year (my raised beds hold about ten inches of a great soil mix). The garlic really didn't do anything. I'd like to hear from the garlic pros.

I'm not a garlic pro, but will give my 2 cents.

Is your soil mix Mel's mix or some other formulation?

Garlic does not like soil/fertilizer with an over amount of nitrogen, a 'bulb' fertilizer would be ok, but not needed with MM. May have planted too deep. A couple inches is enough, then, if your area gets heavy freezes, mulch for the winter. In spring, remove the mulch so garlic can grow.

As far as the chipmunks, attaching hardware cloth to the bottom of the bed will stop them from digging from the bottom. A layer of bird netting on top, sort of bunched up, may prevent the digging from the top. They didn' take the garlic cloves to eat for they are too smelly. Maybe if you take a couple cloves, put in blender with water, and spray/pour on the soil, they would leave it alone?

Jo
I have my raised gardens fenced in. My soil mix is my own blend which I have tinkered with over 25 years-GOOD STUFF. I may have been off in my watering (I can't remember). I'll give it another shot in a few weeks. I also have two spaniels and two red tailed hawks that patrol my backyard.

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Re: What's the secret for growing garlic?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/9/2012, 12:12 pm

Littlejo, just an idea: perhaps your garlic sets were not the best variety for your area. You might check with your local extension agent and/or Google info for East Coast commercial sellers of garlic bulbs. Also, planting timing is very important (in Western Oregon, late Oct. early Nov. is best, with bulbs mature enough for harvest sometime around 4th of July). Could be it's just too early to tell if your plants are growing well or not. As to the chipmunks: find someplace that has large containers of cheap cayenne pepper; sprinkle around new growth. Repeat after rains. BTW, from a 25-year grower of garlic: Camprn's advice is excellent. Nonna

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Re: What's the secret for growing garlic?

Post  quiltbea on 2/9/2012, 2:14 pm

In the north we plant hardnecks around Columbus Day (10-10) or a bit later to give the roots a chance to grow a bit before the ground freezes. Choose only the largest of the bulbs in a head. Cover the bed with straw or a deep layer of fall leaves and forget them. When spring arrives remove the straw or leaves to warm the soil. They will regrow and in the summer you'll have a crop of garlic.



above: Garlic bulbs drying out in mid July 2011

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Re: What's the secret for growing garlic?

Post  HieronRemade on 2/9/2012, 2:57 pm

Does anyone know about wild garlic/growing garlic from seed? I gathered some seed from wild garlic that I noticed growing in my backyard last year, hoping to plant this year and see if it's worth growing. Since they're seeds and not cloves, do I go ahead and start them this Spring (as opposed to Fall), and then harvest them summer of 2013?

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