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Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  gwennifer on 8/6/2012, 11:40 am

@cpl100 wrote:I have been wondering about this top dressing for as long as I've seen it mentioned in this forum. Exactly how do you add compost to already growing plants? Doesn't that cover them up and do harm? I am lost on this concept. Thanks!

Hi cpl100! So to add a top dressing of compost to a square you would sprinkle your compost around the plants, covering the bare Mel's Mix. Much easier to do in squares where the plants are more mature, for sure. If you're top dressing a square with newly sprouted seedlings, just leave a little hole around each sprout. Of course, it's also much easier when there is only one or four plants per square, and gets trickier with the squares that have nine or sixteen plants!

Once you have a nice layer of compost, maybe 1/4" - 1/2", you can use your fingers to kind of work it into the top layer of the mix. Note that this won't always be possible since you may find resistance when you try due to roots that have already grown near the surface. No point in damaging the roots. Just leave the compost on top and nutrients will wash through it down into the square.
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What type of garlic grows best in NE?

Post  cpl100 on 8/6/2012, 11:57 am

I have my mind set on growing garlic (or at least attempting it) and plan to do it in an old child's plastic pool. I saw some beautiful types of garlic here: http://www.territorialseed.com/category/357/a

I am pretty sure that some types are better in different climates. I think I would like to grow some hard neck (for scapes) and some soft neck (for storing as I believe I read they store longer). Well, how long do the hard neck ones store anyway? We use a lot of garlic in our cooking but I would not want to have any rot from storing too long.

Another thing that has me stymied about garlic ordering... They are sold by the pound or half pound. But how many plants does that actually give? When do you usually order your starts? Is there a better/best ordering company for stock that does well in MA or NE? I know I have seen mentioned in threads that people buy from varied companies based on the location of the company relative to their own location.

And, lastly, since my growing space is round rather than square I was thinking I would plant in concentric circles rather than on a square basis. Does that sound correct? I do not see garlic in the ANSFG book but am thinking they are spaced like onions (16 to square so just a few inches apart). Is that a safe assumption?
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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  cpl100 on 8/6/2012, 2:04 pm

So, after doing more research about garlic growing, I have learned that garlic cannot be in the same spot where any other allium has grown for the previous three years. That kind of nixes my idea of putting the garlic in the pool each year unless I remove the soil each year. Are there any plants that benefit from growing in soil that has just previously grown garlic? Tomatoes maybe?

I really want to grow garlic but this is problematic for me. Does anyone know the reason for this limitation? I could not find that information in the sites I read.
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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  ericam on 8/6/2012, 10:50 pm

@cheyannarach wrote:Hahha, I am one of those hopeless people that just have to see for myself sometimes so I planted some garlic that I had sprouting in the kitchen in the garden, I don't have hopes up or anything but I will report back to tell you "the news" in the fall.

Sounds like me, I needed some garlic for the kitchen a few months ago and usually I only buy one bulb at a time as I don't use a lot of it but my choice was single bulbs from China, usually sprayed with nasties to get past our quarantine or a bag of Australian garlic. The bag specifically said it wasn't chemically treated and could be used for planting so I thought why not and now have a square of garlic growing away nicely.

I also have some sweet potato plants chugging away slowly in a pot because it sprouted in the pantry and I thought I'd see what happened. I'm loving experimenting and wish I had more space to try more things!

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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  cpl100 on 8/8/2012, 1:42 pm

@gwennifer wrote:
@cpl100 wrote:I have been wondering about this top dressing for as long as I've seen it mentioned in this forum. Exactly how do you add compost to already growing plants? Doesn't that cover them up and do harm? I am lost on this concept. Thanks!

Hi cpl100! So to add a top dressing of compost to a square you would sprinkle your compost around the plants, covering the bare Mel's Mix. Much easier to do in squares where the plants are more mature, for sure. If you're top dressing a square with newly sprouted seedlings, just leave a little hole around each sprout. Of course, it's also much easier when there is only one or four plants per square, and gets trickier with the squares that have nine or sixteen plants!

Once you have a nice layer of compost, maybe 1/4" - 1/2", you can use your fingers to kind of work it into the top layer of the mix. Note that this won't always be possible since you may find resistance when you try due to roots that have already grown near the surface. No point in damaging the roots. Just leave the compost on top and nutrients will wash through it down into the square.

Thanks. Somehow I envisioned just somehow sprinkling it lightly over the entire bed. And doing nothing else with it.

And, has no one any opinion about growing garlic in the kids' swimming pool idea?
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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  camprn on 8/8/2012, 2:55 pm

I don't know that the pool idea is such a   one. You really don't want alot of freezing and thawing of the garlic bed. It may work if you mulched heavily on top and all the way around the pool. I would encourage you to explore other alternative planting sites.

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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  plantoid on 8/8/2012, 5:33 pm

The garlic in my raised beds survived just over three weeks of sub zero temps this last winter , some of them dropping down to minus 11 oC / 12 oF for three days with my MM being frozen solid to a depth of just over 8 inches .

I've now harvested all the autumn & spring sown garlic , the biggest bulb is almost three inches in diameter , the greenery just under five feet long & was from a clove planted on 11 Nov 20011.
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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  cpl100 on 8/24/2012, 12:38 pm

What is the spacing for garlic? And the planting depth for the cloves? I tried searching this forum but cannot find the answer. It is not in Mels book (checked chart and index in back). Is it the same as onions (16 per square) since they are both alliums?
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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  camprn on 8/24/2012, 12:45 pm

@cpl100 wrote:What is the spacing for garlic? And the planting depth for the cloves? I tried searching this forum but cannot find the answer. It is not in Mels book (checked chart and index in back). Is it the same as onions (16 per square) since they are both alliums?
I think I planted mine 9 per square foot last season. The link below will provide you with a lot of information regarding growing, harvesting and storing garlic.
http://www.hoodrivergarlic.com/garlic-calendar.htm

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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/24/2012, 1:09 pm

I have harvested some heads of garlic measuring almost 3 inches across, so take that possibility into consideration. In the hopes of getting BIG heads of garlic, I usually plant the largest cloves about 7-8 inches apart, which makes it rather difficult when trying to translate this into a square foot spacing. My solution is to use half of one of the long beds and plant in separate blocks for each individual variety (usually 3 different kinds) in a roughly 2' x 10' area, spacing between the cloves depends on my experience with how large that variety grows. You can plant more intensively if you stagger your individual clove placement, i.e., 7 garlics in first row from back of 2' bed to front, and 5 in the second row, then 7 in third, and so on, but with only 4 inches between the rows.

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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/24/2012, 1:14 pm

Wow, thank you, camprn, you've introduced me to a garlic seed source that's totally new to me! And not that far away. Would love to see their farm. Perhaps during the Hood River Harvest Festival. With gratitude, Nonna

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Re: Seeking advice on my garlic bed.

Post  cpl100 on 8/24/2012, 1:15 pm

Thank you both for the information. I have just found this link after expanding my search out of the SFG forum and book:

http://www.specialtycrops.colostate.edu/scp_exp_demo/garlic_2004_spce_flme_scpe.htm
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