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Sammys_Garden
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Trying to grow garlic

Hey everyone!!

I am brand new to gardening, so this summer is mostly going to be an experiment!

I picked up some garlic bulbs from Lowes. I read the directions, it said to plant in March/April, specified how deep to place the bulbs, etc... I meant to keep the instructions but I think they got thrown away and now I am confused about something.

How am I going to grow heads of garlic if I start with heads of garlic? Everything I have found online shows people planting the individual cloves of garlic, not the whole bulb.

I tried going back to Lowes and finding those garlic bulbs to read the directions but they didn't have any.

One of them has sprouted, and is sticking above ground about 3-4 inches. Can anyone give me any insight on what I should do?

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rainbowgardener
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What is typically done is to divide the bulb into cloves and plant each clove separately. Then each clove turns back into a whole head.

However, usually you would plant your garlic cloves in fall. They sprout in the fall, then are dormant through the winter and start growing again in spring. Then they are ready to harvest in early-mid summer.

Planting them now, it may be possible that by fall, your clove will have turned in to one much larger clove, about the size of a bulb, but not divided up.
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gixxerific
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Yes divide the cloves next time it may be too late to do it now, live and learn. Also rainbow is right do not plant in spring even if they tell you to, they need to be put in in the fall. For me it is around mid October. They will grow as rbg said and go dormant but this winter they never had a chance and huge here in my garden already.

As far as harvesting wait until the leaves are about 2/3 3/4 brown. Maybe test pick a few to check on them. If left too long the bulbs start to separate and wont keep very long.

Stay tuned to this channel and we will guide you through the garden. And forget everything you hear at Lowe's etc. :wink:

mscratch
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yup, Fall is the time to plant garlic.

GardenGnome
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What about onions I got soje walking onions mailed to me and some garlic.
They have sprouted do I cut the sprouts and keep them in a dary place? Same goes for the garlic?
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applestar
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@Gardengnome - I think it's best to "store" the cloves in the ground and let them do this season's worth of growing. I believe walking onions will simply grow and establish themselves. (mine are starting to form the top sets now so it's probably not far off in timing to plant them anyway)

Garlic, as mentioned, will grow some kind of bulb -- be it large round clove or multiple little ones (most likely large single bulb). It's riskier trying to save it.

One option if you really want to try to save for later planting (until fall? 4-5 mo?) is to put it in a paper bag and in the veg drawer of the fridge. Maybe you can do a little of both to hedge your bets.

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hendi_alex
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My biggest mistake with growing garlic was in buying without paying attention to suitability of the variety to my region. I accidentally (didn't know there was a difference) chose a cold region variety, but am gardening in warm South Carolina. The garlic bulbs just divided in the spring, and only gave small bulblets rather than full bulbs with decent sized cloves.

My second biggest mistake was planting in the spring, as especially in the south, the bulbs need the added growing time that is provided from fall through winter. Plus fall planted garlic is well established by the spring and is ready for rapid growth in the early spring. That period of rapid growth is necessary for good bulb formation. A spring planting handicaps garlic to the extent that bulb formation will be weak and results will be mixed between small to medium single bulbs or very small bulbs with almost unusably small cloves.

My third biggest mistake was in planting too early in the fall, while the weather was cool enough to allow spouting but was still very warm for a couple of months. Those plants tend to divide, giving clusters of garlic in the spring. None of the bulbs get very large, but they are still usable. The results are very similar as to when planting a cold weather variety in a mild winter area.

My best success comes with choosing varieties which are supposed to do well in my climate and when planting them at the proper planting time for here which is November, near the time of our first frost. Those plants usually grow well through the winter. They usually remain as single stalks which make large mature bulbs with very nice sized cloves.
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jal_ut
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Walking onions. Those first onions you received, you should dedicate a spot for them and plant them. Plan to leave them there in that spot indefinitely. This is your Mother Clump and you will later harvest the bulbils from the tops and plant them to make you some very nice green onions.

One thing about onions, all parts of the plant are edible at any time during its development. This goes for all varieties of onions. These walking onions are sometimes called "Forever Onions". They are perennial and since they are always edible, you are never out of onions, hence you have onions Forever.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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hendi_alex
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I don't have any walking onions. Can the bulbs be dug any time late summer until spring? Or should they be harvested and stored, for later consumption?
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HonoluluGirl
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What if the weather does not get cold in fall/winter and stays warm all year long? There's really no difference in temperature summer to winter here. Can I plant garlic any time?

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jal_ut
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I don't have any walking onions. Can the bulbs be dug any time late summer until spring? Or should they be harvested and stored, for later consumption?
They never form a bulb but remain like a green onion. They form small bulbils on top of the leaves. If left alone the tall leaves eventually fall over and then the bulbils hit the ground and will grow there. Of course since they are a good two feet tall or more, the new growth falls aways from the parent. This is why they are called "Walking Onions".

You can use any part of them anytime.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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gixxerific
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I tought this was about Sammy's garlic. 8)

GardenGnome
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Yeah I hijacked this thread thought garlic and onions could use the same post idk.
I know there's a softneck and hard neck garlic tho. You just need to find what kind you need or can plant and when.
Gilson (Giles) Zone 7b

GardenGnome
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Yeah I hijacked this thread thought garlic and onions could use the same post idk.
I know there's a softneck and hard neck garlic tho. You just need to find what kind you need or can plant and when.
Gilson (Giles) Zone 7b

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klevelyn
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I had never grown garlic but gave it a try last fall. I planted each clove in Sept about 6 inches apart. I happened to cover the row just barely with my hoop house in Nov. the weather has been so warm this spring they started growing in Feb. because of the protection from the hoop house.

Usually the garlic is ready in mid July, here but I have stalks about 12 inches tall. I think I may be a month ahead this summer.

The freezing winter helps the clove to form.

I save the larges bulbs for planting in Sept. again and eat the rest.
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