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PunkRotten
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My garlic is a disaster

Around October last year I planted 2 different kinds of garlic in 2 small beds. The varieties, Susanville and Polish Softneck, were said to grow well in this area. Prior to planting I prepped the beds pretty good, way better than last year. Anyway, when they were planted they were off to a good start. Just a few weeks ago they were tall, really green, and the bases were thicker than my previous garlic crops. So from my observations I was expecting good sized garlic. But over the course of a few weeks they have been declining. It started with a few plants on the corner of the bed now it is like 3/4 of them. They appeared to be drying up as if they are being burned from the sun. The thing is, I water them sufficiently plus the beds are mulched. I really don't know what the problem is. Last year my garlic got like this way before the planned July harvest. I ended up harvesting them beginning of June. One thing I would like to add is that I tossed around a little bloodmeal before I mulched them. Could fertilizer burn be an issue here? But I had a similar problem last year where I added no fertilizer. So I don't know. Well, any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

evtubbergh
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

I actually don't know about garlic but I do know similar plants in the family will die if they get too much water. My onions fall over and die if they don't get enough sun and/or get too much water. It sounds like a fungus or disease from the way you described them dying from a corner across the bed. Fungus needs moisture to grow. Don't be fooled by the 'drying' up as that is just dying that can be caused by other things.

Check for insects too, my garlic chives were taken out by thrips last year - I mean large lush plants dead to the ground in a week.

Try spraying with neem oil for both fungus and insects.

Another thing - they are meant to die back and go brown when they are ready to harvest. I know my mom lets hers go brown then pulls them up. When is harvest time?

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hendi_alex
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

My plants are drying early this year as well. Will likely begin to harvest very soon even though mid to late June is more normal.
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imafan26
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

I planted mine in October and the onions and garlic were both ready in March. First time they were early.
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

PR if the tops are dieing back, then they are mostly done. Dig one or two and let them dry out of sunlight.

Garlic is harder to dig after tops are totally browned up.
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applestar
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

I wonder if they have separated into cloves or have formed single large bulb?

I had a handful that didn't separate and I planted them again in the fall. Those plants are HUGE right now.
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jal_ut
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

Could be they are done. Have you dug a few to see what they look like?

What did you plant? Plant a a good sized clove in the fall and you should expect to see a good sized multi-cloved bulb at harvest.
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feldon30
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

July sounds late for harvesting garlic in Southern California, although I know there are a number of microclimates and such which I may not be familiar with. I'd also heard that you want to withhold water near harvest time for garlic, although I have not personally grown it.
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PunkRotten
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

Just one time I actually harvested in July and after that it has been around June. Now this year mnost are dried out at the end of April and beginning of May. I harvested all the ones that were completely dried. Most were bulbed up but on the small side. There were a few that were still pretty green. So I left them to bulb up more hopefully. I harvested a few from the other bed and they are really tiny. They almost look like a small onion. I may just replant it for Fall.

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jal_ut
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

We definitely have a different climate, and planting times there may be different than here. I am fairly new to garlic culture. My son got me going on it 3 years ago. In this climate, it has to be planted in October as the ground will be snow covered later. Then It doesn't do much until March or April when the snow gets off. Last season I had a great harvest, and this past fall I planted a lot of garlic. I think I got carried away. It is looking great right now, but we have to wait a while to see how it turns out. Not ready for harvest yet. It is actually easy to grow here. Just plant and harvest. Since it does its growing during the rainy season, seldom have to water it. Perhaps pull a few weeds.

Ask around in your area and find out when people plant their garlic in that area. I think planting time is going to be very important in your climate. I wonder too about varieties. Ask what varieties do well there. Best of luck.

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Gary350
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

It sounds to me like your garlic is just about done. Wait until the tops completely dry up. Then dig them up.

Last year my garlic looked like LEEKS. They were about 30" tall and looked like very large green onions. 2 months later the tops turned brown and they died. When I dug around in the soil I found 49 very nice large size garlic bulbs.

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PunkRotten
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

Question: What is the best way to cure garlic and onions?

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applestar
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

I read the forum on my iPad so my viewing window is small-ish.
jal_ut wrote:I think I got carried away.
When I read this I chuckled... Then I scrolled down and saw the photo...
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:lol: ...let's just say, it's a good thing I wasn't taking a sip of anything just then... :lol: :P
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Ohio Tiller
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

Planted 40 last fall and have 40 nice tall plants. I raise mine in raised bed and I don't water them heavily just when the soil is dry I hit them with some but never soak them down.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

I have a row of garlic in all 5 of my raised beds, so probably about 40 also. That gives me garlic to use from harvest until October (which is about as long as I can keep it fresh any way) and then a bunch of cloves to plant for next year's crop. But that means I only have garden grown garlic from harvest (late June - early July) until October. Haven't really figured out how to do more. I guess if I grew MORE garlic, I could freeze some. Since the period when I have fresh garlic is also the months when I am busy turning tomatoes into sauce and salsa and basil into pesto, I use a LOT of garlic. To have enough to freeze, I think my whole garden would have to be garlic! :)
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hendi_alex
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

Why not do like i do and plant about 2.5x what will be harvested as mature bulbs. Then use the extras, harvesting and eating the entire scallion like plant. Garlic used at this stage doesn't seem quite as pungent as mature cloves, but is still very good and is a much better product with a much more reasonable price than any alternative.
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evtubbergh
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

@PunkRotten So what happened? Did you have piles of good garlic underground?

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hendi_alex
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

You should really consider my October overplanting method. We harvest about 50 plants between December and May, using the entire plant just like spring onions. With that adjustment we now get out of the garden garlic 12 months per year. The immature plants are a little different than the pungent fully mature cloves but are a tasty, high quality product.

Also be sure to have an assortment of softneck varietes as some store much longer than others.
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PunkRotten
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

evtubbergh wrote:@PunkRotten So what happened? Did you have piles of good garlic underground?

Half of them were decent. The other half were really tiny and I will be replanting these in OCT. I am debating on whether I should increase the amount of garlic or should I do more onions. My onions are bulbing up nice right now. If I do garlic I will try other varities in addition to what I pulled aside. I've tried about a total of 8 varieties now and really the only one that has grown really well was the Music garlic.

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Re: My garlic is a disaster

hendi_alex wrote:You should really consider my October overplanting method. We harvest about 50 plants between December and May, using the entire plant just like spring onions. With that adjustment we now get out of the garden garlic 12 months per year. The immature plants are a little different than the pungent fully mature cloves but are a tasty, high quality product.

Also be sure to have an assortment of softneck varietes as some store much longer than others.
I grow one softneck and one hardneck variety each year for precisely this reason - I've got Chesnok Red and Inchelium Red planted this year. The softnecks store much longer, so we have some garden-grown garlic available to us at least through winter. In fact, I still have a few small bulbs left from last year, though they've started to sprout and are of lesser quality now than they would have been if we had eaten them three or four months ago. Even so, I'd prefer to eat that than buy garlic from the store.

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hendi_alex
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Re: My garlic is a disaster

I plant both hard neck and soft neck varieties. Problem is none last much beyond January. So we pull the immature current crop as needed, to fill the period between January and May. That has worked very well for the past two seasons, giving good quality fresh garlic 12 months per year.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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