AZFarmGirl
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My garlic not forming bulbs

This is my first year gardening vegetables. I read every thing I could about garlic and purchased two types from a farmers market. I planted the softnecks on Oct. 15 and all seemed well for months! I used organic soil, and have plenty of sun, I thought for a few weeks i had watered to much and the tops started to yellow, so I cut back a bit, but still watered every other day or so. In about mid March the tops started to die back on a few of my plants, although I thought it was a month or so early I dug 2 see how things were going, and needless to say they weren't going well. Everything looked good, nice white deep roots, no bugs or mold.. What did i do wrong?? The hardnecks are still green, so I haven 't dug any of those.. Please help!

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hendi_alex
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Re: My garlic not forming bulbs

Be patient, bulbs don't start forming until a month or two before harvest. Here in zone 8 mine have just started swelling. Some of my tops are not looking that great either. Don't know why. But I'm sure that the plants will still make a decent crop of good sized bulbs.

Be sure to hold off on the water the last few weeks before harvest.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

AZFarmGirl
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Re: My garlic not forming bulbs

Yay! I was hoping that I was just being impatient, I will keep taking care of my garlic babies, stop watering a few weeks before and let you know how it turns out, so glad I found this site, thanks again Alex!! Happy gardening!

erins327
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Re: My garlic not forming bulbs

I had the same problem last year. Grew about 50 and when i went to harvest in May...nothing. Tops started to 'die off', but all I found was no bulb.

However I think my problem could have been different? i used garlic from the grocery store, which I later thought was probably a hybrid species? Therefore wouldnt produce other garlics very well?
I would think the Farmers Market is heirlooms, so I don't think that was your problem. And I do think you just didnt wait long enough.
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hendi_alex
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Re: My garlic not forming bulbs

I did have that problem my first few attempts at growing garlic. Wasn't thinking of that issue. Later, after first couple of attempts, found out that garlic has warm winter varieties and cold winter varieties. Cold winter varieties will not do well in warm climates. They behave like tulips here in S.C. They grow from one season to the next, but before maturing, the bulbs split into many small bulbs, with each sending up a new top. They never mature to form large mature bulbs. When buying seed garlic, garlic for planting, IMO it is best to buy from a grower such as thegarlicstore.com or other reputable dealer who groups the bulbs by colder winter or mild winter varieties.

I'm thinking that in this particular case however, the bulbs just have not started to swell yet.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

AZFarmGirl
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Re: My garlic not forming bulbs

Yes I am hoping they just haven't matured yet, but either way it's fun to learn and see what does and does NOT work, I grew 2 kinds of potatoes this past season without a hitch and it was so much fun! Now if i can just get my dwark lemo on the right track i will be a happy girl!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: My garlic not forming bulbs

erins327 wrote:I had the same problem last year. Grew about 50 and when i went to harvest in May...nothing. Tops started to 'die off', but all I found was no bulb.

However I think my problem could have been different? i used garlic from the grocery store, which I later thought was probably a hybrid species? Therefore wouldnt produce other garlics very well?
I would think the Farmers Market is heirlooms, so I don't think that was your problem. And I do think you just didnt wait long enough.
Until this year I have always just planted garlic from the grocery store. Always worked just fine for me. This time I planted my own home grown garlic because I had so much last year, I saved some for "seed." But still it is just the daughter generation from grocery store garlic. I plant in October and harvest sometime in middle of the following summer.
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AZFarmGirl
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Re: My garlic not forming bulbs

Does anybody ever grow just to harvest green garlic? Since planting my infamous garlic I have been reading lots of good things about harvesting the scapes and the green garlic, want to try this for next year!!

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hendi_alex
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Re: My garlic not forming bulbs

I over plant each year, such that by February when last year's cloves are no longer very good quality, we switch to pulling immature garlic from the garden. Those green onion sized garlic plants keep us in garlic from winter until bulb harvest in June.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

imafan26
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Re: My garlic not forming bulbs

It may be that you did not choose the best variety for your climate.
I can only plant softnecks in a warm climate.

I keep the garlic in the refrigerator drawer for about 6 wks to condition them before planting.
I did find that garlic likes the compost and suplemental nitrogen in the fall when it makes leaves. (My leaves keep growing after they are planted, no snow here)
After the leaf growth slows, I stop any additional nitrogen. As the days get longer, the bulbs should start forming. When the tops die back they are ready to harvest

When I continue to give it nitrogen, I get very nice tops and no bulbs
If I don't give it enough nitrogen in the beginning, I don't get enough leaf growth and the bulbs will be formed, but small.
If I plant at the wrong time of the year, the bulb is smaller than the one I planted.

Below is a link to growing garlic in Arizona

https://cals.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hor ... arlic.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

sunset77
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Re: My garlic not forming bulbs

Patience is a virtue! can't wait to see how yours turn out
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