Garlic question

jenintasOctober 23, 2005


My garlic is starting to flower - does this mean that it's finished growing? I have just pulled a couple out, and they only have tiddly bulbs on them. I planted them at the right time -May I think - it was when Peter Cundall said to anyway - I assume he knows what he's talking about. (I may be deported for casting nasturtiums upon his credibility!!)

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mfwoodbridge(S_TAS Aust)

Pinch flowering shoots off.
Harvest it when it starts to die. Mine south of Hobart is ready in December. When you squeeze the base of plants that are ready for harvest they are much softer than plants that are still pumping stuff into their bulbs.



    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 10:31PM
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reillyoz007(Vic Aust)


I agree with Manuel. And I don't find garlic at all delicate so I don't hesitate to dig (with hands) down a bit and see how it's going.

I'm quite taken with this large 'single clove' garlic that is now in Safeway here. Brilliant for cooking (just one clove of garlic dear! heh heh) so I'll have to read up as I know nothing about it.

Also received the tom and parsley seeds that you sent - Many Thanks! Planting this weekend. Hope they work like yours did as I planted some commercial Italian parsley seeds 3 weeks ago and still nothing. AT ALL.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 8:59AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day jenintas,

probably not in the ground long enough and seeing as how you are in tasmania they may need longer as i find they like to be in full on sun and well drained.

mine went in here in se/qld by the end of march and still have not developed bulbs??? just look like large spring onions in the bulb area, also none of my hardnecks (sounds like what you have) have flowered i wouldn't suggest nipping off the flower heads as these give you another source to plant and get nore garlic and when my hard necks have flowered in the past and the flowers and tops start to die then i have developed bulbs to eat or plant next season along with the bulbets from the flowering process.

so if someone has any ideas why mine haven't developed fully as we head into the wet season and i will have to pull them or lose them to rot, my thoughts are that our winter was way to mild as that is the only difference to other years.

looks like if they don't develop in a hurry i won't have any material for the next seasons crops i have around 500+ plants in the ground.



mail len

lens garden page

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 3:04PM
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Raymondo(Armidale, NSW)

Hi Reilly,
Parsley is notorious for being slow to germinate. My first lot took over a month. Since then I don't know how long it takes because I just let a few plants go to seed and they come up when they're ready.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 5:17PM
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Thanks all for that advice. I will leave them a bit longer and see what happens.

Len, how very aggravating - they do need low temperatures to get bulbs don't they? So that could well be the problem ?

Reilly, glad the seeds arrived OK. They do take a while to germinate, but as Ray says once they get going they just come up all over the place, and you get a lovely parsley forest.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 6:46PM
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DerbyTas(NE Tas)

The big single bulb garlic may be what is known as Elephant Garlic (amongst other things) and is in fact a has a garlic taste but not as strong as most garlics
I was told recently that possums eat them but leave the real garlic
Just remember about it being a Leek if you are collecting seed

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 11:13PM
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reillyoz007(Vic Aust)

Thanks Ray and Jen about the parsley. I've always bought seedlings before and never thought about the germination time but yes the packet does say 21 - 28 days. D'oh.

Peter - I had a look at some pics of elephant garlic and I really don't think that's what this stuff is. These 'cloves' are perfectly round and are not shaped to fit into any sort of bulb. Think of a pickling onion in shape and size. And they seem to have the same taste and pungency of normal garlic.

Well now, Google and ye shall find.

"Single clove garlic :

A single clove garlic looks like an onion but tastes like garlic. It is the result of planting immature garlic clove. It is also called garlic onion. If the garlic onion is planted the following fall, it will produce a normal multi-clove garlic again." You can see it at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Single Clove Garlic

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 6:18AM
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meggs(WA Aust)

This is the first year I managed to get nice garlic. In previous years I bought the comercially available bulbs and planted these. I got garlic chives and plenty of atractive flowers but never bulbs. This year I bought some italian bulbs grown locally and.... voila after 7 months I have beautiful bulbs, they behaved as they should have, the green parts started dying off and they were ready!!! What joy.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 12:28AM
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"have flowered in the past and the flowers and tops start to die then i have developed bulbs to eat or plant next season along with the bulbets from the flowering process."

can someone explain a bit more about the flowering process to a garlic dummy like me?

one of my garlic plants has something bursting it's way out of the main stalk (like something out of that movie Alien!) which looks like a little bulb, or maybe a flower head, is this normal? cause it doesn't look like it should be normal! :)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 1:17AM
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meggs(WA Aust)

Yep, it may be a flower. The ones that never produced bulbs in my garden flowered in February/March, the flowers are usually white, look a bit like minature agapanthus. The ones that produced bulbs started dieing about 4 weeks ago.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 2:06AM
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roughie(tasmania aust)

Hi Reilly,
I planted my garlic about six weeks ago and they are now only about 50mm high.
Last season i had parsley in a pot and it went to seed, i pulled the plant out and emptied out the potting mix into the garden and forgot all about it. planted carrot seed in that bed and as they came up so did all the parsley seeds that must have been in there as well.Most people within 50 metres of me now have parsley as well.Had i tried to get the parsley to shoot, nothing would have come of it.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 5:31AM
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Peter used to say that you plant Garlic on the shortest day, and harvest on the longest.
I wait a month after the top is completely brown and shrivelled.
I got beautiful Garlic, full of flavour, and i kept some to plant this year.
I also planted anytime. it works.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 5:34AM
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reillyoz007(Vic Aust)

meggs/trancegemini - I have never had flowers! Lots of garlic but no flowers. Amazing! Does this mean I have garlic fingers??

John - The parsley I first planted is appearing. Well I think it's the parsley - guess who forgot to label 2 seed trays? I suppose I'll know soon. I've put some of Jen's seeds in a tray and sprinkled some on a bit of the garden. They'll probably come up when I've forgotten about them :)).

As Adam says, plant garlic whenever you want to. If I have a sprouting clove (rare) I just bury it in the garden somewhere. It knows what it's supposed to do and when. Have a dig down a little while after the tops have browned off.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 5:59AM
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Raymondo(Armidale, NSW)

When I fuss and fret over some seeds germinating, they don't, or at least they take a long time. When I relax and forget them, up they pop.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 3:24PM
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mfwoodbridge(S_TAS Aust)

I find the optimum time to pick your garlic for the longest storage potential is when the cloves have fully separated and the bulb is full-size, but before the top dies down completely. This is because the outer sheaths have decayed too much at the time the whole plant has gone yellow, and this encourages the cloves to sprout early.

Leaving them too long also allows the bulbs to get wet if it rains after the sheath has dried (causing them to go mouldy or sprout), dirt can enter the speces between cloves in the bulb.

Picking them too early means you get a significantly reduced yield, and unless the bulbs dry fast enough, often mould develops in them. Here in Tasmania I plant in April and side-dress with fertiliser when the plants are ~10 cm tall. I side dress a little again when they resume growth (august), and then sometimes again in september. I get giant bulbs that are ready to harvest early-mid december.



    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 5:41PM
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mee2u(Bne Qld)

Hi All,
I am waiting to get my garlic from Garlic Farms I expect they will arrive very soon as I am new to this activity can anyone suggest how I should store them until the right time for planting out as I am located in BNE and the next few months are going to be hot & HUMID would it be wise to store the beasts in the beer fridge for that time or should I hang them in an onion bag or similar under the house away from the sun ?
I am a bit concerned that they may get mouldy in the humid conditions.
Going by the above comments it seem to be that I could plant them out anytime if they decide to sprout before the recommended planting time for SE Qld. March is the time that I read somewhere, I was thinking to attempt end of Feb if it's not too Dam Hot.
Cheers JK :-)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 6:54PM
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