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Growing Great Garlic
©Pam Dawling 2016
Twin Oaks Community, Central Virginia
Author of Sustainable Market Farming
Sustaina...
What’s in this presentation?
Garlic types
Stages of growth
Before planting
Planting
Growing
Weed control
Diseases and pest...
Garlic can be
several crops!
It’s not just bulbs!
Bulbs (and braids)
Garlic scapes
Green garlic
Garlic scallions
(shown he...
Types of garlic
• Garlic (Allium sativum) has 2 subspecies, hardneck
(ophioscorodon) and softneck (sativum).
• Hardneck ty...
The botany of
garlic types
Dr. Gail Volk of the USDA
completed a DNA analysis in 2003
All the types tested belong to one
o...
Stages of growth
We have no control over when garlic starts to make bulbs,
only over how large and healthy the leaves are ...
Crop requirements
• Sandy or clay loam, very good
drainage, fertile soil, lots of OM,
P and K important.
• Rotation: at le...
How much to plant
• Yield ratio about 1:6 or 1:7
with hardnecks.
• Makes sense - you are
planting one clove to get a
bulb ...
Planting rates
• Divide the amount you
intend to produce by 6 to
figure out how much to
plant.
• Single rows: 5-8 lbs (2.3...
Planting time
• Fall-planting is best. We plant in early November. 9 am soil
temperature 50°F (10°C) at 4” (10 cm) deep. I...
Growing in fall and winter
Get enough top growth so garlic has a roaring
start in the spring, but not so much that the
pla...
Popping the cloves
• Up to 7 days before planting
• Twist off the outer skins, pull the bulb apart
• With hardneck garlic,...
Sorting the popped cloves
Photo from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
good size cloves in big buckets
damaged cloves in kit...
Planting
Our method:
mark the bed with a row-marker
rake
make furrows with pointed hoes
lightly press the cloves into the
...
Plant garlic pointy end up
• Hardneck - plant pointy end up!
Hardneck cloves with the points down
suffer a 30% reduction i...
Spacing
Give each plant 32 to 72 square inches (206 -465 cm2).
3” (7.5 cm) is too close. Shading reduces yield.
We like 5”...
Planting depth
Avoid planting deeper than necessary, to reduce rotting
In the South, 1.5-2” (4-5 cm) of soil over the top ...
• Roll round bales of spoiled
hay over the beds
immediately after planting.
• It is harder to add mulch
after the garlic h...
Liberate trapped shoots!
A couple of weeks after mulching, free trapped
garlic shoots from over-thick mulch Photo by Kathr...
No-till planting - Disappointing
Trials at Virginia Tech to develop no-till planting for garlic,
planting in the fall into...
No-till where oats winter-kill
David Stern in upstate New York successfully
plants into oats that have reached 6” (15 cm) ...
When foliar feeding is wasted
1. It provides no gain in yield if the soil had
adequate fertility at planting time.
2. Foli...
Weed control is important
• Weeds can decrease yield
by as much as 50%.
• Kill the spring cool-
weather weeds, then kill
t...
Weed control methods
without mulch
Cultivate fairly frequently
Tractor cultivation: use tine weeders up
until garlic is 6-...
Flame weeding
• Flame-weeding can
achieve as good results
as hand-weeding using
one-third of the labor.
• Can be used for
...
Vinegar weeding
Useful to control broadleaf weeds, but has no effect on
grass weeds. Can reduce labor by 94% using vinegar...
Diseases
The major diseases are mostly fungal:
White Rot, Fusarium, Botrytis, Rust,
Penicillium Molds, Purple Blotch,
Powd...
Cold weather diseases
White Rot fungus is most active
below 75°F (24°C). Yellowing and
dying of older leaves, tipburn,
des...
Hot weather diseases
Fusarium usually attacks plants that are
under stress. (In our garden it is the plants
on the gravell...
Pests
Nematode damage
(top); Onion maggot
damage (bottom)
Photos by University of
California IPM
Weekly scouting is a good...
Pre-plant treatments
To prevent some pests or diseases
Stem and bulb (bloat) nematode:
1. Soak the separated cloves for 30...
More pre-plant treatments
Mites:
1. Separate the cloves and soak them overnight (up to 16
hours) in water. The long soakin...
Reasons to grow garlic scallions
• A very tasty and visually attractive crop during
the Hungry Gap, the spring period befo...
Garlic scallions
Set aside the smallest cloves when
planting your main garlic crop
Plant close together in furrows,
droppi...
Harvesting garlic scallions
Loosen the plants with a fork rather
than just pulling
Trim the roots, rinse, bundle, set in
a...
Garlic
scapes
• Garlic scapes are the firm, round seed stems that grow from hard-
neck garlic, starting to appear in our r...
When to
harvest scapes
• 2 or 3 times/week, for 3
weeks in May.
• Late morning or early
afternoon is a good time.
Wounds h...
How to harvest scapes
• Grasp the round stem just
below the pointed cap and
pull steadily straight up. The
scape emerges w...
Scapes post-harvest
• Scapes are aligned in
the bucket, easy to
bunch or cut up. Scapes
sell in bunches of 6-10.
• They st...
Green garlic
The juicy immature
plants before the bulbs
mature.
Could be small bulbs
before they differentiate
(divide int...
Preparing for garlic bulb harvest
• Day-length as well as accumulated degree days determines when
scapes appear and when b...
Drying down
Hot weather above 91°F
(33°C) ends bulb growth and
drying down starts. It is
important to get plenty of
good r...
Determining when to harvest
Garlic is ready to harvest when
the sixth leaf down is starting to
brown on 50% of the crop. S...
Cut across hardneck garlic –
airspaces around stem show maturity
Music German Red
Mechanical harvest
Use a tractor-mounted
undercutter to loosen
the bulbs, or a root-
harvester to completely
dig them up. ...
Manual harvest
Use digging forks to loosen the
soil – lift, don’t pull. Stressing
the necks will not improve the
curing.
I...
Despite looking a lot yellower than “5 green
leaves”, this 2012 crop was not shattering.
Photo Marilyn Rayne Squier
Avoid cooking your garlic!
We harvest into buckets to keep the bulbs shaded. Others
might use crates. If it’s hot, get the...
Our garlic harvest gets fast follow-up
Immediately after the harvest we till the old garlic area
and sow buckwheat and soy...
Setting garlic
to cure
Hanging the garlic indoors to cure
(as it comes in from the field) is
popular when it is hot outsid...
Cure for 3-4 weeks
You could use
snowfencing (slats and
wire, or the plastic kind).
Or you can make
horizontal racks, and ...
Using netting
We hang our garlic in nylon netting
around the walls of a barn. The
netting has a 2" (5 cm) diamond
mesh.
We...
Snipping garlic
Test the curing garlic by rolling
the neck of a few sample bulbs
between finger and thumb. If it
feels dry...
Sorting garlic after snipping
• If not damp, decide if it’s storable.
• If the bulb is damaged or mushy
anywhere, or the c...
Selecting seed garlic
• If it could be between 2 and 2 ½”,
measure it. If smaller or larger, put in
a red bag. It’s for ea...
Storing seed stock
Ideally, store at 50-65°F (10-18°C)
and 65-70% relative humidity.
Our seed garlic goes on a high shelf
...
General storage
• We store our eating garlic in a
dry, coolish basement at 60-
70°F (15.5-21°C) over the
summer.
• In late...
Lorz Italian softneck garlic
www.southernexposure.com
Chesnok Red hardneck garlic
www.southernexposure.com
Music hardneck garlic
www.southernexposure.com
Nootka Rose silverskin softneck
www.southernexposure.com
Silverwhite softneck (Silverskin type)
www.southernexposure.com
Siberian hardneck garlic
www.southernexposure.com
German Red hardneck garlic
www.southernexposure.com
Italian softneck garlic (Artichoke type)
www.southernexposure.com
Killarney hardneck garlic
www.southernexposure.com
French Red softneck garlic
www.southernexposure.com
Inchelium Red softneck garlic (Artichoke type)
www.southernexposure.com
Polish White softneck garlic
www.southernexposure.com
Resources
Growing Great Garlic, Ron Engeland, 1991, Filaree
ATTRA, Organic Garlic Production,
www.attra.ncat.org/attra-
pu...
Growing Great Garlic
©Pam Dawling 2016
Twin Oaks Community, Central Virginia
Author of Sustainable Market Farming
Sustaina...
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Growing great garlic 2016 Pam Dawling

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How to grow garlic, control weeds, pests and diseases, know when to harvest and how to cure and store. How to produce garlic scallions, garlic scapes and green garlic. How to choose between varieties.

Published in: Food
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Growing great garlic 2016 Pam Dawling

  1. 1. Growing Great Garlic ©Pam Dawling 2016 Twin Oaks Community, Central Virginia Author of Sustainable Market Farming SustainableMarketFarming.com facebook.com/SustainableMarketFarming ©Jessie Doyle
  2. 2. What’s in this presentation? Garlic types Stages of growth Before planting Planting Growing Weed control Diseases and pests Garlic scallions Garlic scapes Green garlic Deciding on maturity Harvest Curing Snipping and sorting Selecting seed stock Storage Variety gallery
  3. 3. Garlic can be several crops! It’s not just bulbs! Bulbs (and braids) Garlic scapes Green garlic Garlic scallions (shown here)
  4. 4. Types of garlic • Garlic (Allium sativum) has 2 subspecies, hardneck (ophioscorodon) and softneck (sativum). • Hardneck types have flower stalks or scapes, bigger cloves, are easier to peel, more cold-tolerant. • Softneck (no scapes, easier to braid, stores later, smaller cloves, harder to peel). Left: Music hardneck garlic Right: Silverwhite Silverskin softneck garlic Photos SESE
  5. 5. The botany of garlic types Dr. Gail Volk of the USDA completed a DNA analysis in 2003 All the types tested belong to one of 10 varieties, 8 hardnecks and 2 softnecks. The hardneck varieties include 5 true hardnecks (Porcelain, Rocambole, Purple Stripe, Marbled Purple Stripe & Glazed Purple Stripe) and 3 varieties that often do not produce scapes (Creole, Asiatic, Turban). The two softneck varieties are Silverskin and Artichoke Photo Southern Exposure Seed Exchange www.southernexposure.com
  6. 6. Stages of growth We have no control over when garlic starts to make bulbs, only over how large and healthy the leaves are when bulbing starts, and how large the final bulbs can be. Bulbs start forming once day-length exceeds 13 hours. Air temperatures above 68°F (20°C) and soil temperatures over 60°F (15.5°C) are secondary triggers - no more leaf growth!! 12 hours of daylight = spring equinox. Northern latitudes reach 13 hours of daylight before southern ones, but garlic does not start bulbing there then because it’s too cold. Temperatures cause harvest dates to be earlier in warmer zones than in cooler areas at the same latitude. It is important to establish garlic in good time so roots and leaf growth are as big as possible before the plants start making bulbs. Small plants on the trigger date only make small bulbs!
  7. 7. Crop requirements • Sandy or clay loam, very good drainage, fertile soil, lots of OM, P and K important. • Rotation: at least five years away from alliums. • Full sun. • pH of 6.0-8.4, with 6.8 optimum. Onion maggots thrive if the soil is alkaline. • Compost or soybean meal at planting time. 30-60 #N/ac • 1-2” (2.5-5 cm) of water per week during the growing season (not during the winter), until the leaves start to yellow and the bulbs start to dry down, when irrigation should be stopped.
  8. 8. How much to plant • Yield ratio about 1:6 or 1:7 with hardnecks. • Makes sense - you are planting one clove to get a bulb of 6-7 cloves. If you get 1:12 you are doing very well indeed. • 3-9 lbs (1.4-4.2 kg) per person per year in the US.
  9. 9. Planting rates • Divide the amount you intend to produce by 6 to figure out how much to plant. • Single rows: 5-8 lbs (2.3-3.6 kg) of hardneck or 4 lbs (1.8 kg) softneck per 100’ (30m). • Large areas 750-1000 lbs/ac (842-1122 kg/ha) for plantings in double rows, 3- 4” in-row (7.5-10 cm), beds 39” (1 m) apart. Garlic planting Credit Brittany Lewis
  10. 10. Planting time • Fall-planting is best. We plant in early November. 9 am soil temperature 50°F (10°C) at 4” (10 cm) deep. If the fall is unusually warm, wait a week. • Softneck garlic can be planted in the very early spring if you have to (reduced yields). Give your seed garlic 40 days at or below 40°F (4.5°C) before spring planting, or the bulbs will not differentiate (divide into separate cloves) Garlic Planting Credit Brittany Lewis • Garlic emerges quickly in the fall • Roots grow whenever the ground is not frozen • Tops grow whenever the temperature is above 40°F (4.5°C).
  11. 11. Growing in fall and winter Get enough top growth so garlic has a roaring start in the spring, but not so much that the plants can’t endure winter If planted too early, too much tender top growth happens before winter If planted too late, there won’t be enough root growth before winter, and you’ll get a lower survival rate and smaller bulbs If garlic gets frozen back to the ground in the winter, it can re-grow, and be fine. If it dies back twice in the winter, the yield will be lower than it might have been if you had been luckier with the weather When properly planted, garlic can withstand winter lows of -30°F (-35°C) Photo by Kathryn Simmons
  12. 12. Popping the cloves • Up to 7 days before planting • Twist off the outer skins, pull the bulb apart • With hardneck garlic, the remainder of the stem acts as a handy lever for separating the cloves • Don’t worry if some skin comes off the cloves – they will still grow • Don’t break the basal plates(the part the roots grow from)
  13. 13. Sorting the popped cloves Photo from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange good size cloves in big buckets damaged cloves in kitchen buckets tiny cloves in tiny buckets - plant for garlic scallions outer skins and reject cloves in compost buckets
  14. 14. Planting Our method: mark the bed with a row-marker rake make furrows with pointed hoes lightly press the cloves into the furrows at the chosen spacing, using measuring sticks Pull soil over the cloves using regular hoes or rakes tamp the soil down with the back of the tool. Some growers who also plant by hand make a planting jig to make four or more holes at a time in loose soil, rather than make a furrow. Plant a clove in each hole and cover with the right depth of soil Photo by Brittany Lewis
  15. 15. Plant garlic pointy end up • Hardneck - plant pointy end up! Hardneck cloves with the points down suffer a 30% reduction in yield. Softneck cloves can be planted any way up, so are easier for mechanical planting. • If you can’t squat, or you are planting from the seat of a tractor, use a 3’ (1 m) length of pipe to drop the cloves into the furrows. Dropped from that height, through a tube wide enough for the garlic to tumble end-over-end, the cloves will land the way they need to be.
  16. 16. Spacing Give each plant 32 to 72 square inches (206 -465 cm2). 3” (7.5 cm) is too close. Shading reduces yield. We like 5” (13 cm) spacing in the row; 8-10” (20-25 cm) between rows. 40 in2 (258 cm2) each. We get lots of 2 ½ “ bulbs. Many growers plant at 6” (15 cm) in-row. Double rows and drip tape - Plant one row each side of drip tape, with plants 6” (15 cm) apart in all directions, and 40” (1 m) or less between drip lines and the pairs of rows. Photo by Brittany Lewis
  17. 17. Planting depth Avoid planting deeper than necessary, to reduce rotting In the South, 1.5-2” (4-5 cm) of soil over the top of the cloves In the north 3-4” (8-10 cm) of soil In Michigan 6” (15 cm) - Prevent too much top growth In Arizona, some growers set the cloves on the soil surface, then cover with 6” (15 cm) straw. Photo by Brittany Lewis
  18. 18. • Roll round bales of spoiled hay over the beds immediately after planting. • It is harder to add mulch after the garlic has started to grow. • Organic mulches will protect the cloves from cold winter temperatures, and frost-heaving to some extent. • In the South organic mulches keep the soil cooler once the weather starts to heat up. • Leave alone until late February • Weed once a month for 4 months Mulching Garlic photo Kathryn Simmons
  19. 19. Liberate trapped shoots! A couple of weeks after mulching, free trapped garlic shoots from over-thick mulch Photo by Kathryn Simmons
  20. 20. No-till planting - Disappointing Trials at Virginia Tech to develop no-till planting for garlic, planting in the fall into a frost-killed cover crop: • Sorghum-Sudan hybrid, Lab-lab bean and Sunn hemp were planted in the first week of August in raised beds. • When frost had killed the cover crops (10/24) the beds were rolled to flatten the crop residue • Garlic cloves were planted 5-6” (14 cm) deep in holes made with a soil probe. All plots were given organic fertilizers. • Some were covered with thick straw, which was always beneficial. Disappointing results - no-till caused a 32-44% bulb loss, with Sorghum-Sudan by far the worst. So don’t re-invent the wheel. Speculation - the cover crop residues tied up the available nitrogen.
  21. 21. No-till where oats winter-kill David Stern in upstate New York successfully plants into oats that have reached 6” (15 cm) tall Sow oats 4 weeks before garlic planting date He cuts slots through the oats with a disc- furrower and plants the cloves in the slots The oats continue to grow until winter-killed, and they continue to protect the garlic Timing is obviously critical and site-dependent Can be harder to harvest from the “turf-like” soil Wireworms could potentially be a problem, encouraged by grasses
  22. 22. When foliar feeding is wasted 1. It provides no gain in yield if the soil had adequate fertility at planting time. 2. Foliar fertilizers tend to run off the waxy near-vertical garlic leaves, unless you add a good sticker-spreader (soap). 3. Foliar feeding (or side-dressing with compost or organic fertilizers) is wasted after the fifth leaf, and certainly after the bulb starts to enlarge. 4. In the South, garlic reaches a four-leaf size before winter - spring is too late. 5. But don’t over-fertilize in the fall or growth will be too fast and tender to survive cold conditions, and the storage life of the garlic will be reduced. Photo by Kathryn Simmons
  23. 23. Weed control is important • Weeds can decrease yield by as much as 50%. • Kill the spring cool- weather weeds, then kill the summer weeds. • Take care when hoeing or cultivating and hand- weeding. Keep the leaves in good shape. • Each leaf damaged or removed will cause about a 17% yield reduction for that plant. Photo by Kathryn Simmons
  24. 24. Weed control methods without mulch Cultivate fairly frequently Tractor cultivation: use tine weeders up until garlic is 6-8” tall. Then hillers will deal with the between-row weeds and some of the in-row weeds, but be careful not to cover too much of the foliage as this reduces yields. Flame-weeding is possible.
  25. 25. Flame weeding • Flame-weeding can achieve as good results as hand-weeding using one-third of the labor. • Can be used for relatively mature garlic, but young plants (four or fewer leaves) are too easily damaged. • Direct the flame at the base of the plants, in the morning, when the plants are turgid. • Don’t flame-weed if you have mulch! Photo by Kati Falger Colorado State Specialty Crops photo
  26. 26. Vinegar weeding Useful to control broadleaf weeds, but has no effect on grass weeds. Can reduce labor by 94% using vinegar rather than hand-weeding, so if broadleaf weeds are what you get, this is a good solution. 2004 SARE Grant report by Fred Forsburg. • 5 applications of 10% acetic acid vinegar spray during the growing season. • Start when the garlic is 18” (46 cm) tall • Spray about every 10 days, from both sides of each row. • Wear a mask and gloves, long sleeves and long pants, this strength of vinegar is caustic. • www.honeyhillfarm.com
  27. 27. Diseases The major diseases are mostly fungal: White Rot, Fusarium, Botrytis, Rust, Penicillium Molds, Purple Blotch, Powdery Mildew and Downy Mildew. Bacterial soft rots are also sometimes seen. • Use pre-plant clove treatments to reduce disease. • Remove isolated sick plants as soon as you see them. • Always remove garlic debris from the field at the end of the season, or till it in and plant a non-allium crop. In summer, soil biological life is very active, and soil organisms will quickly break down the debris. Downy Mildew Photo University of California IPM
  28. 28. Cold weather diseases White Rot fungus is most active below 75°F (24°C). Yellowing and dying of older leaves, tipburn, destruction of the root system and rotting of the bulb. Can persist in the soil for 10 years, requires assertive action to reduce the problem. Spray garlic extract on the soil when the temperature is 60- 70°F (15-21°C) with no garlic growing. The fungal mycelium may grow and then die off in the absence of food. Several weeks later, garlic can be planted and will escape the rot. Photo White Rot University of California IPM Rust shows up initially as small white flecks on the leaves, developing into orange spots. Favorable temperatures 45-55°F (7- 13°C), high humidity, low rainfall, low light. Stressed plants are more likely to be stricken. Infected bulbs may shrink, yellow and die. Use good sanitation and rotations.
  29. 29. Hot weather diseases Fusarium usually attacks plants that are under stress. (In our garden it is the plants on the gravelly edge of the patch.) It grows during hot weather, with symptoms similar to White Rot, but slower to develop. Fusarium produces small brown spots on the cloves, yellowed leaves and stunted browned roots. The discoloration of the leaves spreads from the tips. The main organic approaches to controlling Fusarium are good sanitation (and pre-planting treatments) as well as fostering strong plant growth. Botrytis symptoms include “water-soaked” leaves, and can lead to bulbs rotting, sometimes during storage. This fungus grows best (worst!) in warm wet weather. Good airflow during growth, curing and storage, will reduce the chances of Botrytis problems. Botrytis (top) Downy mildew (bottom) by University of California IPM
  30. 30. Pests Nematode damage (top); Onion maggot damage (bottom) Photos by University of California IPM Weekly scouting is a good practice. Use pre- planting treatments against nematodes, mites. Caterpillars can be killed with Bt. Nematode infestations show up as distorted, bloated, spongy leaves and bulbs, perhaps with brown or yellow spots. Top growth yellows and may separate from the roots. Thrips are eaten by lady bugs and minute pirate bugs. Farmscaping (planting flowers to attract beneficial insects) can work. Onion maggots: Ground & rove beetles, birds, braconid wasps are all good predators. Beneficial nematodes can be effective. ProtekNet or row cover can exclude them Mites eat the skins of the cloves, survive the winter and multiply all spring long, seriously damaging or even killing your crop.
  31. 31. Pre-plant treatments To prevent some pests or diseases Stem and bulb (bloat) nematode: 1. Soak the separated cloves for 30 minutes in 100°F (37.7°C) water containing 0.1% surfactant (soap). 2. Or soak for 20 mins in the same solution at 120°F (48.5°C). 3. Then cool in plain water for 10-20 mins. 4. Or soak in 10% bleach water for 10 mins, warm water rinse. 5. Allow to dry for 2 hours at 100°F (37.7°C) or plant immediately. Fusarium: 1. Soak the cloves in a 10% bleach solution, then roll them in wood ash (wear gloves). The wood ash soaks up the dampness of the bleach and provides a source of potassium. 2. Add wood ashes when planting, or possibly dust the beds with more ashes over the winter. (Use moderation - don’t add so much that you make the soil alkaline.)
  32. 32. More pre-plant treatments Mites: 1. Separate the cloves and soak them overnight (up to 16 hours) in water. The long soaking loosens the clove skins so the alcohol can penetrate and reach the hidden mites. 2. Optional additions to the water: 1 heaping tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of liquid seaweed per gallon (around 8 ml baking soda and 4 ml liquid seaweed per liter). 3. Just before planting, drain the cloves and cover them in rubbing alcohol for 3-5 minutes, so the alcohol penetrates the clove covers and kills any mites inside. Then plant immediately. Various fungal infections: 1. Separate the cloves and soak them for 15-30 mins in water (optional extras as for mites). 2. Just before planting, drain the cloves and cover them in rubbing alcohol for 3-5 minutes.
  33. 33. Reasons to grow garlic scallions • A very tasty and visually attractive crop during the Hungry Gap, the spring period before any new crops are ready for harvest. • Supply garlic taste at a time when supplies of bulb garlic may have run out. Photo from cbf.typepad.com
  34. 34. Garlic scallions Set aside the smallest cloves when planting your main garlic crop Plant close together in furrows, dropping them in almost shoulder to shoulder, just as they fall. Close the furrow and mulch over the top with spoiled hay or straw. We harvest garlic scallions from early March, once they reach about 7-8" (18-20 cm) tall, They last till May, unless we need to use the space.
  35. 35. Harvesting garlic scallions Loosen the plants with a fork rather than just pulling Trim the roots, rinse, bundle, set in a small bucket with a little water Scallions can be sold in small bunches of 3-6 depending on size Or cut the greens at 10" (25 cm) tall, and bunch them, allowing cuts to be made every two or three weeks. Greens wilt quicker than scallions
  36. 36. Garlic scapes • Garlic scapes are the firm, round seed stems that grow from hard- neck garlic, starting to appear in our region 3 weeks before harvest , as the bulbs size up. Day-length and temperature determine when. • Remove them! The garlic bulbs will be bigger and also easier to braid, if you want braids from hardneck varieties. • Contrary to ideas mentioned by some sources, leaving scapes in does not increase the storage life. • 1 acre (0.4 ha) of hardneck garlic produces 300-500 lbs (136-226 kg) of scapes • Most people who remove scapes cut them where they emerge from the leaves. We prefer to pull ours, to get the most out. Photo www.greencitymarket.wordpress.com
  37. 37. When to harvest scapes • 2 or 3 times/week, for 3 weeks in May. • Late morning or early afternoon is a good time. Wounds heal quicker then, reducing the risk of disease and wilting. • Don't wait for the top of the scape to loop around - they toughen and the final yield of the garlic decreases. • Pull as soon as the caps have cleared the leaves Photo by Small Farm Central
  38. 38. How to harvest scapes • Grasp the round stem just below the pointed cap and pull steadily straight up. The scape emerges with a popping sound - you have the full length of the scape, including the tender lower part. • It's an enjoyable stand-up job, and there’s a friendly competition to see who can get the longest scape. (Encourages everyone to perfect their technique.) • Gather scapes into buckets, standing upright • Put a little water in the bucket. Photo www.awaytogarden.com
  39. 39. Scapes post-harvest • Scapes are aligned in the bucket, easy to bunch or cut up. Scapes sell in bunches of 6-10. • They store well in a refrigerator for months if needed. • Use for stir-fries, grilling, omelets, quiche, soups, pesto, pickles, dips, sauces, dressings • Photo simpleseasonal.com
  40. 40. Green garlic The juicy immature plants before the bulbs mature. Could be small bulbs before they differentiate (divide into cloves) or later, before they dry down. Worthwhile if you have a large planting and you can get a good price Photo by Small Farm Central www.smallfarmcentral.com
  41. 41. Preparing for garlic bulb harvest • Day-length as well as accumulated degree days determines when scapes appear and when bulbs are ready to harvest. This is a good time to be paying more attention to your garlic crop, and what better way than walking through pulling scapes? • Remove any diseased plants from the patch at the same time. 3 weeks before the expected harvest, remove the mulch to help the bulbs dry down, and to prevent fungal diseases. • In our rotation, the spring broccoli is next door to the garlic, and we move the old garlic mulch to the broccoli to top up the mulch there. It helps us stay on track with getting the broccoli weeded too.
  42. 42. Drying down Hot weather above 91°F (33°C) ends bulb growth and drying down starts. It is important to get plenty of good rapid growth before hot weather arrives. Garlic can double in size in its last month of growth, and removing the scapes (the hard central stem) of hardneck garlic can increase the bulb size 25%. Photo by Kathryn Simmons
  43. 43. Determining when to harvest Garlic is ready to harvest when the sixth leaf down is starting to brown on 50% of the crop. See Ron Engeland's Growing Great Garlic. Harvesting too early means smaller bulbs (harvesting way too early means an undifferentiated bulb and lots of wrappers that then shrivel up). Harvesting too late means the bulbs may "shatter" or have an exploded look, and not store well. Usually it's 6/7-6/14 for harvest of our main crop of hardneck garlic, but it has been as early as 5/30, and as late as 6/18. Our softneck variety is a little later.
  44. 44. Cut across hardneck garlic – airspaces around stem show maturity Music German Red
  45. 45. Mechanical harvest Use a tractor-mounted undercutter to loosen the bulbs, or a root- harvester to completely dig them up. Sub-soilers, European leek harvesting machines or homemade undercutters fashioned from an old snow plow blade bent into a rectangular shape, have all been used. Photo www.pinterest.com
  46. 46. Manual harvest Use digging forks to loosen the soil – lift, don’t pull. Stressing the necks will not improve the curing. In drought years use overhead irrigation the evening before, to loosen the soil enough to harvest without damage. Treat the bulbs like precious sun- sensitive eggs! Bruised bulbs won't store well, nor will sun- scalded ones. It’s better not to wash them, as drying is what’s needed. Shake off the soil, without banging the bulbs. Photo Twin Oaks Community
  47. 47. Despite looking a lot yellower than “5 green leaves”, this 2012 crop was not shattering. Photo Marilyn Rayne Squier
  48. 48. Avoid cooking your garlic! We harvest into buckets to keep the bulbs shaded. Others might use crates. If it’s hot, get the garlic out of the field quickly, hang it up and get it drying, (indoors!) Don’t let garlic get above 121°F (49°C) as it will cook. Photo Marilyn Rayne Squier
  49. 49. Our garlic harvest gets fast follow-up Immediately after the harvest we till the old garlic area and sow buckwheat and soy. We have about six or seven weeks before we'll use these beds to sow our fall carrots at the very beginning of August. Photo Marilyn Rayne Squier
  50. 50. Setting garlic to cure Hanging the garlic indoors to cure (as it comes in from the field) is popular when it is hot outside. It takes us several mornings to get our 4200 row feet (1280 m) of garlic harvested and hung up. Some growers tie the plants in loose bundles of about 8-12 plants and hang the bundles under cover. If you can size the bunch so it ends up around one pound (0.5 kg) in weight, you may save yourself a task later. Whatever method you are using, get the garlic spread out immediately. Don’t leave it in plastic containers where the heat and moisture will incubate fungi! Photo Twin Oaks Community
  51. 51. Cure for 3-4 weeks You could use snowfencing (slats and wire, or the plastic kind). Or you can make horizontal racks, and lay the garlic on top. To braid softneck garlic, start braiding within the first week of curing, before the leaves become too brittle. You’ll also need to clean your garlic. Photo Marilyn Rayne Squier
  52. 52. Using netting We hang our garlic in nylon netting around the walls of a barn. The netting has a 2" (5 cm) diamond mesh. We thread a bulb in each diamond, by bending the tops of the leaves and feeding them through the space. We take a section of netting and work upwards in rows, back and forth, covering the walls in garlic. We use fans to move the air, which you should consider if your climate is also humid. Photo by Marilyn Rayne Squier
  53. 53. Snipping garlic Test the curing garlic by rolling the neck of a few sample bulbs between finger and thumb. If it feels dry, rather than moist, it's ready. Use scissors to cut off the roots close to the bulb and the tops ¼ - ½ " (0.5-1 cm) above the bulb. Don’t remove any skin. Some growers brush mud off with toothbrushes. We find enough dirt drops off during storage to save us this tedious task. Trimming garlic roots. Photo by Brittany Lewis
  54. 54. Sorting garlic after snipping • If not damp, decide if it’s storable. • If the bulb is damaged or mushy anywhere, or the cloves have sprung apart, put it on the Farm Use rack. • If storable, decide if it’s seed size and quality (next slide). • When all the hardneck garlic is trimmed, weighed and recorded, take it away to storage. • Then start on the soft neck garlic, if dry. Do the same as with the hardneck garlic. Use different colored bags. Trimming garlic. Photo Brittany Lewis • Decide if the bulb is dry. Feel the cut neck. The remains of the stem may have a Styrofoam texture. The stem should not be damp. • If damp at all, put the trimmed bulb on a Farm Use rack.
  55. 55. Selecting seed garlic • If it could be between 2 and 2 ½”, measure it. If smaller or larger, put in a red bag. It’s for eating. • Don’t just save all the biggest bulbs for seed - they tend to be uneven in shape and quality, with cloves of all sizes. • If 2 - 2.5" (5-7 cm) in diameter, with an even shape and cloves that are tight together, not opening up (and not obviously more than 10 cloves), put it in a green bag. • We use about 50 lbs per 1000’ of seed garlic (hardneck and softneck). This allows some slack. • When we have enough seed garlic, stop measuring. Simply snip, sort and bag. Measuring garlic bulbs Photo: Brittany Lewis Some growers use measuring jigs with two foam-lined battens tapering towards each other on a board Decide if each bulb is seed size and quality
  56. 56. Storing seed stock Ideally, store at 50-65°F (10-18°C) and 65-70% relative humidity. Our seed garlic goes on a high shelf in the shed, at quite variable temperatures, and does fine until early November when we plant it. Don’t refrigerate - prolonged cool storage results in “witches- brooming” (strange growth shapes), and early maturity and lower yields Avoid temperatures of 40-50°F (4.5- 10°C) during the summer, as this causes sprouting before you are ready to plant. Storage above 65°F (18°C) results in delayed sprouting and late maturity. We have been carefully selecting seed stock for about 20 years now, and it does great. Inchelium red garlic. Photo www.southernexposure.com
  57. 57. General storage • We store our eating garlic in a dry, coolish basement at 60- 70°F (15.5-21°C) over the summer. • In late September we move it to a walk-in cooler at 35-38°F (1.5-3°C). At 32°F (0°C) it will store for 6-7 months. Garlic does not freeze until 21°F (-6°C). • Avoid the middle temperature range of 40-55°F (4.4-13°C), as this encourages sprouting.Garlic photo by Radish Acorn
  58. 58. Lorz Italian softneck garlic www.southernexposure.com
  59. 59. Chesnok Red hardneck garlic www.southernexposure.com
  60. 60. Music hardneck garlic www.southernexposure.com
  61. 61. Nootka Rose silverskin softneck www.southernexposure.com
  62. 62. Silverwhite softneck (Silverskin type) www.southernexposure.com
  63. 63. Siberian hardneck garlic www.southernexposure.com
  64. 64. German Red hardneck garlic www.southernexposure.com
  65. 65. Italian softneck garlic (Artichoke type) www.southernexposure.com
  66. 66. Killarney hardneck garlic www.southernexposure.com
  67. 67. French Red softneck garlic www.southernexposure.com
  68. 68. Inchelium Red softneck garlic (Artichoke type) www.southernexposure.com
  69. 69. Polish White softneck garlic www.southernexposure.com
  70. 70. Resources Growing Great Garlic, Ron Engeland, 1991, Filaree ATTRA, Organic Garlic Production, www.attra.ncat.org/attra- pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=29 The Garlic Seed Foundation, www.garlicseedfoundation.info An organization of growers and eaters. Website lists suppliers and resources, including the ARS Germplasm Resource, which supplies small amounts of plant material to growers. Extensive library and information on building your own harvesting equipment. Dr Gayle Volk’s Garlic DNA Analysis, (How many garlics are there?) www.garlicseedfoundation.info/allium_sativum_DNA. htm Bloat Nematodes, www.garlicseedfoundation.info/bloat-nematode-new- york.htm www.garlicseedfoundation.info/images/nematode- cce.jpg Fred Forsburg has designed a tractor-drawn planting platform www.honeyhillfarm.com Vinegar to kill weeds: 2004 SARE Grant report by Fred Forsburg ] FNE03-461 Final Report Sources for Seed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, VA, www.southernexposure.com 540-894-9480, 16 varieties, mostly Organic Gourmet Garlic Gardens, www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com 325-348-3049, 81 varieties, grown in the US by small growers across the country. Growing instructions, pests and diseases and more Filaree Farms, WA, www.filareefarm.com 509-422-6940, over 130 varieties Territorial Seeds, OR, www.territorialseed.com 800-626-0866, 18 varieties Irish Eyes Garden Seeds, WA, www.irisheyesgardenseeds.com 509-964-7000 or 509-925-6025, 4 varieties The Garlic Store, CO. www.thegarlicstore.com 800-854-7219. 54 Organic varieties
  71. 71. Growing Great Garlic ©Pam Dawling 2016 Twin Oaks Community, Central Virginia Author of Sustainable Market Farming SustainableMarketFarming.com facebook.com/SustainableMarketFarming ©Jessie Doyle

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