Aussies Living Simply

Weird Garlic

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  • #257466
    GumnutGumnut
    Member

    Harvested some of my garlic last week as it had turned yellow and died back. Have had it drying on a rack and went to check on it today and found these little bulbs growing out of the stem. Anyone have any ideas why that would happen?

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    #529541

    Hi Gumnut

    Maybe you left them in the ground a bit too long. I have been harvesting my garlic for the past couple of weeks as the plants are just browning off about 60% and they’re perfect (see photo)

    :cheer:

    Attached files

    #529542
    MuklukMukluk
    Participant

    Gumnut I take it that is some kind of hard neck garlic? What variety is it?

    I am not certain but it looks to me that they are just bulbils that have formed further down the stem than usual. I am guessing the weather is responsible. You should be able to eat them or replant them.

    My russian garlic (which is botanically a leek) produced more rounds than usual and died down earlier than normal this year. The rounds are huge, one weighed 250g.

    #529543
    GumnutGumnut
    Member

    Thanks Mrs Potatohead and Mukluk.

    It’s meant to be Italian Red (came from Diggers) which from memory was a softneck. They are pretty small but it’s my first time growing garlic so not sure if I did something wrong or not. The soil they were growing in isn’t great; if you let it dry out it starts to repel water (all this despite me adding loads of compost etc each year and mulching with pea straw). Could also be they were planted too late – around mid july.

    I was thinking that possibly that stem was damaged hence the litle bulblets. I knew they could form in the flowerhead but it was quite a surprise seeing some popping out the side of the stem! 😆

    Your crop looks lovely Mrs Potatohead – where did you get your bulbs from?

    #529544
    SnagsSnags
    Member

    I have garlic envy

    mine were all runts not much bigger than your bulbettes, ready to be replanted next year for take 2

    #529545
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Gumnut post=351219 wrote: Thanks Mrs Potatohead and Mukluk.

    It’s meant to be Italian Red (came from Diggers) which from memory was a softneck. They are pretty small but it’s my first time growing garlic so not sure if I did something wrong or not. The soil they were growing in isn’t great; if you let it dry out it starts to repel water (all this despite me adding loads of compost etc each year and mulching with pea straw). Could also be they were planted too late – around mid july.

    I was thinking that possibly that stem was damaged hence the litle bulblets. I knew they could form in the flowerhead but it was quite a surprise seeing some popping out the side of the stem! 😆

    Your crop looks lovely Mrs Potatohead – where did you get your bulbs from?

    Hi Gumnut, my Italian Red, also originally from Diggers, does the same thing and I dont know why. As a guess it could be that the plant has finished growing the in ground bulb and starts another, a bit like layering a plant. If you still have some in the ground try planting the aerial bulb and see what happens – two for the price of one?!

    I also have poor sandy soil and find the best thing to help build it up is lots of organic matter & compost but the real trick is carbon. Save up all your charcoal, not ash, from the fire and crush it up as finely as you can in water and add it to your soil mix. You can also buy it as Bio Char but its rather expensive. Avoid using your partners prized vitamiser or juicer for the purpose as there is no doubt s/he will go right off! (Queenie has a ripper juicer that makes a ripper charcoal slurry but there was hell to pay when she came home to a black on white kitchen and a rather strange sounding juicer.)

    #529546

    I actually bought mine through Diggers as well. There were 3 kinds, Korean Red, Rocambale Festival and Melbourne Market but they all look pretty much the same. I haven’t harvested all the Korean Red yet so they may be bigger when they come out. My soil was red loam (typical of this area) so enriched it with heaps of “bought” compost as I had only just moved here and had none of my own, as well as the usual additives and some moo poo. Happy with my harvest. Yours look fine. I’d maybe keep the bulblets for next year to plant.

    :cheer:

    #529547
    MuklukMukluk
    Participant

    Softneck, that had me stumped so I did some googling and came up with this:

    “What are the tiny bulbs that grow above the actual garlic bulb (above ground) anywhere from 1” to 12” up the stem? Does this mean harvest soon or is it normal for some varieties?

    Answer: These small bulbs that form above the ground are called garlic bulbils (see next question). When they form just above the surface of your soil up to 1 foot, you will find them mostly in the softneck varieties, and sometimes in the Asiatic hardneck varieties. It happens quite frequently, this is also the reason that you will find a softneck varieties with a hard-neck. It usually occurs when the garlic is under stress, the garlic plant is actually bolting. So yes it does mean that your garlic is ready for harvest. What the plant is actually doing is sending out a seed, for it’s survival of the fittest instinct.” http://www.hoodrivergarlic.com/faqs.htm

    I hope that is helpful for you, I learned something new here.

    #529548
    GumnutGumnut
    Member

    Thank you so much for the helpful advice – I love ALSers! Have been researching biochar and am amazed I haven’t heard of it before.

    Am so glad to know that my “mutant” garlic is perfectly normal! :laugh: I going to replant the bulblets and see what happens. I’m thinking I’ll plant in a barrell with compost, better soil (and biochar!) next season.

    What time of year do you all plant your garlic out?

    #529549
    BlueWrenBlueWren
    Member

    Does something in my brain say “Plant garlic on the shortest day and harvest it by the longest “, or is that something else or did I make it up ??

    Porgey ………… :laugh: :laugh:

    #529550
    porgeyporgey
    Member

    Traditionally, and I am not sure what geographic & cultural region it developed, but you plant garlic on the shortest day (winter solstice – 21/06) and harvest on the longest day 6 months laters on the summer solstice. This worked well for me a couple of years ago but I now plant any time from early autumn right through to spring and just harvest when ready. Many of our gardening traditions come from overseas where there sun hours are totally different so find out what works in your patch with its varying micro and macro climates not what may be traditional and not what magazine, TV producers and retailers say is best because it suits there production schedules. Sometimes ignorance in the garden is a good thing as it allows you to see what really happens in nature not what is often theorised.

    Thanks BW, you gotta laugh!

    #529551
    GgangGgang
    Member

    did the tops look normal ?

    with any deformed or strange looking plants be aware that there is a new herbicide called amino pyralid that after spraying on say a hay crop can go through an animal that eat the hay and cause deformed plants if used on your veggie garden ( or in the compost )

    #529552
    lostinthefoglostinthefog
    Member

    Just what the world needs…a new herbicide! The farm we live on (not ours I hasten to add) has a ‘Mt Everest’ of empty chemical drums….scary!

    Anyway sorry about the off topic…I always plant around the shortest day but find the plants are mature a couple of weeks before the longest day, our climate is very close to a European climate so it works here, I try to grow enough to last a year, just about made it last year, if I hadn’t shared some with other people I would have had enough…

    My originals were just bought from a local market…they may be Tassie Red and last year I just used some of my own ‘sprouters’, just harvested mine, they are so pretty…pity I am so crap at anything techno or I’d post a photo!

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