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 Post subject: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:09 pm 
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Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
Last summer I decided to try forcing garlic as one would other bulbs. For my experiment I took two types of garlic, german hardneck porcelain and chesnok red purple stripe garlic. These are relatively late garlics for my area and last year the porcelain was barely coming up last Jan.

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For both garlics I had two heads from the same source. I refrigerated one head of each for the month of October and kept the other head at room temperature. I planted all the heads on Nov 1st.

Here are the plants as of 1-19, the porcelain on the left, purplestripe on the right. In each rock ringed bed the refrigerated plants are on the right side.
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Results: the cloves that were treated in the refrigerator are dramatically larger as of mid-winter, and comparable in size to neighboring artichoke and asiatic (early) garlics. I expect they will produce earlier and/or larger bulbs. I'll post an update at harvest time. This may be a method to allow garlics that are more suited to northern climates to be reliably grown in southern climates where they would otherwise mature too late when summer heat would cause them to be stunted.

Interestingly, asiatic and turban garlics, which are known to store poorly, do so because they sprout even at room temperature in the early fall. I planted them Oct 1 because of this:
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Note the shoots...

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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:36 pm 
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Location: Ontario
I am sorry you have lost me. What was the purpose of the experiment?
We plant our garlic on Canadian Thanks giving (Oct 11th) harvest mid July. It never shows any growth till early March, as it's under snow till that time.
So our growing season is considerably shorter than yours, but we still get large bulbs.


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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:19 am 
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Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
We do have a very long growing season, but porcelain and purplestripe garlics take a long time to emerge and do poorly in our dry summer heat.

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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:00 pm 
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Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
The results are in, and they are pretty impressive!
The chesnok red garlic was harvested Monday night, and the German white porcelain tonight (Tuesday 6-15-10). I didn't have my camera yesterday for the in-ground photo of the Chesnok red, but here is the porcelain:
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The refridgerated plants are on the right. Note that all their leaves have turned brown now (over-ripe) while the left hand plants are at about ideal ripeness. It's been nearly 90'F the last few days, so they've browned up quick. I left them both in together to have a good A-B comparison. You can see the refrigerated plants got considerably taller.

Now here they are out of the ground:
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Again the refrigerated plants on the right. You can see they are significantly larger, with the un-treated plants being almost unacceptable in size while the refrigerated plants are quite nice (my leatherman is 4" long). I think the largest untreated bulb is smaller than the smallest treated one. The treated bulbs grew larger than my starting seed bulbs.

The chesnok red weren't immediately adjacent so there is two photos.
Treated:
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Untreated:
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Some of the really dinky ones were probably tiny inner cloves, but it's clear that the refrigeration treatment significantly improved the performance of these plants too.


To show how fast the hot weather yellowed these plants, here is a photo from 9 days ago:
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Conclusion: A month of refrigeration in the crisper drawer significantly advanced the emergence date, ripening date and enhanced the yield of late season, purple stripe and porcelain garlic in a warm 'southern' climate that is less suited to such garlics.

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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:07 am 
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Location: PNW
Good job! I'm glad the experiment was successful. Strange to see a garlic bed next to a cacti bed, though. :D At least I think that's what I see.

Our weather has been so crazy this year and I'm so far behind on my vegie garden that I'm about to give it up, at least the warm weather crops. I may put in a late planting of cool weather crops.


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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:46 am 
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Location: New York
I've pulled my garlic. This year, it did much better. The best is the one called, "Palermo's White German". Very large cloves for the first year. The worse, meaning the smallest growth, is the Italian Purple Skin. They came in almost the same size as I what planted!!

I've learned alot though, which I guess is what this is all about! 1. I need to tend to the garlic sooner in the spring, before work in the rest of the garden starts. 2. They need more water than I thought. 3. I kept a few scapes on the plants, to see what they look like fully grown, and to see how much smaller the clove will be than on plants that I removed the scape. The cloves are much smaller with the scape attached!! Some scapes grow to a flower, and some grow to little bulbs, seeds I guess.

Some of you may remember that on the "I want to grow garlic" thread, I showed my "rotten" garlic. I assumed that there was way too much rain, and the garlic rotted in the ground. I replanted some of those cloves, and they still did quite well.

Pictures to follow....

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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:11 am 
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Location: New York
Here's a couple of Pictures. They're still pretty dirty.


Attachments:
File comment: Palermo's White German
Dirty Palermo's White German.JPG
Dirty Palermo's White German.JPG [ 83.34 KiB | Viewed 968 times ]
File comment: Aisan Tempest
Dirty Garlic 001.JPG
Dirty Garlic 001.JPG [ 88.83 KiB | Viewed 967 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:14 am 
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Location: New York
Just showing off now!!


Attachments:
Garlic 001 '10.JPG
Garlic 001 '10.JPG [ 87.59 KiB | Viewed 965 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:13 am 
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Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
Nice! Looks like the Asian tempest did put on some bulk for you after all!

I left all my scapes this year just to see what they would do, I'll cut most of them next year.

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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:11 pm 
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Can anyone tell me how deep you plant the clove? It really sounds interesting and I'd like to try it this fall. I'm in NH so it should cool down pretty soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Location: Sunol, CA (9B)
You probably don't want to force it if you're in a cold winter area. If it grew too soon it might freeze.

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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:40 am 
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Thanks for the advice. I'm in NH so I'll put covering over them.


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 Post subject: Re: Forcing garlic
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:40 am 
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I kept a few scapes on the plants, to see what they look like fully grown, and to see how much smaller the clove will be than on plants that I removed the scape. The cloves are much smaller with the scape attached!! Some scapes grow to a flower, and some grow to little bulbs, seeds I guess.

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