garlic: small cloves?

A lot of our soft-neck garlic has reasonable-sized (for us, anyway) heads, but the cloves seem smaller and more numerous than past years.. Our hard-neck, grown in the same bed, is normal, or maybe even better than usual in this regard. I could be just mis-remembering, but the change seems pronounced.
Anyway, I'm wondering if there's a 'that means ...' for this. We used less manure than in the past, but tried to compensate with more 5-10-5.
Zone 5+, Syracuse NY Planted 11/7; up 4/1; harvested 7/3, after they fell over.
Thanks, George
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George wrote:

we had two periods of dry weather this past year that affected about everything grown.
did you guys have a mid-spring drought?
songbird
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wrote:

No. Actually, it was kind of wet, IIRC. BUT, I do mix some peat mossy stuff into the garlic bed, and I'm probably not terribly consistent with it, year-to-year. So, drainage might have made it drier. Would dry cause small cloves & (reasonably) large heads?
G
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George wrote:

sure, but other things could be going on.
peat mossy might mean the soil is getting acidic. might want to test it for pH.
did you plant the same sized cloves as previous years, at the same depth?
if you've not already planted for next year you can do some variations and see what happens.
songbird
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wrote:

Yeah. As far as what was planted, we did the same as in the past - selected the largest cloves from the prior year. We wouldn't have planted small ones. Depth? I can't say for sure. I did use a different technique, so it might have been deeper. As far as the soil, ... well, the hard-neck are fine.
I'm going to try a new bed, and go back to my old planting technique.
G
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George wrote:

ah, ok, good to know that something else changed too.

different kinds might react to soil chemistry differently... adding peat every year will acidify garden soil.

ok. :) good luck. let us know how it turns out.
songbird
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