green garlic

http://www.anthive.com/flowers/p5030001_Green_Garlic.jpg
songbird
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I'm kicking myself for not planting anything for green garlic. Usually in the fall I follow the advice of a commercial garlic farmer: Throw all the cloves that were too small to plant at the end of the bed and pull them in the spring for green garlic. In his case, it's an income source when there isn't anything else except asparagus He is near a town with a large Asian community; they'll buy all he has.
--
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic
Zone 5/4 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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Gary Woods wrote:

yeah, we're getting some rains today too. it is ok as we've been moving cedar trees. nice to not have to water them.

y.w. :) when i pull it up there's so much more red color on the outer layers, but they have too much dirt on them to eat. still fun to look at.
when i steamed it yesterday it tasted like pretty much any other green onion. to me that means i cooked it too long. i like it much better when i'm out there picking it. i'll clean the stalk off, chop off the end and chew on it right there. then it tastes like both green onion and garlic.
i could see where it is a useful crop for someone and i wonder why so few have used it. for me it is so much easier to grow than green onions. what you saw above is from an area i'm trying to weed it because otherwise it would take over. i've been weeding that patch for years now ever since i threw a bunch of scapes in there. many many buckets of garlic later. i'm sure there will be plenty left that i'll miss too.
for planted garlic this year i'm down to about 30 heads. :( the rest of the gardens have many hundreds to use up, but they are harder to get at and often not as large as the selected ones i plant. i'm now getting much better results having figured out the spacing, soil, water and mainly planting the largest cloves (often bigger than my thumb the past few years).
you can see my garlic patch in the background of these two other recent pics:
http://www.anthive.com/flowers/p4180038_Pathway_Removal.jpg
http://www.anthive.com/flowers/p4270012_Combined_Gardens.jpg
and here is some spring color for a gloomy day: :)
http://www.anthive.com/flowers/p4230001_Spring_Mix.jpg
songbird
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Well, I don't generally do it because I'm trying to get to the more usual end-result - more heads/cloves. So it feels like robbing the cradle, a bit. I guess I could try unbending (I do have a few ferals about.) That would make a bed I could dig up in spring to put something else in. I also made the mistake of using chives for a border some years ago, so I have more "green onion-y" material than I can shake a stick at - though we mostly grow them for the few weeks of chive flowers, typically thrown on top of a cracker with cheese.
I have a light feral/scape-clove patch (planted scape cloves, so not totally feral, but I let it fend for itself) in the woods-edge. It is hanging on but not a resounding success. I was lured into this by an escapee from the sorting that put up a lovely plant in the woods by the porch, but evidently that was a bit of a fluke, as I've had another woods patch (100 scape bulbs) fade away to nothing. The surviving patch appears to have been visited by foodie chipmunks (some stolen bulbs) but is still growing after several years. The last couple of years I have scaped the garlic and not had new scape bulbils as a result.
The main beds are a few heads shy of 100, which is my nominal planning point - 50 heads each of two types, though I may now be confused about which is which since they are not clearly/obviously different. I aim for 24-28 big heads (from the nominal 100) to pull big cloves from for seed, and have a mass of roasted garlic from the smaller cloves I suppose I could be planting for green garlic instead...
I think I'm up to 9x9 inch spacing now in my quest to see at what point more space stops helping - 8x8 was definitely better head size than 6x6, though a commercial site I visited claimed there were more pounds per acre (of smaller heads) at 6x6. I'm going after bigger heads, not pounds per square foot.
Planting the large cloves is mostly working, but does backfire from time to time - I have some doubles and triples showing up, and the double- and triple-header heads tend to be smaller, since they are not spaced at all from their immediate siblings, and pretty much represent starting with a clove 1/2 or 1/3 the size you thought you were starting with.
Under "whackier crops I'm trying again" I have leek seedlings going. I don't recall success the last time I tried them, but I've evidently forgotten enough details to order seed and have at it again.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
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Ecnerwal wrote:
...re green garlic...

if/when i ever run out of ferals to dig up i'll go back to planting more (you can space it closer since you'll be digging it up early) as then i can also plant it deeper than it usually grows (which gives you more white blanched stem :) ).
...

yes, i'm doing that too, otherwise it gets really crazy.

i like it because you can dig it up any time and for me it grows much easier than the green onions.

yep. that's about where i'm at. 8-12 inches apart. we do not have a shortage of space here.

i get some doubles but they are still large enough to be ok. usually plant in second year rotation so the soil is very fertile still.

Ma won't touch 'em so i don't plant. i have a few oddballs growing and will be interested to see what comes of them. should take some pics of them while they are young.
songbird
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On 05/04/2016 07:00 AM, songbird wrote:

That is a thing of beauty!
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T wrote:

yes, it is, still plenty of it out there to dig up too. :)
songbird
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On 05/06/2016 10:56 AM, songbird wrote:

I accidentally chopped on while weeding. It was very good eating!
Questions:
how mad does the plant get at you when your do that?
Does the bulb shrink trying to rebuild the top?
And, how many times can you get away with it?
-T
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T wrote: ...

can survive, but obviously there's some effect on bulb size.

no bulb forms until later. right now it's all leaves and stalk when i dig them up.

each one is a cost.
i usually am digging up the whole plant (roots and all) because i'm trying to remove them. the roots are very well liked by worms after they've dried out. if you leave some of the bottom attached to the roots then there might be enough energy to restart a plant, but i would not count on it getting big until the following year.
in the end, if you want a lot of garlic, use the cloves and bulbules and you can have thousands of plants within a few years.
songbird
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On 05/06/2016 09:26 PM, songbird wrote:

Thank you!
What is a "bulbules"?
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T wrote: ...

the little bulbs that form up top on some kinds of garlic.
this is a pic of a garlic top from the hardneck garlic i grow, you can see the little flowers and the little bulbs that form. normally you don't get a secondary top growing out of it like this one (which is why i took the picture).
http://www.anthive.com/flowers/100_8088_Garlic_Top.jpg
the little bulbs are viable and edible. plant them and you'll get a single clove by the end of the first season, it takes a few years (two to three) to get them up to normal bulbs of garlic size (with multiple cloves).
i've had thousands of these each year even when i've been trying to limit them by cutting them off i usually miss a few here or there (some stalks fall sideways). every one that is missed can root and form a new plant...
songbird
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On 05/07/2016 04:07 AM, songbird wrote:

Thank you!
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