Harvesting garlic

I plant garlic cloves between roses to deter pests. When the tops fall over, I harvest the garlic. They are always very small, measuring perhaps 1-1/2 to 2" at the widest.
How do other people do with garlic? Do home growers also get small heads?
How do commercial growers get such large heads with many cloves?
Info appreciated.
Persephone
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Persephone wrote:

Garlic is the worst of both worlds: a heavy feeder, poor converter of solar energy, and lousy competitor. To get big bulbs, you must plant in your best soil, assure a steady supply of moisture, and weed fanatically.

The number of cloves is determined by variety. My favorite is "German White" which only has four cloves per bulb, but they're BIG bulbs with strong flavor.
Less peeling, more bad breath!
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
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I found out after years of planting garlic in the spring, that fall planted garlic yield larger bulbs. I have pulled any of mine yet to see if there is a difference. The tops are still a bit upright, so it may be another week or two before I pull them. I also plant between the roses. It's supposed to help them have better fragrance and keep down blackspot.
Regards, June
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On Mon, 26 May 2008 12:06:14 -0700, Persephone wrote:

Garlic competes poorly with other vegetation, be it weeds or roses. It is also a heavy feeder so, being in with the roses, it's probably going hungry. One other point, harvesting garlic is not like harvesting onions. You should not wait until garlic tops fall over. Garlic should be harvested when it still has at least 4 green leaves. Each green leaf translates to a paper wrapper around the bulb. If you leave it 'till all leaves are brown, the bulb will have no protection and will store very poorly.
Ross.
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On Mon, 26 May 2008 23:24:58 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@forteinc.com wrote:

Goodness! I had no idea! I don't fertilize a lot, so you may be quite right about these poor sfamine-ridden plants.

More precious info! Thank you very much. Having just pulled up the bulbs, I was about to sow more cloves, but would like to get your input on a reply from <rec.gardens>, copied below:
"I found out after years of planting garlic in the spring, that fall planted garlic yield larger bulbs. I have pulled any of mine yet to see if there is a difference. The tops are still a bit upright, so it may be another week or two before I pull them. I also plant between the roses. It's supposed to help them have better fragrance and keep down blackspot."
Even at the risk of smaller bulbs, I think I should go ahead and replant cloves, to protect the roses through our very long growing season.
What do you think?
Persephone

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I would plant now if you want them to do the job on the roses. You can even leave them in over the winter, if you want, as an experiment, to see if they would get better or???? But, I would also plant fresh garlic in the fall for a late spring harvest.
Regards, June
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On Mon, 26 May 2008 23:06:23 -0700, Persephone wrote:

We try to garden as "organically" as reasonably possible and we do own the book "Roses Love Garlic', along with about a jillion other gardening books. I don't put as much stock in the effectiveness of companion planting as does my wife but, that's not to say it doesn't work. It may be a case of, if one believes it helps then it does help. Now, with regard to planting time, garlic planted in the fall will always do better than spring planted garlic. We have fall planted garlic for at least the last 30 years. Here's a photo of our garlic, taken the first week of June last year.
http://i26.tinypic.com/25fj59i.jpg
Had it been spring planted, it would not have been nearly so far along.
Ross.
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<Persephone> wrote in message >

Garlic needs a period of cold to make decent sized cloves. The usual time to plant is in the Autumn (October ish). However, yu can fool them in thinking its cold by putting them in the fridge for a month before planting.
PDM
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On May 26, 3:06pm, Persephone wrote:

Where I grow, CT zone 6 garlic gets planted aug/sep and harvested in July
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On Mon, 26 May 2008 12:06:14 -0700, Persephone wrote:

Sincere thanks for all who offered input on Subject. I found your advice very useful.
P.
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On Mon, 26 May 2008 12:06:14 -0700, Persephone wrote:

Late reply...
We use and are loving immature garlic used as "scallions"....stir fry, salads, anything you might use green onions in, tops and all. Today we chopped one and and mixed it with smashed taters. Milder than mature garlic, yet fully garlic flavored.
Enjoy Charlie
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I pulled one of last years garlics yesterday and found a nice big, elephant sized bulb. That late summer planting really works! I never thought about using the young ones as scallions. I imagine they might taste a lot like ramps which we have growing here in the Western NC mountains, and we love ramps.
Regards, June
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wrote:

Where in the mountains? I'm in the Foothills near the VA line.
--
Susan N.

"Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral,
  Click to see the full signature.
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Yeah, I'm just North of Asheville. Steve (bread & butter pickled ramps in the fridge)

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I'm also North of Asheville, in Bakersville, It's about an hour and ten minute drive from Asheville.
June
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I'm closer to Weaverville, nice to meet a new neighbor. Steve

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You're about 45 minutes from us. Weaverville is a nice little town, not as far in the boonies as we are in Bakersville. Do you ever do the TRAC tour? I'm usually on it (I'm a potter); but this spring I'm still recovering from a full hip replacement so I had to opt out of the spring tour; but will probably be doing the winter one if I can catch up with my garden work and find studio time this summer. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and see my currently, weed infested garden. I got some help this week, so hopefully it will soon be looking pretty again. Some of he flower beds are coming along nicely and the veggie terraces are almost fully planted and pretty well weeded. I should get some current pictures and put them up on my pottery blog. If you're not familiar with the TRAC tour, it's the Toe River Arts Council sponsored studio tour with about 125 artist studios open for visitors. There's everything from pottery, glass blowing, wood working, basket weaving, iron works, weaving, jewelry, etc. Maps can be gotten at the TRAC offices in Spruce Pine or Burnesville. TRAC also has a web site. The tour area includes both Yancy and Mitchell counties. My studio name is Shambhala Pottery and it is on last winters tour map. If you want to visit and can't find a map, then just write me and I can give you directions. Many of the artists put out drinks and snacks. It's a fun tour and an opportunity to see how the artists live and work; and there's some wonderful, high level crafts on the tour to see or purchase.
Regards, June
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Didn't you email the Asheville Mushroom Club this spring? That hip replacement/gardening thing sounds familiar. Steve
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Yes, Steve that was me. I was asking about morels. My daughter and her husband were visiting from Germany, and since I couldn't go on a search for them (it was just a couple of weeks after my surgery), I sent them out and they came back with a full quart of them. They found them less than 100 feet from the house, at the bottom of our terraces! Maybe it was you who told me to look around the poplars and ash trees? They didn't find any near the poplars near the house and none of us knew what an ash tree looked like. I need to get well versed on theses trees! Hopefully next year this new hip will be fully functional so I can go trapsing through the woods on our property in search for more. Actually, I'm hoping in the fall to be able to look for some of the mushrooms I used to pick with my dad. I don't know the official name of them; but he called them Popikinis (not sure of the spelling). When we lived in the NY area, we found them around October, often near dead oaks. They're a greyish brown'/tan with tiny black specks in the center and they range from small to about 5-6" across.They're delicious. My dad only picked two mushrooms - those and one with a red cap. I don't know the official name of that one either; but I know that one of the red caps is poisonous. Fortunately, dad knew the difference.
Regards, June
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Wow, small world. I've been involved with the club since the early 1990's. Poplars & ashes are a great place to look for morels. Remember where they were found, they usually appear the same spot year after year.
Brother-in-law has had both hips done, he's like a new man after the healing process finished. Steve

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