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 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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<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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