Garlic problem

Just dug up some of my garlic which was planted last autumn. I was
looking forward to some nice big bulbs. However, they are not so big.
Medium size I suppose but what has bothered me is that the cloves
haven't developed. What I have got are just large bulbs. I dug up some
as they have sprouted leaves and a flower stalk so I would assume they
are ready to harvest.
Can anybody tell me please why the cloves haven't developed?
Reply to
Lintama
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Only in a general way: Garlic has the worst of both worlds: a poor competitor and a heavy feeder. So if there aren't enough nutrients or too much weed competition you'll get small bulbs. Not having the main bulb divide into cloves is just an extreme case. If it was hardneck garlic, you should cut off the scapes ("flower" stalks) when they form to direct energy into the bulb. It's also best to get your seed garlic from close to home, so you have something adapted to local conditions. Moisture is critical when the bulbs are sizing up, but I'm guessing in most of the U.K. this isn't a problem?
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
Reply to
Gary Woods
Sounds like you might leave it in the ground longer. You want to harvest when all the leaves are turning brown but there are still maybe three that are mostly green. Each leaf represents a layer that covers and protects the bulb. If you leave it too long the cloves are not protected well and the bulbs store badly. Harvest too soon and they haven't grown as much as they could.
Reply to
Bobo
Thanks to both people who responded.
I don't think that I did anything wrong according to your suggestions.
The garlic was planted last Sept or Oct. Perhaps they were planted too deeply. I pushed them in to about 2 inches below the surface. Water hasn't been a problem. I dug some up to see how they were. Also the flower stalks were coming up so I cut those off. A lot of the leaves are now brownish but I don't think that any of the bulbs are divided into cloves. I used ordinary garlic bulbs bought from a supermarket as I have done before. The soil is rich in nutrients due to lots of compost dug in before planting and there are no weeds whatsoever. Looks like it is depth of planting that could be the answer. I seem to remember some years ago planting garlic cloves with the tip showing just above ground and the garlic was successful that time but it was in a different garden with different soil. I think I will try this shallow planting method next time.
Thanks again.
Reply to
Lintama
According to the experts I always plant too deep, four to five inches in Ohio zone 5. I've planted early and I've planted late and only very occasionally have I had a head that didn't develop into cloves. I don't know why it happens. This year I had problems with too much rain and poor drainage that caused some rot and poor covers on the heads. I buy garlic I plant online. There's allot more variety out there than you get at the grocery. Most places sell a pound of only one kind which is way too much for most people. If you look on ebay you can find a one pound variety listing. Here's a good place
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Reply to
Bobo
Better yet, go to a local garlic festival (there are lots of them these days), talk to the growers and buy just a bulb or two of varieties known to do well in your area. That way, you'll get several seasons of trial/adaptation and have plenty of seed stock. Or, little space wasted if that variety doesn't like you.
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
Reply to
Gary Woods
Sorry, never heard of a garlic festival in the UK. I don't think it is that popular to tell the truth. I love it and use it all the time in cooking.
Will check out Ebay though.
Thank you for your input. Much appreciated
Reply to
Lintama
Sorry to hear that; I always have a stinkin' good time at a big fall garlic fest near here. Maybe you could encourage the giant leek folks to branch out?
Cheers,
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
Reply to
Gary Woods

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