I checked my garlic today and my hardnecks were all yellowing and had some sort of rust while almost all my softnecks had fallen over. All signs that they need to come up sharply and it was just in time. The good news is that I pulled them up in time to keep them from getting moldy or rotting (only just I think, the outer skins on a couple of them were starting to slough off), the bad news is that they are pretty small and not that well formed. There's only 3 or 4 that have the traditional garlic shape with defined cloves in more than 2 dozen I pulled up. Many are the size of a golf ball. The softnecks were all a bit better defined but small.
When I planted my hardnecks I was very careful to separate each clove, however quite a few came up in clumps of 2 or 3 growing together. Did I miss something and not get them separated right, or do they just grow like that sometimes?
There are some that are so small that I don't think they've formed segments and I was thinking I might save them and plant them again in the autumn, will that work? I guess I don't lose anything by trying.
So mixed results for me. I got almost 100% germination and I got to them all in time to harvest them, but because of the atrocious conditions they didn't mature particularly well. Still, I got enough of them that I imagine they'll last me awhile. Given that we've had enough rain to ruin everything I can't complain!
Similar results here. I gave up & lifted all mine today. the outer skin on about half were mushy but rubbed off easily, so just in time probably.
One large elephant garlic, with cloves. The rest had detached from the neck, so without the stem I'm guessing won't dry well, I will use them fresh, most hadn't split into cloves.
A couple of good solent wights, the rest of them & the purple wights were tiny, smaller than golf balls I'd say on average. I had a pair of bulbs that had grown together, even though I'm careful to plant each clove individually, I've never seen it before either. Also lots had one tiny, single clove attached to the outside of the bulb. Very odd.
They say you should save the largest cloves to re-plant in the autumn & I'm not sure any of mine are large enough so I may not bother for a year or two. It's tempting to stick cloves in the pots when the tomatoes etc. have finished with them in autumn, but they're still in when I need the pots in spring!
Good luck drying your crop. Mine are on the bottom shelf slats of my greenhouse which is running with condensation rather than sun at the moment. It's impossible to find somewhere warm to dry them this year prior to plaiting.
I lifted my garlic yesterday because they had rust and were also falling over. Howerver, I am delighted to report that they are all a decent size, firm and actually have formed proper cloves this year and don't resemble overssized marbles!
I put them in the conservayory last night but frankly the garlicky smell is quite overwhelming (I do adore garlic) so was thinking of putting them in the garage. However since I have not had rust before I don't know whether to remove the leaves now - could the rust still affect the bulbs? Or can I still leave them on? Thanks, Janet
Yes the smell of garlic is very strong in the greenhouse. I wonder if it may keep pests away!
I spotted rust on one of mine actually & then forgot all about it, I'm sure I shouldn't have put that one in the greenhouse, eek.
Not sure about if we should cut the leaves off that one & use it sooner. Maybe someone else knows?
I was reading up on it a few weeks ago......it said too cut all of the leaves off, bin them not compost them, make sure that they are kept far away from any other allium family member. And use straight away, as the rust will mean they will not store well.
I cut the leaves off at the start of the month they have been drying since so far (although i know only a couple of weeks!) they seem to be storing ok. However I am going to use them as soon as I can.
Sorry gd I have been on hoilday and not able to get wi fi. My garlic is an OK size could be alot better. I am not going to save any for planting due to the rust I will buy new.
My garlic had rust last year. I dried the bulbs off normally and I am still using them now. Indeed, they will I think last until I harvest this years garlic, which also has rust.
Use up straight away is an odd turn of phrase. They will be used as they are used. That is when I require them.
So Welshonion sounds like you are saying I can leave the leaves on and dry as normal - and plait them? thanks
When they are good and dry and ready to come in the house for winter storage I rub off the loose skins and cut the stems to short. They may or may not keep, but they did last year into this year. I used some of last year's cloves when I planted my garlic in the Autumn. I only chose the biggest cloves from the outside of the bulb and ensured they were not double ones.