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Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

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Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  donnainzone5 on 12/3/2016, 6:11 pm

I just went out to check my garlic squares, only to find that three cloves had heaved to the surface--likely because of our fluctuating temps already this season.

On the bright side, the three had excellent root growth.

However, should I cover with mulch, such as partly composted leaf mold, or a basic two-way compost?  I amended with 5+-way compost before I planted.  And re-buried them today.

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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/3/2016, 7:11 pm

Aw, bummer Donna. Sorry I can't help but I've haven't had that problem...yet. I'll be interested in seeing what others do in that situation just in case.

I do however leave the pine mulch on the box once I plant though, but it's on all year.
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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  sanderson on 12/3/2016, 8:18 pm

Donna, I hope someone in Heave-thaw land can offer suggestions, but the mulch sounds appropriate.

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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  donnainzone5 on 12/3/2016, 8:35 pm

Sanderson,

Oddly enough, I haven't had this problem before in my SFG.

Is it okay to add mulch before the ground freezes?  Our temps are expected to go down to the low single digits Tuesday night, and I'll be out of town at that time.

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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  jimmy cee on 12/3/2016, 10:29 pm

@donnainzone5 wrote:I just went out to check my garlic squares, only to find that three cloves had heaved to the surface--likely because of our fluctuating temps already this season.

On the bright side, the three had excellent root growth.

However, should I cover with mulch, such as partly composted leaf mold, or a basic two-way compost?  I amended with 5+-way compost before I planted.  And re-buried them today.

It's my opinion garlic that has moved the way you're describing hasn't been planted deep enough.Two inches below surface is recommended.
If this happened to  mine, I would just cover with compost.
I am in zone 5 also
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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/3/2016, 11:13 pm

Yes, I would mulch with your leaves.
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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  llama momma on 12/4/2016, 9:48 am

Filaree garlic farm info--

"Apply a few inches of mulch such as chopped hay, leaves, or grass clippings. "

I've read elsewhere the reason for mulch is to prevent rapid freezing and heating.
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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  donnainzone5 on 12/4/2016, 11:39 am

I did make every effort to plant the cloves 2" deep....  Could it also be that voles have been at work?

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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  sanderson on 12/4/2016, 1:23 pm

I finally got all of Donna's garlic moved!


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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  donnainzone5 on 12/4/2016, 1:28 pm

Rolling Eyes

It probably should be "we."  The front yard, which is a mere three years old, has recently become riddled with small bare patches and is somewhat bumpy.

Frost or voles?  Who really knows?

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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  sanderson on 12/4/2016, 1:40 pm

Will you be putting hardware cloth under the beds? What an ordeal that would be.

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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  donnainzone5 on 12/4/2016, 1:56 pm

Obviously, I can't do it with garlic already planted.  However, my plan is to take up some or all of the remaining beds early in the spring, dig/pull, or otherwise assassinate the grass that keeps encroaching, and put down both hardware and new weed cloth. 

It just started to snow a few minutes ago (as expected), and the week is supposed to be cold and stormy.  Naturally, this is the week that I have to drive over one or both Cascade passes to pick up my Christmas tree from my cousin's farm in the Portland area.

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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  bigdogrock on 12/4/2016, 5:55 pm

I have seen this once, in a friend's garden. He plants very shallow, just below the surface (BTW- he always has great garlic crops) and he just put leaf mulch or grass clippings over them. Good luck!
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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  sanderson on 12/5/2016, 4:06 am

Donna, Be real careful driving in the snow.

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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  donnainzone5 on 12/5/2016, 11:14 am

Thanks, Sanderson!

At least the garlic will be insulated.

I drive an Audi A4 Quattro (all-wheel drive), and just had a thorough servicing.  I've driven both passes a few times, although not in drastic conditions. 

My mother once dated a race-car driver, and imparted to me some of the tips she'd learned, before I even began to drive.  And I do have limited experience driving in such conditions, being a skier, and all.  Nevertheless, I know that anything can happen, so I'll be paranoid as heck on this trip.

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Re: Garlic: Freeze, thaw, and heave

Post  camprn on 12/8/2016, 7:05 am

Several inches of mulch will stabilize the soil temp and reduce heaving, which is caused by fluctuating  soil.temps.

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