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Garlic & Onions: How much of a Haircut?

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Post  donnainzone5 on 5/12/2013, 11:04 pm

My garlics, planted in October, are now exceeding 30" in height, and I have three onions that are forming scapes (so far).

How much should I cut to ensure large bulbs?
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Post  camprn on 5/13/2013, 7:08 am

I recommend don't give the garlic a hair cut unless it's the scapes only.

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Post  Lemonie on 5/13/2013, 11:02 am

@camprn wrote:I recommend don't give the garlic a hair cut unless it's the scapes only.

Uh, oh! Does this make the bulbs smaller if I do? I have been trimming my garlic a bit and using them like chives on my potatoes and pasta. It sure is tasty! But I don't want the final crop to suffer.
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Post  bnoles on 5/13/2013, 12:11 pm

@Lemonie wrote:
@camprn wrote:I recommend don't give the garlic a hair cut unless it's the scapes only.

Uh, oh! Does this make the bulbs smaller if I do? I have been trimming my garlic a bit and using them like chives on my potatoes and pasta. It sure is tasty! But I don't want the final crop to suffer.

I think you can trim a little along the way for use, but I think I would take maybe only a single green stalk from each plant. I have had no problem with this in my garlic bed anyhow and I hope it would work for you as well. The best of the best is the skates for what you are using it for. Garlic & Onions:  How much of a Haircut? 3170584802
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Post  plantoid on 5/13/2013, 4:12 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:My garlics, planted in October, are now exceeding 30" in height, and I have three onions that are forming scapes (so far).

How much should I cut to ensure large bulbs?


Last year my tallest garlic including the scrape was over four feet tall ,resulting in a three inch bulb which eventually dried toa bout 2 1/4 diameter .
The 11 inch long scrape was taken out at about 3 foot 6 inches tall & eaten .

I took all the other scrapes out over a few glorious days for a couple of meals with boiled ham salads or poached fish . My other garlics and ended up with 2 inch plus bulbs which dried to about 1& 1/4 dia bulbs . Save for a few which were what appeared to be single bulbs 1 in dia that held no cloves ( once dried they did have cloves )
I've taken some cloves from all the types of those bulbs for this years crop of garlic .
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Post  Mimi T on 5/14/2013, 8:03 am

Please tell me what a "scrape," or "skate" or "scape" is. I love garlic and would love to plant some.
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Post  bnoles on 5/14/2013, 8:16 am

@Mimi T wrote:Please tell me what a "scrape," or "skate" or "scape" is. I love garlic and would love to plant some.

http://gardening.about.com/od/herbsatoz/a/What-Are-Garlic-Scapes.htm
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Post  Goosegirl on 5/14/2013, 8:29 am

@bnoles wrote:
@Mimi T wrote:Please tell me what a "scrape," or "skate" or "scape" is. I love garlic and would love to plant some.

http://gardening.about.com/od/herbsatoz/a/What-Are-Garlic-Scapes.htm

This link has a recipe for Garlic Scape Hummus that was posted on the forum last year. It is absolutely delish! (But warn the family about the dragon breath!)

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t7795-garlic-scape-hummus?highlight=scape+hummus

GG
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Post  llama momma on 5/14/2013, 9:14 am

[quote="plantoid Last year my tallest garlic including the scrape was over four feet tall ,resulting in a three inch bulb which eventually dried toa bout 2 1/4 diameter .....
My other garlics and ended up with 2 inch plus bulbs which dried to about 1& 1/4 dia bulbs . [/quote]

Gosh Plantoid this is disappointing to hear. I hadn't considered so much shrinkage. Be interested to find out if certain varieties are less prone perhaps? I've got German Red and will harvest this summer. It is the first year for them I'm aware they will not be optimum size till maybe year 3 or so. Still, I better lower my expectations.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/14/2013, 9:54 am

Lemonie, if you enjoy garlic greens used like chives, you may want to try this:
Let one scape from this year's garlics grow to maturity, then break off the bulbils from the scape, and scatter them (thickly even) in a square, then cover lightly with soil. Next spring, clip their young sprouts for the tasty greens just like you would chives. Delish! This way you don't impact the growth in the other garlic you are raising for their mature cloves. Nonna
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Post  Lemonie on 5/14/2013, 1:41 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Lemonie, if you enjoy garlic greens used like chives, you may want to try this:
Let one scape from this year's garlics grow to maturity, then break off the bulbils from the scape, and scatter them (thickly even) in a square, then cover lightly with soil. Next spring, clip their young sprouts for the tasty greens just like you would chives. Delish! This way you don't impact the growth in the other garlic you are raising for their mature cloves. Nonna

I am wanting to try growing garlic in the kitchen window this winter and might just try this too.

I'm going to be making a hanging herb drying rack and want to try getting a headstart and "grooming" and drying my herbs for winter use this year.

GG- garlic scape in hummus? Now why didn't I think of that??? We make and eat a LOT of hummus in this household and am always looking for new ways to make it. Sounds like this will be a winner! hungry
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Post  plantoid on 5/14/2013, 7:29 pm

LM it was most likely due to the long spell of cold wet weather we experienced last year .
Garlic likes plenty of warmth and sun to give decent sized hard cloves.
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Post  llama momma on 5/14/2013, 9:20 pm

Ok then, Thanks Plantoid
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/14/2013, 9:42 pm

Plantoid, how many years have you been raising the garlic you mentioned? and do you know the variety you planted? Did you give the sprouting garlic an early spring side dressing of meals? (bone, blood and kelp are the sides I use) Did you remove all scapes early on? Does your experience indicate the bulbs were harvested at the prime time? All of these parameters have an impact on the final size of bulb. The harvested size of you bulbs compared to their more dried condition surprised me. As you mentioned, you had an abnormal wet spring, but are you sure that played a part? After all, that's a usual spring here in Western Oregon, and I've not seen such a change in bulb size. Have you considered trying a different variety of garlic to see if it makes a difference? Perhaps the variety you have would prefer to live in, say, Kansas USA instead of the more exotic British Isles. Have you checked with fellow Brits' for their experience and the varieties they prefer? Dang, this sounds like a fun chase after answers. Please, please, keep us informed. Nonna
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Post  plantoid on 5/15/2013, 7:16 am

Nonna,
Last year was a cats whisker off being the record for UK rainfall , we had 48.56 inches here . That's why I think it was the excessive rain .
I've grown garlic with great success since 1980 on and off most of the time in light sandly soil a couple of hundred miles away and 100 mile further north where the climate of East Anglia is much dryer and warmer most years .

Last years garlic I grew was all out the shop stuff @ £0. 90 p per bulb ( around 10 cloves ) . The seedsmen were asking £7.5 + p&P for two bulbs .

I had to start my gardens all over again from scratch two years ago because of the years interruption with total home modernisation after a hidden central heating flood internally and full landscaping of all the gardens etc..

I have some garlic that was purchased last year in October a garlic farm shop the Isle of Wight that's going to be the mainstay of this years crop .


I suspect the stuff I've carrried over from my beds from last year will do better this year as they start to normalize to the climate here .
There is a very high possibliity it was of chinese and spanish origins .

I have a pal who travels back and forth from the South of France near St Tropez ... there is great garlic there from what I saw in the veg market in St Tropez .
Hopefully I'll be getting some after he returns to the UK with his fishing boat in a few weeks time .
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/15/2013, 11:35 am

Hey, Plantoid, I bet you're correct: your garlic is still becoming accustomed to the different soil and the extraordinary rain. It'll be truly interesting to see what the garlic from France will do after its personal adjustment. (Suppose there will be two or more different varieties in the package to test?) What makes you think your existing garlic may be from Spanish or Chinese origins? Taste, "heat" when eaten raw, appearance of its scapes, the tiny tag reading "Made in China"? Inquiring minds want to know. Whatever, we gardeners become wanna be scientists searching for and working with different strains of our favorite vegetables. Keeps us busy and off the streets. Nonna
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Post  plantoid on 5/15/2013, 5:52 pm

Chinese or Spanish garlic ........ it said so on the label . Laughing Laughing
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/15/2013, 6:03 pm

Way they fail to teach geography here in the States, I'm sure Spain and China aren't that far apart. Snide remark apart, what does your Spanish/Chinese garlic taste like? Better raw or roasted? Or vice versa? Nonna, who is avidly awaiting the first scapes from her garlics.
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Post  plantoid on 5/15/2013, 6:35 pm

Neither.. Laughing
We fry it chopped up in things like nazi goreg , fry them chopped with onions for stews , boil chopped with soup stocks .

Does the raw garlic aroma come out through your pores when you sweat ?
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/15/2013, 7:56 pm

Plantoid said: "Does the raw garlic aroma come out through your pores when you sweat?" Answer: only if you eat enough of it.

Yep, makes folks nearby wonder how long before lunch/dinner. If anyone complains, explain the health benefits of garlic's allicin and diallyl sulphides which help the body manage cholesterol and blood pressure. Hurray for the stinking rose! Nonna
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