Classifieds and Group Buys forum: heirloom, gourmet garlic

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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 5, 2015 12:48 PM CST
It is that time of year again when I post my heirloom, gourmet garlic. This is pre-harvest and the first garlic (hardneck) won't be ready to ship until the latter days of May. The softneck and Creole will start shipping out early to mid May. All my garlic is organically grown and I use no pesticides. After digging it up, each batch of garlic, depending on whether it is an early, mid, or a late grower, it will be hung and cured in a greenhouse for two weeks. I will have ten varieties, mixed among those three main categories.

I never know how much I will harvest until the digging actually begins, but I had approximately 75 lbs. last season, and shipped almost 60 lbs. That may sound like a lot of garlic but compared to commercial growers, this is a tiny amount. Every year I refund payments and/or have to decline orders because the orders came in too late. I have a pecking-order and that is: previous customers; new, local customers; new, ATP subscribers; and lastly the general public. Those who get their orders in the earliest, are first in those four pecking-order categories.

If you have interest, please contact me via T-Mail. One pound is my minimum order.

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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Apr 7, 2015 5:47 PM CST
You go, Ken!

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 7, 2015 7:31 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Apr 8, 2015 3:52 AM CST
Oh, how I wish I could grow garlic here. Every attempt has been a failure. I usually harvested less than I planted. Sad
Our climate is just too humid and my marsh muck soil is too heavy. I even tried a raised bed with good drainage so I suspect it is how warm the soil stays. I envy those with more hospitable growing conditions.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 8, 2015 6:00 AM CST
I don't know how you can be any more wet, any more humid, any hotter, or have worse "soil" than the Yazoo clay I sit on. I do have to grow all mine in a raised garden or large pots though. The cloves develop the same quality/size bulbs as that in the garden. Alice, when do you plant your garlic?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Apr 8, 2015 12:23 PM CST
I believe the last time I tried it was in the fall. but in years past I have tried in the spring also.

It sounds strange but our climates are very different. I lived most of my adult life just 2 hours west of here and although it was hotter inland (we do get the coastal breezes here) I was able to grow far more, including garlic, than I can grow here. It is just a different kind of heat and humidity and we stay hot all night during the warm months. The plants never get a break. The marshy island I live on does have some areas that are pure sand. At one time it was a prime tomato growing spot but I do not have any of that well draining sand here on our low lying property.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 8, 2015 8:23 PM CST
I would suggest that the problem is not with your heat and humidity, since your fall and winters are not so much different than ours here in NE Mississippi, but with your drainage. Garlic just hates "wet-feet", the same thing I tell folks about my epiphytic plants (think orchids), so great drainage is so important. Heck, my raised garden started at 12-16" deep and is notw18-24" deep. Thus I have raised my garden two feet above that horrible clay foundation that I live on. Large pots more than satisfy that situation as well and are a lot less expensive than building up a raised garden. I have just started using Earth Boxes and don't know whether they are good to grow garlic in.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Apr 9, 2015 5:29 AM CST
Well, we do call this area the Lowcountry for a reason. LOL A good friend who gardens just about 10 miles inland, as the crow flies, has such different conditions. We often talk about how she can grow things like hostas that would melt here, even in pots with good drainage. Come to think of it, garlic is something I have never seen at our farmer's markets; the ones that only carry local produce. You do occasionally see elephant garlic, which I do not particularly care for the flavor of, but no regular.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 9, 2015 6:37 AM CST
Oddly enough, and perhaps this is why you don't care for it Thumbs down , elephant garlic is not even a garlic, it is more closely related to the onion. I just don't know why garlic could not be grown in your area. All it needs is a cool-down period during the fall/winter months (temperatures below 40 F), heat, and lots of it, during the spring, and well-draining soil. I would think that even the Low Country has those conditions. Whistling

You know, lots of people have only tasted elephant garlic, and they come away with the notion that if that's what represents the flavor and pungency of garlic, what's the big deal? Heirloom, gourmet garlic will knock your socks off. You really should try your hand again at growing the Creole. Those varieties not only are more tolerant of warmer spring weather but for me at least, do better the hotter April/May is. All my garlic also grow "fatter" if our spring is relatively dry, particularly in May. Of course, for me in Mississippi, that's hit or miss. Last spring was wetter than normal, and all my garlic was about 20% smaller in size. The flavor and pungency was still there, just not the bulb size.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Apr 9, 2015 6:54 AM CST
Ah Ha, I never knew that about temperatures in the 40's, it's that cool down period we do not normally have. Although we did have a few freezing days over the past two winters, temperatures that stay below 40 for long are rare out on the sea islands. If it gets cold it would only be for a few hours in the early morning, 5 to 9 am, then by mid morning it warms up. The sea water stays around 55 in the winter here and that helps too.

I imagine fresh garlic, no matter the size, would surely beat the grocery store stuff we get in the small towns of the south. Whenever I visit the northeast I buy this huge, juicy, fresh garlic and bring it home. I can't imagine what the baggage handlers think when they smell my luggage. Smiling
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 9, 2015 8:39 AM CST
It is not the prolonged below 40 F, it is just the fact that it gets that low. We typically don't stay below 40 F either, but we have lots of AM's in the 20's and 30's and occasionally we get into the teens. I worry about my garlic when it is in the teens though. I prefer our lows never get below the mid-20's for best growing.

Certainly both the Gulf down here and the Atlantic up there moderates the weather.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
[Last edited by drdawg - Apr 10, 2015 3:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Apr 9, 2015 10:45 AM CST
True, that river you see in my picture is only 100' from my garden beds. It keeps the soil warm and wet during the cooler months. The cable guys digging on my street are finding the (salty) ground water is only about 2' down. At high tide it is less.

I had far better success gardening when I lived in Columbia, SC, a climate much closer to yours. I teach Master Gardener classes and write a column for the local weekly and sometimes I have to fib about my enthusiasm for gardening in this part of he country. LOL
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 9, 2015 1:11 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

Ah, a Master Gardener too. I just hosted our regional Master Gardener's at the house this morning. They wanted to tour my greenhouses and see how my (small) tropical plant business developed. The "tour/talk" was supposed to take an hour. I finally had to chase them all away after 2 1/2 hours. I just told them it was lunch time. Whistling They could not believe that I had so many plants now outside (and a couple of hundred yet to "re-locate"), that a week ago were all in greenhouses and on my enclosed porch. One fellow kept asking, when I showed them another grouping of a hundred or so plants: "Did you have to move these all outside too?". Finally after the third time answering that same question, another Master Gardener chimed in and said: "Ed, every plant you see has been moved outside". It was really funny. I think they all pretty much decided two things about me: # 1 - I am nuts, spending so much time and effort on this when I am supposed to be retired, and # 2 - It is truly a labor of love what I do. They are probably right on both counts! Sighing!

Well, back outside. I just finished lunch and now have plants to move. Sticking tongue out
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
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florange
Apr 10, 2015 3:23 PM CST
Ken I sent you a tree mail!
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Apr 11, 2015 8:00 PM CST
Ken:

What type of hardneck did you grow? That's all we can grow in our nasty winters, and am always looking for some new varieties.

Thanks,
Linda
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Apr 12, 2015 9:12 PM CST
Saw this thread and had to jump in, because I love growing (and even more so, eating) garlic...

Ken, Rolling on the floor laughing Loved the story about the Master Gardeners group!

Alice, maybe you just need to try some different varieties -- like tomatoes, not every variety will do well in all locations.

Linda, if you haven't already, I would recommend trying "Music." Only 4-6 cloves per bulb, but they are big and beautiful and tasty!
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 13, 2015 5:47 AM CST
I have never grown music garlic, but since it is recommended by Sandy, I would imagine it is a hardneck. If so, it would be well-suited for growing in the cold areas, zones 3-6.

Linda, I haven't forgotten you or your question. I just haven't taken the time to look up what hardneck varieties I planted. Sandy has a good point though. Because I am in the deep south, what I grow does not necessarily grow well in IN. I have never had a variety NOT grow well (though a rainy spring sure seems to reduce the size of bulbs). I have a feeling that's more because of where I live than how I grow it.

We have rain in the forecast every single day this week. My raised garden drains well, it should, it is 2'+ deep, so this shouldn't be a problem for my garlic since it will also stay warm. Ideally (ARE YOU LISTENING MOTHER NATURE?), I would like to have pretty dry weather those last six or so weeks before harvest, so this rain will be right on the edge of that time-frame.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Apr 13, 2015 7:31 AM CST
To clarify -- yes, "Music" is a hardneck. And also, Linda, I haven't had any problem growing the softneck types (well, I've only tried Western Rose and Polish White, which I believe were said to be hardier than some other varieties), and this year I'm trying a Creole type, Ajo Rojo, after reading Ken's recommendation about how long the Creoles will store. If they grow here in the UP I have to think they would grow in Indiana! Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Apr 13, 2015 7:55 AM CST
I would think so too, Sandy. Be sure to let us know how your Creole does. You can "educate" me. Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Apr 13, 2015 10:45 AM CST
Linda, I went out and checked my garlic labels. I am growing five different hardneck garlics this year. Shilla, Sonoran, and Maiskij have been grown before and performed well and Russian Giant and Russian Red are two that I am growing for the first time.

Alice, here are two suggestions IF you want to try your hand at growing garlic again. Put your garlic bulbs in the refrigerator 30 days before you plant, and wait to plant in late November to mid-December. You are fooling the garlic. It thinks it is getting chilled by winter weather. Whistling Pick a garlic that performs better in wet or even soggy conditions. Russian Red Hardneck has a reputation for doing just that. Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
[Last edited by drdawg - May 25, 2015 12:08 PM (+)]
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