All Things Gardening forum: What's wrong with my garlic?

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Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Jan 23, 2018 8:56 AM CST
I'm in Los Angeles. I planted it at the beginning of December, or end of November. I cant remember exactly when. I do not water it regularly. We had heavy rains for a few days a couple of weeks ago, and then the soil dried out after that and I gave it a another watering. Should I be watering more often? Less? I'm also unclear on when to know to harvest. No flowers yet, obviously. This container is plastic raised on casters.

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Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
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fwmosher
Jan 23, 2018 9:05 AM CST
Is your garlic getting lots of Sun? Additionally, are your pots draining well?
You will know when it is time to harvest your garlic when the tops turn fully brown and fall over. Garlic likes fertilizer, but don't go crazy because the effect of same will be more concentrated with the garlic confined in pots. Cheers.
Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Jan 23, 2018 10:57 AM CST
It gets north-facing full sun. This pot has good drainage, but I did notice a little soil compaction on the very top after two days of heavy rains, so I used my fingers to break it up a bit. Do you think that could be it? Do they look terribly unhealthy to you?
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
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fwmosher
Jan 24, 2018 10:37 AM CST
Respectfully, something amiss with the statement: "north-facing full sun"? Don't know how that could be possible, but I could be corrected. It is my understanding that the sun rises in the East and swings around and sets in the West. I can't imagine how one could have north-facing full sun? Perhaps, it is a morning east-facing sun, which is less than 1/2 a days sun, and at its weakest plant-growing swing (as with west-facing)? Garlic needs full sun, which means noontime sun and on. Check with a compass some time. I'll bet you a glass of Californian Chardonnay, that your garlic could be moved in their potting tub, to a sunnier location. Cheers! Note: Just trying to help you with your garlic!
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 24, 2018 10:41 AM CST
Edited:
Since my answer was based on information that was later changed by the OP, I am removing my post as it no longer applied. Thank you.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Feb 11, 2018 11:30 AM (+)]
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Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
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cwhitt
Jan 24, 2018 10:41 AM CST
It looks a little leggy to me - I would increase the sun. Give it water, but let it dry out fairly well between waterings.
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Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Jan 24, 2018 6:47 PM CST
Hi, sorry for the confusion. The garlic is in my front yard, and my house faces north. This is the same spot I grow my tomatoes in very successfully, so by "full sun" I simply meant its a sunny location. To be fair, they are on the east side of my north-facing front yard, so they are technically northeast. There are no trees or obstructions.

My backyard, on the other hand, gets sun so hot it singes succulents and cacti, which I've had to protect by giving them shade.
[Last edited by krystenr1 - Jan 24, 2018 6:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Christie
43016 (Zone 6b)
Plays in the water.
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cwhitt
Jan 25, 2018 11:09 AM CST
I think I would try to transition them to the backyard then - but a bit at a time - if you can, try just putting them at first in the backyard only in the morning, then add more hours each day. If you cannot be home, then maybe set a chair or something next to the garlic so the chair will cast a shadow during the hottest part of the day - I have used that technique. Or if you are leaving them where they are, maybe cut down on the water - I suppose the heavy rains might have caused that. Shrug!
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Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
hostasmore
Jan 25, 2018 3:10 PM CST
As long as they are not shaded by anything house etc, you are correct they are in full sun. They would have North, South, East, and West exposure. Just because something is on the North side does not mean they are in less night. There are many things North of me but still have Southern exposure. If they are in the open they should be fine.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jan 25, 2018 3:48 PM CST
greene said:There's really no such thing as north-facing full sun.


For the record, this is wrong. The entire southern hemisphere has north-facing sun. South is the darkest and least exposed.
Keep going!
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jan 25, 2018 4:06 PM CST
Anything planted on the north side of my house is in full shade.... To be in full sun, the pot would have to be well away from the house.

Can I ask? What was the point of planting them in those pots?

I don't think there's enough potting mix there.

My advice would be to simply empty those pots in the yard with the succulents. The plants would probably turn yellow at first... so... the gradual increase of light would probably be safest... and then... plant the entire soil ball in the ground.

It's difficult to grow stuff in containers, once the soil dries out, it can be near impossible to get it to take in more water... in the summer down here, water runs straight through... and placing the pot in a tub or a pond.... or maybe a large enough saucer... is necessary.

On the bright side... garlic is very easy to grow... and your plants should produce bulbs... although... in those pots, I'd expect the bulbs to be small.

Re harvest:
When my plants turn yellow, they are pretty much through for the season...
Personally, I pull the garlic as needed... even now when there isn't much bulb there... But... mine is permanently interred in dedicated areas of the garden... which means... it's still there even when there's no green foliage to mark the spot... I can still find it when I need some.
[Last edited by stone - Jan 25, 2018 4:11 PM (+)]
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 2, 2018 6:54 AM CST
Edited:
Since my answer was based on information that was later changed by the OP, I am removing my post since it no longer applied.
Thank you





Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Feb 11, 2018 11:31 AM (+)]
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Feb 2, 2018 8:10 AM CST
Jai_Ganesha said:The entire southern hemisphere has north-facing sun. South is the darkest and least exposed.

greene said:
Thank you yet again for a negative response. If you will kindly look at the images that the OP provided...

...and see that the planter is smacked up against a corner on the north-facing side of the house, there cannot be full sun in that location.


Jai-Ganesha is technically correct about the southern hemisphere, and the sun shining from the north....
The point may be irrelevant in context with this discussion... But he isn't wrong.....

@krystenr1 did you take any action re the garlic?

[Last edited by stone - Feb 2, 2018 8:11 AM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 2, 2018 11:47 AM CST
Thank you! <3
Keep going!
Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Feb 11, 2018 10:18 AM CST
Sorry for the confusion - the container is in the front of my house, and my house faces north, but that wall is actually an eastern facing wall. I assure everyone this area gets a lot of sun! Again, my cacti barely survive the backyard sun, it's too intense. We are now officially in a drought again, so those two days of rain were a blip on the radar. We've had temps in the high 80s and my gut says it's actually just too hot.
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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skits
Feb 12, 2018 2:31 PM CST
I've tried growing garlic in my garden. I tend to just get many little ones like chives. I've waited until they flowered, I've tried cutting the flowers off, I've tried waiting until the stalks fall over. I never get a decent size bulb. They always split. Help!
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Feb 13, 2018 9:50 AM CST
An Eastern facing wall should get morning sun... the best kind!
I'd still plant the garlic in the soil, rather than trying to grow it out in that container.
As garlic is a winter growing bulb... I wouldn't worry about the intense desert sun... Although.... when you plant tomatoes, you may want to research shade cloths...
Otherwise... the tomatoes get scalded...

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skits said:I've tried growing garlic in my garden. I tend to just get many little ones like chives. I've waited until they flowered, I've tried cutting the flowers off, I've tried waiting until the stalks fall over. I never get a decent size bulb. They always split. Help!


If you plant small garlic, you'll get small garlic.
Do you ever see elephant garlic up there in Wisconsin?
I sometimes get single cloves the size of a regular bulb.

you complain about how you treat the bloom stalks... but you don't tell us how much compost you add to the soil first, and how many hours of sunlight they get, or even what month you plant!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 14, 2018 11:01 PM CST
skits said:I've tried growing garlic in my garden. I tend to just get many little ones like chives. I've waited until they flowered, I've tried cutting the flowers off, I've tried waiting until the stalks fall over. I never get a decent size bulb. They always split. Help!


Skits, when do you plant your garlic? You should be planting in the fall (if you aren't) -- I put mine in the ground usually around the middle of October, sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later. You don't want to plant them so early that they sprout leaves before winter (because the winter will kill the leaves and weaken the plants), but they should have enough time to start making some roots. When they start coming up in the spring the leaves shouldn't look like chives, they should be much sturdier than that. Unless... are you possibly trying to grow your garlic from the little bulbils that form on the top of the stalks? That can certainly be done, but it will take 2 years to get a garlic "bulb." Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "they always split" Confused Do you mean that the outer "wrapper" splits and the cloves fall apart? If so, you are probably harvesting too late; you can't leave garlic in the ground until the stalk dries completely back, you need to dig it when there are still several green leaves left. Basically, each green leaf represents one layer of the papery "wrapper" around the bulb. Mine is usually ready to harvest right around the end of July.

Hope that helps!
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Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
Feb 18, 2018 3:11 PM CST
Jai, what you said about the Southern Hemisphere is correct. However, the Post came from a member not gardening in the Southern Hemisphere, but in Northern Hemisphere, California. Your comment although I am certain is well-intentioned, with all due respect, only adds to the confusion. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun rises in the East and sets in the West, everywhere, no exception, unless of course, the World is flat? Cheers!
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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skits
Feb 25, 2018 11:41 AM CST
Thanks, Weedwacker. I haven't tried garlic in a few years because I was so disappointed. I did plant them in late fall, but maybe too early. And I'm pretty sure there were elephant. I'll try again this fall in October -- although I was still picking peppers in October this past fall. Maybe November?

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