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/ Florida garlic
May 14, 2008 12:11 PM
I tried growing garlic for the first time last year. I canâ€™t find much information on growing garlic in Florida, but did read itâ€™s harvested in May. Well, mine looks pretty bad and is not ready to harvest. Iâ€™ve had problems and made mistakes, but Iâ€™m going to start preparing now for another fall planting.
I planted 4 types last year. The first was a bulb purchased at the grocery store and planted late summer/early fall around my tomatoes. Those plants got moved to pots when I redid the beds over the winter. I also bought an Elephant Garlic. Three of the 4 cloves came up. Two are in their original spot and one was moved to another bed with 4 of those grocery store garlic. In the fall I ordered one pound each of â€˜Musicâ€™ and â€˜Legacyâ€™. The â€˜Legacyâ€™ did the worst and most of them are gone at this point.
Iâ€™ve done lots of reading and research since then, trying to learn what to do to improve my garlic growing. I learned â€˜Elephant Garlicâ€™ is really a Leek. The â€˜Legacyâ€™ garlic is a Canadian grown garlic. It requires a colder winter and a cool spring. The â€˜Musicâ€™ is a Porcelain-hardneck that likes cold weather and only has about a 50-50 chance in the south. Generally speaking, softnecks do better than hardnecks in the south, although there are exceptions. The â€˜Creoleâ€™s are hardnecks that are said to do well in the south. I just bought the book â€œGrowing Great Garlicâ€ and Iâ€™m in the process of reading that, but it does not really cover hot weather garlic growing.
Iâ€™ve picked out a few varieties Iâ€™d like to try here in Central Florida. Iâ€™d like to hear from other garlic growers on what varieties do well in the south, especially if you live in Florida. (Peggy_G, earthworm77, ChrisD, â€“ you guys growing any garlic?) What varieties grow well and store well in this hot humid environment?
The other problem I found with my garlic is the bed if FULL if tunnels in the soil. Iâ€™m pretty sure itâ€™s moles. Iâ€™ll have to find a way to deal with that too.
May 14, 2008 4:27 PM
Hi Michael, here's a link to a Texan who grows garlic for southern gardens.
Garlic doesn't like being moved. Seems that you have several issues. Moving, wrong varieties for your climate and moles. The book you got is a good one, enjoy! If you can find anybody growing good garlic in your area, buy some large bulbs from them as seed stock to plant this fall. It will improve your chances for success.
May 15, 2008 10:44 PM
Thanks for the reply David,
I've been reading that site you posted the link to and several others. I was hoping someone from Florida or other hot weather area could give me their experiences with particular garlic varities.
From my reading and research, I've kind of narrowed it down to about 10...
- Inchelium Red
- Lorz Italian
- Red Toch
- Ajo Rojo
- Creole Red
- Cuban Purple
Marbled Purple Stripe
I'd like to buy a few of these varities and trade with someone for some of the other varities on the list.
May 16, 2008 12:12 AM
I've heard that you can't grow hardneck in southern California, either, so I never tried. But softneck does very well here.
Jennifer in zone 10, Los Angeles, Sunset zone 22
May 16, 2008 11:08 AM
I have a stand of about 50 head of garlic...Elephant. I am kind of going back and forth on what it is doing and what it is supposed to be doing.
One thing I remember hearing about garlic in warm weather areas is that you need some cold weather. I'm not sure we get enough. My cloves were put in in late Nov.. They are about 3 ft high but I think should be larger. The stalks seem to be very thick but I haven't looked at the bulbs so I don't know if they are forming. I though scapes were popping up but now I'm not too sure.
A few things I know- Garlic likes compost but not too much water. Garlic doesn't like to be moved. Garlic hates competition so weed your patch with authority. I'm not sure May is the right month to harvest. I'm waiting for that 60-40 ratio and I'm not quite there yet. i just added a few inches of composted manure and the plants seem to like it.
May 17, 2008 3:33 PM
Here is a picture of some of my transplanted garlic. The elephant garlic is to the left and there are 4 store bought garlic surrounding the rose bush.
December 5, 2008 10:12 PM
There are some varieties of garlic that do very well in the south. They are "gourmet" garlics - you might try Asiatic or Turban garlics (early season) or Creole hardnecks (midseason). I've been successful with the Creoles (haven't tried the early season varieties) and the Burgundy and Creole are very beautiful with their brightly colored wrappers. You will probably need to order from a gourmet garlic supplier.
June 3, 2009 1:37 PM
I have not yet had much luck with growing garlic here in Winter Park, but would love tips if anyone has had success. I ordered the warm winter variety pack from the website listed, receiving Kettle River, Inchelium Red, Metechi, Ajo Rojo, and California Early. I amended the soil with my compost, prepared raised rows, and followed the website's planting instructions to a T. I mulched with straw and watered with the rest of my garden. A few of the bulbs did get to a decent size, but most were very small.
August 5, 2009 10:21 PM
I wanted to come back to this thread with an update on how my garlic did this past year.
Below is what I planted. I prechilled 1/2 of all the bulbs for 8 weeks and planted at the end of Oct. I grew the chilled and nonchilled garlic side-by-side. NONE of the nonchilled plants formed bulbs, nor did they make rounds. The nonchilled looked like small leeks. ALL the chilled garlic made bulbs. The Inchelium Red and Siberian plants made bulbs in the 2 inch size and were the biggest bulbs of all the varities. The Creoles were the smallest, but seem to be holding up the best in storage.
- Inchelium Red - 2" bulbs, matured in April
- Red Toch - 1.5" bulbs, Matured late May
Creole - 1.25" to 1.5" bulbs, Matured mid-April,8-12 cloves per bulb.
- Creole Red
- Cuban Purple
Marbled Purple Stripe
- Bogatyr - small bulbs 1.37"-1.62", matured in Late March
- Siberian - 2" bulbs, Matured late April. 4 large cloves per bulb.
This past winter was the coldest in a while. There were 4 times we had freezes (at night) but it was not enough to make the nonchilled garlic form bulbs. This year I will prechill all my planting stock. I saved the best bulbs of those listed above and put them in brown paper bags and placed them in the crisper of the refrigerator today.(except Bogatyr, I ate it all before I knew it.)
The Creoles are small, but very good. I peel several bulbs at a time while watching tv and put the cloves into a baggie and keep it in the refrig. We eat the fresh, raw cloves daily.
I've learned a lot and hope to improve on size this year. One problem may have been the early heat wave we had in the 90's and 100's. My onions were smaller this year too. I've worked out a fertilization schedule and installed drip irrigation tapes, so I should do a little better this next season.
Besides my saved planting stock, I ordered the following and will prechill them when they arrives.
Siberian 1 lb. Marbled Purple Stripe (Grew well for me this year)
California Early, 1/2 lb. Artichoke
Silver White, 1/2 lb. Silverskin
Guatemalan Ikeda 1/2 lb. Creole
Mild Winter Exotic Hardneck Sampler pack(1 bulb of each)
- Morado Gigante (Turbin)
- Xian (Turbin)
- Tuscan (Turbin)
- Asian Tempest (Asiatic)
- Bogatyr (Marbled Purple Stripe)
I think if you want your garlic to form bulbs here in Florida, you will need to prechill the planting stock at 40 degrees for about 8 weeks.
wish me luck.... Michael
/ Florida garlic
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