Growing garlic as a perennial

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Growing garlic as a perennial

Postby demi » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:27 pm

I'v heard about this and we've just found loads of garlic left over from the summer which we forgot about and was all over grown with weeds. My husband wants to harvest it and i was thinking to leave it there as i know it can be grown as a perennial. They are small just now as they didn't get much light to grow over the summer months, and they've already survived snow and -20 degrees at the beginning of December. What should we do?
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Re: Growing garlic as a perennial

Postby diggernotdreamer » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:22 pm

If I have lots of small garlic bulbs or loads spare, it is planted in the tunnels where I leave it to sprout, as it starts coming up, I just take off what I want, I use lots of immature garlic in stir fries or curries, it is something nice, green and fresh when there is a shortage of flavours, if you haven't planted any garlic yet, you can lift the bulbs and seperate them out and replant them elsewhere, they don't seem to suffer in any way. I eat the young garlic for as long as possible before it goes woody, it's like a nice garlicky spring onion or leek as they get larger.
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Re: Growing garlic as a perennial

Postby demi » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:57 am

It's young garlic we've got, even though it was planted in the summer it never got a chance to grow as it was over taken by weeds. We had picked all the bigger garlic bulbs in October and these ones were forgotten about because we though they never grew. I found some more onions and carrots when i was clearing the veg patch yesterday too :) They've managed to survived the snow and the frost. We defiantly need to invest in a poly tunnel to have over winter crops.

Do you think the young garlic will mature if we leave it, or might the hard frost kill it. It's not protected with anything, just planted in a strip between the fruit trees in the orchard.
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'
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Re: Growing garlic as a perennial

Postby diggernotdreamer » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:13 am

Garlic comes from mountainous regions and the best garlic grows when it has been embedded in a blanket of snow, my best garlic grew when there was snow for weeks and temps dropped as low as -21, I only put it in the tunnel as a forced crop because I like the young shoots
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Re: Growing garlic as a perennial

Postby wulf » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:23 am

Have you already got garlic planted for a planned harvest this year? If not, some of this could be used for that purpose - try some left where it is and some replanted elsewhere. If the space isn't needed for anything else, the rest can be left to grow and grazed from as you need it.

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Re: Growing garlic as a perennial

Postby demi » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:10 pm

We don't need the space, we've got 2 acres which was too much for my husband to manage on his own, hence the over grown and forgotten about garlic. I want to keep the garlic there and continue to grow it as a perennial . I'v been reading how to do it online. From what i'v read you have to dig up and separate the big bulbs then re plant them and leave the small ones to grow bigger, and you harvest the big ones for eating. I'v never grown it before. The garlic that we did harvest had grown into proper garlic bulbs but the garlic that is left there now looks more like onions, it doesn't have segments it's just one onion like bulb growing under the ground with some struggling foliage on top. It's defiantly garlic though, smells like garlic and tastes like garlic although looks more like a spring onion with a bulb on the bottom.
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'
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Re: Growing garlic as a perennial

Postby diggernotdreamer » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:52 pm

it doesn't form cloves until a few weeks from harvest, anytime you pull it before it goes over at the knees, it will just be a big garlic. If you grow garlic from the pips or the bit that flowers, those little pips form a single round cloveless bulb, they won't usually form the cloves until the following year, if they don't thrive i.e. they get smothered by weeds and don't grow properly, they won't form cloves then either, you will just get the big round thing.
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Re: Growing garlic as a perennial

Postby demi » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:31 am

I didn't think they were going to form proper bulbs any time soon, but if i leave them till next harvest and keep them weeded this time they should form into proper garlic bulbs then?
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'
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Re: Growing garlic as a perennial

Postby diggernotdreamer » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:09 am

They should do, mulch them with some compost and when they start growing more strongly, give them a foliar feed with some seeweed, nettle or comfrey liquid
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Re: Growing garlic as a perennial

Postby demi » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:03 pm

Will do, thanks for your help :)
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'
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