Monday, May 21, 2012

garlic - what is wrong with it?

I think my garlic might be dying.  Is that possible?  I have never planted garlic, but for some reason I thought that garlic and onions were pretty much immune to issues...


I planted my garlic late last October, I thought that I had planted it at the right time, but then we had a stretch of extremely warm weather.  This was followed by a completely abnormal winter, with barely any snow, and lots of 50 degree weather - trust me, for Maine this is strange :-)


I was so excited when the garlic started to poke through the ground.  I have 18 heads of garlic growing, however, now it seems that some of them have stopped growing.  The outer leaves are yellowing and dying back.  I don't know if it is because I need to start harvesting garlic - in May? is this possible? - or if some unknown pest is killing them.

I do have one mole hole in my garlic bed, but I filled it in, and it hasn't opened up again.  Do moles eat garlic?  Perhaps this is why it seems to be dying.  Does anyone have any experience with this?  I'm not entirely sure what to do.  We have had quite a bit of rain the past couple of weeks, maybe that is the problem?  Maybe the stretch of sun and warmth the next several days will help them perk up again?

In the rest of the garden, my peas/spinach/swiss chard/bok choy/lettuce/mustard greens, they are all doing really well.  And my blue hubbard squash is poking out of the hills I made.  Of course, now that I have said that, I am sure some woodchuck is going to come and demolish my greens!


I am linking up to the Barn Hop today, can't wait to see what is going on with everyone else!

8 comments:

  1. Our weather here in SC has been strange too!
    Without seeing your garlic it does sound like it's ready to harvest. Just like onions, when the stalks turn and die back it's time to start digging.

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    1. Yes, a picture would probably be helpful! You will just have to ignore the very tall grass...and the weeds :-)

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  2. I have the same question, as my garlic has stopped growing and is yellowing as well. Since this is the first time we've grown it in our garden, I wasn't sure what it meant. Will be watching to see what the experienced folks say about this!

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  3. If you aren't sure if they've multiplied enough, very gently dig up one head and see how it looks. If it seems too small and they need more time, ADD AN INCH OR TWO more soil on top of the whole bed! Sometimes when they feel too "exposed" they start dying off early. Good luck!

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  4. Have you had the garlic "flower" yet? They have a scape that is a stem with a bulblet on the top; this usually appears around June/July and should be cut off when it curls down. You can eat the scape (google for recipes). Once the scape is cut off, the bulb in the ground will start to swell and harvest is late August (zone 5 for me) or when the green dies back. Your garlic looks fine but could be suffering from too much water. With garlic better to err on the side of dry.

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  5. This is my first year growing garlic too, so I am by no means an expert. I've read that when the leaves start turning yellow/brown, thats when the garlic is generally ready to harvest. Have you checked any of your plants to see if maybe they're done? If you planted in October, they may be ready. I'd have to agree with Leslie...you may be over watering. Mine has hardly been watered and its growing like crazy. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I don't think they are actually ready to harvest, because I haven't had the scapes come through. Typically in Maine you plant garlic at the end of october and then it is supposed to be ready in July to harvest...so I still think it is too early.

      I think that it could potentially be a water issue though. I haven't watered the garlic at all yet (in fact I haven't even taken my hoses out of the basement!), but we did get about 2 weeks straight of rain. So, hopefully with the weather being dryer over the next few days, they will dry out and start looking a little better :-)

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    2. HEY tOWNSEND i AM ANOTHER TOWNSEND IN MAINE LOL I PLANTED GARLIC IN BEDS UNDER PINE SPRILLS THAT KEEPS THE WARM WEATHER EARLY FROM MAKING MY GARLIC START IN SPRING I PULL IT BACK AND LEAVE SOME SO THE WEEDS DONT TAKE OVER

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