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Old June 14, 2012   #1
winterfly
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Default Single-clove garlic

I planted my garlic around Sept 15 last year and harvested it around June 5 this year. About one fourth of my harvested garlic is single clove, and one bulb seems to have only two cloves. I have never had any single clove garlic in the past. I only planted hard neck garlic and pulled the scapes about 3 weeks before harvest. The plants were about one fourth dead when I harvested. I did some research and didn't get any clear answers. One possible answer is the mild winter we had. Anyone have any similar experience?
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Old June 14, 2012   #2
sprtsguy76
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Millard- I have had the same deal out here in Ca. with my soft neck garlic. Its all well under sized and a couple single cloves in there too.

Damon
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Old June 14, 2012   #3
velikipop
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What type of Garlic is it? Looks like elephant garlic to me from the pictures, which is really not a garlic but a member of the leek family.

Alex
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Old June 14, 2012   #4
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velikipop View Post
What type of Garlic is it? Looks like elephant garlic to me from the pictures, which is really not a garlic but a member of the leek family.

Alex
Ok this has been bugging the devil out of me.
Elephant garlic looks like garlic and tastes like garlic.
I have seen this same claim on TV shows and on line.
They all say it is not of the garlic family but of the leek family.
Well they are wrong.
Leeks, Garlic and elephant garlic are all of the same family, Amarllidaceae
The sub family is the same, Allioideae.
The genus is the same, Allium.
Only when you get to species do things change.
Garlic, A Sativum.
Leek, A ampeloprasum var. porrum.
Elephant garlic ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum.

Agave, is one that comes surprisingly close to these plants, which are of the same order, Asparagales.
Which Asparagus is the same family as agave Asparagaceae.

Sorry for the boring post but I thought folks might like to know how diverse these plants are.
As for the question I have no idea why that thing only has one clove other than it is a mutation or something of that nature.

And Alex no offense to you, it was your post that reminded me about this.
I just wanted to clear things up.


Worth
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Old June 14, 2012   #5
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Worth,

No offence taken and you are right that they are generally classified as alliums, but I think that there is a difference between the two. According to what I have read the elephant garlic is closer to the leek than to garlic. This is similar the classification of tomatoes in the same family as potatoes. Go figure!!!

Also, the elephant garlic that I have tasted was rather bland and lacked the sulphuric punch and pungency of the garlic. I'll take a closer look at my sources when I get home today.

Alex
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Old June 14, 2012   #6
winterfly
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Velikipop,
Not elephant garlic, but hardneck. Not stunted, but full growth. It's just that some of them are single clove, and I thought someone else might have had the same thing happen to them. Another difference: the wrappers are extra thick and more of them. I peeled off about 7 thick wrappers to get to the single clove. Another difference: some of the wrappers are a solid vibrant purple, almost neon looking, and the wrappers are somewhat grooved. I'm not complaining. The single cloves are great for drying, makes slicing them easier. Just wondering what happened to cause this and how could I do it again.
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Old June 14, 2012   #7
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Same thing here in Colorado - smaller bulbs and some are rounds, not cloved.

I planted 60 varieties, and only a few are giving decent sized bulbs, even though some cloves were HUGE when planted.

I know that last year, I harvested very late and had huge bulbs, for certain varieties. Perhaps this year, I harvested too early.

I followed the browned leaf guides.

Also,
I received some bulbs in Dec and planted indoors. Once they had decent leaf growth, I put the containers outdoors. Our winter was very mild. No leaves died back (on any of my varieties). Everyone of these container varieties gave small rounds.

I think I read in Complete Book of Garlic that this would happen, with no cold spell. I had chilled them all in the fridge for weeks prior to planting, hoping that that was enough of a cold spell. Nope.

This book also described how the garlic needs to be stressed with heat and drought to plump and divide at the end of the season - in anticipation of dormancy.

For whatever reason, my garlic leaves are browning without the bulb division and plumping.

Guess there's always next year!
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Old June 14, 2012   #8
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I consulted both Engeland and Merdedith on bulbing and both seem to agree that bulb formation is a function of temperature. Garlic needs to go through vernalizaton ( a cold period) at the beginning and needs heat and light late in the season for bulbs to form. This might explain the phenomenon of a single bulb, but not entirely. It can also be a "rough bulb" which is the result of the original seed being kept in the cold for too long and further facilitated by early planting, heavy fertilization and other stress factors such as too much moisture.

There does exist a single garlic from China called Chengdu it is an Asiatic turban cultivar.

On the elephant garlic both of the above agree that it is not a true garlic but a member of the species, classified as Allium ampeloprasum that includes leek, pear onions and kurrat. It is sometimes erroneously listed as Allium sativum that is true garlic.

Alex
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Old June 14, 2012   #9
winterfly
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Velikipop,
Thanks for the research. It looks like the mild, wet winter we had was probably what produced the single-clove bulbs, and it may not happen again in the future.
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Old June 14, 2012   #10
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Good research V!

My garlic that is behaving "badly" perhaps was planted too early - by a few weeks - but we had a warm and horribly dry winter.

And these were cloves saved from my previous grows, so I am attributing this to a lack of vernalization (sp). I did not over fertilize and did not over water. Normally, my leaves die back to nothing. This year, they grew tall as ever.

Makes me wonder how to grow garlic during global warming...
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Old June 14, 2012   #11
tjg911
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Quote:
The plants were about one fourth dead when I harvested.
maybe the plants were harvested too early? you normally dig them when 1/2 the leaves are brown.

tom
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Old June 14, 2012   #12
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Originally Posted by tjg911 View Post
maybe the plants were harvested too early? you normally dig them when 1/2 the leaves are brown.
That might explain a small head, but I believe the cloving begins much earlier in the maturation process. So, even if harvested early, you'd end up with multiple small cloves rather than a single large clove.
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Old June 15, 2012   #13
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You need to replant the single cloved bulbs later in the year and they will have multiple cloves next year.
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