Harvested my garlic, mixed results.


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In spring 2019 I decided to get serious about planting garlic, I srt up a 4x4 plot and planted about 50 cloves of softneck and a dozen of my heirloom* hardneck. The intention being that I wouldn't disturb the garlic for a year. Last spring I got some small grassy shoots before it died out for summer. Last fall I got much healthier looking shoots before winter.

This spring I had very nice greens, the soft neck reaching about 2 feet and the hardneck hitting 4 feet. A couple weeks ago leaves started to brown, the scapes drooped and then the softneck started to fall over. All signs that the harvest was near.

Last night I dug. The good news, it's my best harvest yet. The bad news, it's still pretty pathetic. The softneck ranging in size from. 5 inches to maybe an inch, not many cloves in each head. The hardneck fared better, identifiable heads of multiple cloves but the largest was under an inch and a half.

Somewhat disgusted, I stuck it in a bucket with a couple inches of water while I contemplate my next move. Im planning on replanting and trying again. I think I'll put my hardneck in the containers out front and spreading the softneck in various locations throughout the garden, including in my horseradish container.

The problem im having is determining what went wrong so far, or considering that this is my best haul, what went right.

Any insight? Even if it's "you picked too early dummy."

* the heirloom term is my own. My family has been growing this for at least 45 years but all others have been using it as chives, im the first to try growing actual bulbs of garlic.
 
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mvona

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I plant garlic every year. Each year I get better at it. Garlic is more of an arid plant and I sounds like youhave a wet location. Pretty much I don't water the garlic unless it has gotten very dry and then it is just one good watering for the week. I'm in western New York state right on Lake Erie. This spring was pretty wet up until June but my soil drains quickly. Never any standing water.
I do keep it weeded and I fertilize the area one time in May with a general broadcast fertilizer. Otherwise I do very little to the area. That's about all I got - hope it helps.
 
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Generally I don't overwater. We're in a weird spot for rainfall and have had a near drought for the last few weeks. I actually chased a storm on my way home last night and it avoided our neighborhood as usual. Roads were wet to within a half mile of home, same for my wife who comes from the opposite direction.

Ive manually watered my pickles and tomatoes from a can a couple days ago. Having well water, i do need to be sparing or we get discolored water in the house. The garlic was in a raised bed and the soil was dry down almost 4 inches, just under the bulbs.
 
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I just got 4 big bunches of the scapes, pureed them up in food processor along with good oil and some salt. Used a little on some hot pasta, yummy. Then with the rest of it , which was about 2 cups I put them in a shallow container with a good lid and froze it. One day with I need some garlic in something, I can break off a hunk and toss it into it.
 
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