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Vampires Beware!Growing Garlic in Wisconsin : 

Vampires Beware!Growing Garlic in Wisconsin Karen Delahaut Fresh Market Vegetable Outreach Specialist

History of Garlic : 

History of Garlic Egyptian & Indian cultures referred to garlic 5000 years ago. Chinese writings suggest garlic was grown 4000 years ago. Only a few thousand original garlic varieties.

Garlic Crescent : 

Garlic Crescent Extends from the Black Sea through the Caucasus Mountains and beyond the Caspian Sea through Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, & Uzbekistan.

Botany : 

Botany Garlic cloves are actually swollen leaves called “fleshy scales”. Asexual reproduction. Effects on leaf & clove number & size: Planting time, Day length, Clove size, and Genetics Doesn’t affect leaf & clove number & size: Air & soil temperature Light intensity Bulb storage time & temperature

Taxonomy : 

Taxonomy Allium sativum Hardneck – subspecies ophioscorodon Rocambole Purple Stripe Porcelain Softneck – subspecies sativum Artichoke Silverskin

Rocambole : 

Rocambole Off-white bulb skin Easy to peel 2-2½ inches dia. 6-11 cloves/bulb 2 clove layers Cloves are brownish & dull Perform well in cold climates Mature slightly later than artichoke types Storage – 3-4 months Best flavor of all garlic Spanish Roja & Killarney Red

Rocambole Cultivars : 

Rocambole Cultivars Belgian Red Brown Saxon Carpathian Czechland Race German Brown German Red Gigantus Iowa Killarney Red Pitarelli Russian Red Spanish Roja Yugoslavian

Continental: Porcelain & Purple Stripe : 

Continental: Porcelain & Purple Stripe 1½-2½ inch dia. 4-12 cloves/bulb 2 clove layers Buff brown cloves with purple streaks Matures after artichoke & rocambole Performs well in cold climates Storage – 4-8 months Best baked garlic Porcelain is less common

Porcelain Cultivars : 

Porcelain Cultivars Armenian Blazer Georgian Crystal Georgian Fire German Extra Hardy German White Leningrad Music Music Pink Polish Hardneck Romanian Red Rosewood Vostani Wild Buff Zemo

Purple Stripe Cultivars : 

Purple Stripe Cultivars Brown Rose Brown Tempest Chesnok Red Chinese Red Giant Siberian Korean Red Persian Star Pskem Purple Glazer Red Czar Red Rezan Siberian

Artichoke : 

Artichoke Off-white to yellow-white bulb skin 2½-3 inches dia. 12-24 cloves/bulb 4 clove layers Milky white cloves with pink tinge Most widely adapted to climate of all garlic First to mature Storage – 6-9 months Mild to hot flavor Inchellium Red & Polish White

Artichoke : 

Artichoke California Early California Late Early Red Italian Himalayan Red Inchellium Red Italian Late Lorz Italian Lotus Polish White Purple Cauldron Sicilian Artichoke Transylvanian

Silverskin : 

Silverskin White with copper veined bulb skin Difficult to remove 1½-2¼ inch dia. 8-40 cloves/bulb 5 clove layers White or blush pink cloves Matures after all other varieties Storage – 6-12 months Mild to hot flavor Silver Rose

Silverskin : 

Silverskin Idaho Silver Mexican Red Silver Mild French Nootka Rose Sicilian Silver Silver Rose Silver White St. Helens

Elephant Garlic : 

Elephant Garlic Allium ampeloprasum Type of leek. Bulb consists of 2-6 large cloves & several smaller cloves. Milder flavor than true garlic. May develop a bitter taste in cold climates.

Planting Stock : 

Planting Stock Large seed bulbs (2-2½” dia.) have the greatest number of desirable-sized cloves. Seed cloves from bulbs >2½” have a lower survivability. Weight & size of bulb is more important than weight & size of individual cloves. Choose cloves that weight 6-9 gm. (0.2-0.3 oz)

Planting : 

Planting Planting cloves derived from a different regions may take time to adapt to your soil – some may never adapt at all. “Biological elasticity”. Plant in fall, 6 weeks before ground freezes. Promote root growth but not top growth in fall. Generally 50 cloves per pound & you’ll need 100 lbs/1000 ft2 “Pop” cloves within 2 days of planting. Plant 1-2” deep and 6” apart within the row with rows 1 foot apart. Mulch with 6 inches chopped straw once ground is frozen.

Culture : 

Culture Full sun, well-drained soils with high organic matter. Prepare the soil before planting by tilling well. Best to begin preparing the soil at least 1 year prior to planting. Remove mulch in spring when top growth appears.

Culture - Fertilization : 

Culture - Fertilization Apply nitrogen at planting and again in spring when plants are 4-6 inches tall. Yellowing of leaf tips indicates insufficient N. Won’t affect yield if occurs early in the season. Soils high in sulfur produce the best-tasting garlic. Soils with pH between 6.5 – 7.2 have the most sulfur.

Bulb Initiation : 

Bulb Initiation Stimulated by long days and warm temperatures. Typically around the summer solstice. Must have suitable weather to promote maximum top growth before bulb initiation begins. Once the plants begin to bulb, no new leaves are produced.

Popping the Tops : 

Popping the Tops Garlic seed stalks develop from the tip of the main stem. No further leaves are produced. Remove flower stalks 7-10 days after they coil for best size and storage life. Most important for Porcelain and Purple Stripe varieties. Up to 30% yield reduction if tops not removed. Remove just above the topmost leaf. Rocambole types will lose ¼” diameter for every week popping is delayed. BUT…Rocambole varieties may store better if not topped despite the reduced bulb size.

Harvest : 

Harvest Leaf dry down signifies the outer bulb wrappers are beginning to decay. Want to retain 3-5 wrapper leaves. Harvest when 25% of leaves dry down. Artichokes harvested 1st – 5 green leaves remain. Ophios harvested when 6th leaf is starting to turn brown. Silverskins harvested next. Harvest planting stock last. Over-mature garlic bulbs emit a sulfur odor.

Harvest cont. : 

Harvest cont. Dig bulbs with shoots attached. Remove excess soil and 1-2 wrapper leaves. Prevent sunburn by getting bulbs into warehouse ASAP Cure at 75°F for 3-4 weeks. Roots & shoots will become dry. Remove tops at ½-1” above the bulb. Cut roots close to the bulb. Use a toothbrush to remove excess soil.

Storage : 

Storage Store in a cool, dry place. Rocambole stores only 3 months. 32° will increase storage life of rocamboles. Purple Stripe & Porcelain store 4-8 months. Artichoke stores 6-9 months. Silverskin stores 6-12 months.

Resources : 

Resources Growing Great Garlic by Ron Engeland Organic Garlic Production by ATTRA at Garlic Seed Foundation at

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