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Thread: Garlic and onions

  1. #1
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    Default Garlic and onions

    Has anyone tried growing garlic in the valley with any luck. And what in the world do you have to do to grow good onions. I've tried seeds and bulbs and don't have any luck.

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    I can't speak for the Valley, EB, but I can commiserate about the onions; they grow better in my pantry and other storage areas than they do in my raised beds.

    If someone can share some tried-and-true, guaranteed-to-succeed methods of cultivation, soil content, ph, watering schedule and other preferences, etc., I'm -all- eyes........ Wait a minute, eyes would be a matter of potatoes. I guess I should've said either, "I'm all seeds," or, "I'm all bulbs."..

    In any case, this is one veggie, the success of which, at least in the garden, has eluded me thus far... Failure always impact the ego so heavily, too... :^(

    Anyone?????????

  3. #3

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    we have grown green onions every year and last year we tried bulbing onions for the first time. we planted bulbs (from the local seed supplier) directly into the raised beds in the greenhouse. they did wonderfully, we were vary surprised and happy. they weren't big, most were just a bit larger than a golf ball, but i find that a perfect single serving size. we have average ph, and they were allowed to get quite dry and still flourished. we are in homer, so maybe our temperate coastal climate helps. also, many bulbing onions are day-length sensitive, so variety choice can be important.
    as for garlic we are going to put in a 2'x12' bed this season. i would love to find the asian variety that produces single bulbs, like an onion, but no luck with this search yet.

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    I don't know about the OP, but I'd be especially interested in information re. the larger sweet onions, like Walla Wallas and Mayans, or a similar northern-tested hybrid.

    My wife uses the smaller scallions and green onions in her Korean-style Kim Chee, and I use green onions sometimes in Thai and other stir-fry cooking, but the onions I use most often (stews, stir fries, etc., etc.) are the bigger sweet style, and they've gotten pretty spendy in the store.

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    Default Garlic

    I also wish to get some garlic going next summer. The garlic growers in Oregon and Washington recomend planting in the fall and the window of opportunity to purchase seed garlic from the growers is short. I wasn't able to locate any last fall. I checked with Hood River Garlic and it looks like I'll need to order my garlic now for a August 2011 ship date.

    In the meantime, I guess that will give me time to prepare a place for it.

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    I grow garlic every year here in the valley just out side of wasilla they do good not to big last year with all
    the rain I plant them in the sping just like the rest of my garden
    onions I have had root magats gitting to them the last few years Can anyone help me there that can
    keep them out? Maybe good 411 for a lot of us here
    Yep Grow your own tomatoes peppers garlic and onions and make your own FRESH salsa

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    jbs
    What do you do when planting,? do you fertilze or just let it be. Is it in all day sun or partially shaded. my soil is great, I can grow some serious weeds which the chickens love. All I use is chicken pen cleanings in the spring

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    I have seen garlic grown in the vally I think it was russian garlic. Usually it is planted in the fall.

    For the root maggots try predatory nematodes.

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    Iam trying to think of the number fertilze i us ? its the one to help in the roots to grow for my garilic onions carrets
    They are a root crop the more sun the better
    Thanks Big dog I will try predatory this year
    Planting in the fall? I thought they would freeze and turn to mush in the spring ? I just mite try it this fall

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    I know it seems wierd but that is what I have seen. I know its unsual but I have onions servive the winter as well.

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    we have green onions that over-winter each year, they typically go to seed the second year, and we are going to try planting the seed this spring. in fact, we are still digging in the snow and harvesting frozen green onions right now!

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    I'm in Southeast, and last year I grew garlic for the first time. I planted both Music and Spanish Roja in raised beds in the fall and covered the beds with spruce boughs. A couple of days later I thought that maybe I'd created a perfect winter nest for voles, so I pulled off the boughs to put hardware cloth over the beds. Sure enough there were already vole tunnels in the beds. I dug out the bulbs to check for damage, but none had been eaten yet. I replanted them, put down hardware cloth, covered the bed with spruce boughs again, and hoped for the best. I had a great crop of garlic! Nice big bulbs, and they are keeping really well, too. I saved a bunch to replant, bought some more, and built another raised bed to grow more.

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    here's my experience with some of what has been discussed.

    Re: garlic


    i put the garlic on the lee side of a snow fence or in an area i know fills in with snow. Straw mulch is key for winters like this one (at least in the mat-su) where we get some subzero temperatures with very little snow cover, though where I'm at we tend to hold our snow (and we get more gifted from sutton area as well so we are rarely short on it).

    I really don't think voles like garlic. Maybe if the population was on a boom and they had exhausted all other food but I think garlic would be one of the last things they would eat. They have never touched my garlic or my horseradish though they really like my beehives (back when I was careless one year)


    Re: Root Maggots

    Regarding keeping root maggots out of onions, radishes, turnips, etc. as soon as I plant I keep them under a floating row cover such as reemay. I use the spun product (better than the woven). It is definitely an investment, but well worth it, and you will get many seasons of use Put up hoops using wire or pvc to make a small hoop house high tunnel, make sure the edges of the fabric are closed off at the ground and at the row ends, and secure to the wire hoops with clothespins and to pvc hoops there are different clips i use made out of wire. I also weigh down the edges with boards and rocks or concrete blocks in some places. This keeps most of the flies and also cabbage moths out. best to plant about 25% extra because a few will get pest damage no matter what you do. Also, some will be trapped in there, so let them out when you're weeding/thinning and shoo them out as you re-cover. Really it is best a 2 person job, much faster.

    Easiest to do loooong rows rather than several short ones, makes it easier/faster to cover and uncover neatly with one person.


    Also, and this is KEY ito get a good handle on root maggots, first thing I plant (and then every 3 or 4 days afterwards for a couple weeks) is a bed at the edge of the field / garden, with some cheap and quick growing radish seed. These plantings attract the first hatch of root boring pests, and a couple of days after I first see the moths and flies, I till these beds in well to kill the larvae. Then repeat a few days later with the next bed, repeat again, etc. I usually do this at least 5 or 6 times, it goes really quickly once it becomes part of the routine.


    Re: Onions
    I have never tried to grow sweet onions, probably best tried in a hot house. Key to getting large bulbs on other bulbing onions is to start them very early, like march 01. Onions will begin initiating bulbs in late June, no matter what. It is a photoperiod response. So if they are 6 inches tall then, you get tiny bulbs. Several companies offer plugs for sale that you can get shipped up in mid-may.

    They like very warm and dry soil. I treat them similarly to zucchini/pumpkins in terms of trying to get maximum soil warmth early in the season, but they obviously want much less humidity, whereas cucurbits almost can't be too humid. I use the same high tunnel approach with the garlic as I do with the onions. For cucurbits and early season almost everything else, I use strips of clear poly with the above mentioned hoop house setup instead of the reemay. keeps more humidity in.

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    Thank you all for the info
    I should step back a few I work on the slope and gone for 2 weeks at a time
    The wife does a very awsome jod in the green house with the tomatoes and pepper and the flowers around the house
    but in the garden she leaves that up to me she well water it
    So if I put up a hoop house and a soaker hose by them and all she has to do is turn on the water???
    just thinking to make it easyer for both of us

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    Thank you, andweav.

    I suspect that with the content of my raised beds being heavily comprised of peat moss, compost, organics, etc., and peat retaining water to the extent that it does, coupled with the fact that I have the garden set up to be watered en masse, all at once, and I perceive the climate here to be more moist and humid, on average, than it was, say, 30 years ago, my onions have likely done poorly due to the water-content. And perhaps, on occasion, the cooler summers we've had, as well.

    My zuchinni is almost always doing well, in terms of production, size, over-all health, etc., so it clearly is more tolerant of the conditions in which I'm growing our veggies.

    I've contemplated bringing in 10 yds or so of good quality sand (not silt sold as sand, as is customary for some of the fly-by-night folks in the area, but honest-to-goodness sand). That would improve drainage, and I cold incorporate some cold-frame-style pvc hoops with reinforced visqueen, which would permit a soaker-type watering schedule that would better suit the onions, and could be easily rolled to one side to prevent humidity build-up in that bed, as well as providing an umbrella of sorts during use of the sprinklers on the rest of the garden, trapping heat at other times.

    We're too cold here in the spring to put things out early on, so I would need to dedicate yet another ledge/window sill to flats in the spring time.

    I've had only mimimal difficulty with the maggots; mostly in my radishes. I suspect that some of the hotter garlic isn't really tasty to them, though I could be wrong there.

    Our rutabegas often get nearly the size of basketballs, though they're the common 'American Purple Top' variety. Despite size, once peeled, they're tender all the way to the core, and last quite well as a would-be root cellar crop for storage (ours just sit in either a bin in the basement, or on a rack shelf near the floor in the kitchen, until such time as someone places them in the refrigerator's veggie bin(s) cut into smaller pieces)

    Thanks again.

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    For seed garlic try buyin some fresh garlic from the farmers market this summer. Then plant it in august or September.
    For onions be sure to buy long day onions, the legnth of daylight makes a difference for onions. If you want to see how make an inexpesive greenhouse out of a raised bed garden, then check out the link in my signiture line. Then click on the seed starting post. Good luck
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

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