Some Reasons Why Garlic Can Fail

Planting some of your garlic is a great idea! It’s the best way to ensure you have some fresh garlic flavours during winter and early spring.

 

Often the garlic clove will sprout in autumn but not grow much through winter. This depends on where you are.  If winter is too harsh, growth stops.  That’s why we like to have our crop well advanced in autumn.

 

Garlic needs a well-drained soil.

 

AND it also needs to be well watered to grow. Letting is dry right out in the middle of the growing season is bad news.

 

If your crop gets a lot of rain and the soil is not well drained, this can be a big problem and sometimes the cloves will rot.

 

This also leads to many different kinds of fungus getting a toehold.

Phytophera and fusarium being the most common.

 

If the cloves themselves had a serious infection we’d be loosing our crop too. 

 

So if you are having problems the chances are that it is a soil born problem specific to your patch.

 

Don’t over fertilise.

 

I do know that many people over fertilise their crops.  Especially with animal manures.

We never use them on our crop, but instead rely on ploughing in green crops to supply the nitrogen and then we spray biodynamic prep 500 out.  Although made from cow manure is very diluted and acts only as a soil conditioner.

Organic matter in the soil provides the soil health for the bulbs to thrive.

 

The other issue is that not all garlics are suited to all areas.

 

For instance:  Our purple hardneck garlic – our main variety – doesn’t do well in the tropics or semi tropics.  Unless you are up high were frosts are frequent for a few nights in winter.

 

Also, many sheltered gardens in Sydney have failed to grow a big bulb when they’ve planted our purple hardneck. We can only deduce that this is due to the warmer weather.