View Full Version : Ok, I'm stumped.

Computer Cowboy
07-11-2009, 10:16 AM
I've been growing garlic for years with great results. I normally get about a hundred big, beautiful heads. This year it's different. I haven't done anything differently in terms of soil, watering schedule, etc., etc., yet, for some reason, all the plants suddenly fell over and died the other day. These were big, healthy-looking, well established plants which were planted last fall. No signs of bug damage. Has anybody else ever experienced this? Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

07-11-2009, 01:31 PM
I know you are a established garlic grower but are you sure they are dead?

The dying off of the leaves is a indicator that the garlic is ready to harvest. Many varieties are ready to harvest mid July to end of July. Has your season been early or weather patterns changed? Have you checked for grubs? Did you rotate your garlic crop i.e did you plant in the same spot last year with garlic or anything in the allium family?

Computer Cowboy
07-12-2009, 06:10 AM
Thanks for the response, FuriousOne. Yeah, they're dead, alright, dead leaves and no bulb formation. But I think I figured it out yesterday.

I'm extremely embarrassed to report that I seem to have overwatered them. Normally, that's not much of a worry (or even much of a possibility) in such a dry climate as ours, but we have had an unusual amount of rain this season and I've stupidly been watering them just about the same way I would during a normal season. I'm now officially a garlic murderer, I guess.

Here's the reason I'm pretty sure that's the problem: the neighbor I originally got my seed stock from passed away last fall shortly after making his fall planting, God rest his soul. His house has been occupied by renters ever since who have no interest in gardening, so they haven't watered or tended the garlic patch at all. That garlic is thriving, despite copious weeds and really horrible soil, on rainfall alone.

The only good news is that these renters invited me to harvest whatever's there, so I not only have a replacement for my failed crop, but seed stock for next year's less watered and, hopefully, better tended one. This is really good news, since we're talking about an ancient heirloom variety that has been passed down through generations and allegedly can't be obtained elsewhere. There's alot of that sort of thing around here, which makes gardening here interesting to say the least.

Live and learn.

07-12-2009, 11:40 AM
It sounds like you got it figured out. I am glad that the neighbors are giving you the garlic. That was a happy ending to your tale of garlic woe.

Ozark Homesteader
07-12-2009, 02:53 PM
Wow! that is a happy ending. I'll bet the weather this year has thrown off a lot of gardeners across the country. At least your neighbor bequeathed you a second chance.

07-12-2009, 09:09 PM
So sorry ou lost your crop. Are you growing in raised beds? That can ehlp out with too much rain or over watering. Since you have done it well many times before, I am betting you'll have a good crop next year.
Also, if you aren't rotating your plantings, that might be a factor. You might want to plant next year in a spot that hasn't had garlic in it for a year.

Computer Cowboy
07-13-2009, 09:06 AM
Yep, all things considered, it worked out ok. I'll sure be watching the soil moisture a bit more closely in the future, which seems like sort of a new concern in this apparently changing climate hereabouts.

And yes, Cynthia, everything's in raised beds and is on a strict three year rotation plan.

All I can say is thank goodness the neighbors don't like gardening, or garlic, for that matter!

07-13-2009, 06:54 PM
Goodness, now I wonder if I'm ok since I have been watering mine sparingly through the dry spell we had late spring. Maybe I should harvest them now? Hmm?