I have seen lots of mentions on blogs and on Twitter of poor results with Garlic this year, so it's not just you Trevor! Rust seems to be a major issue this year too. These things are influenced to a high degree by weather conditions, so next year might be completely different. I guess this is why so much of the commercial production of fruit and veg now takes place indoors, in those massive greenhouses and polytunnels we see.
My garlic always seems to be small however hard I try! how long do you leave them in the ground? they are bulbs so can you leave them in as long as you feel like it and watch them grow bigger and bigger, and split and split?!
The foliage has now died back from what I planted in December, and the shepherd's hooks have come over them, so I think I have got to dig them out use some, and replant the rest.
I am going to try different kinds of soil(in pots) this time to see how that goes too.
Some of my pot planting is going very well indeed, and I'm even going to do some sapling planting in 15gallons pots.
It appeals to my business sense to be able to move them around or even sell them if ever anybody asks. I've certainly tripled my values on Baxus toccata in the last years or so.
I always get an attack of rust-I cut the rusty leaves off one by one and by July, some are simply a stick-like plants with no leaves. But it gives more time for the bulbs to swell. Not harvested any as yet, although I have cropped the scapes and used them in cooking! And I always get a handful of rotted bulbs out of the 150 I plant each year!
Thank goodness for the next season-I always say this when I look at my pathetic carrots
Compost does no good for garlic. It rots them. What the perfect conditions are I don't know but even they like light soil I guess. Sandy soil? The roots are not deep so what is best? I despair of ever growing a good big fat plump garlic!
Among my garlic harvest this year some are as big as onions and some are half the size. The big bulbs are from my own saved seeds, planted at the warmest spot of my plot.
What I do is dig them out from time to time, eat or pickle some of them, and replant the rest. Some of mine now are of modest size and quite pretty but too small. As far as I know extra compost is not helpful, but coir might be. Advice on soil requirements still sought!
I was over in France at the weekend, and of course we visited the local market. One of the things we bought was fresh young red onions - they were about the size of a long shallot. They were really very nice indeed, and I think I have been converted to the idea that I must grow some onions of my own! Oh, and btw, the garlic on the market was fab too!
Hard lines Trevor. This has actually been our best year ever (see here), but I think it's mostly due to a change of allotment, which has far lighter soil. How is your soil?
Like you say, there's always next year.