Garlic and Onions
This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Anonymous 7 years, 10 months ago.
- November 24, 2010 at 12:20 am #29115
I planted my first crop of garlic this year. I did it in mid October which is the suggested time for my region (zone 7b), but it’s already starting to sprout– like 8-10 inch tall shoots coming up! Should I chop those off or just leave it alone? I planted bunching onions and they are doing the same thing. I didn’t think they were supposed to come up until spring!
I have the bed they are planted in covered with a cold frame b/c my chard and lettuces are in that bed as well. Could this be the problem? Will the garlic and onions get too warm in there during the winter?December 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm #29625
Garlic is supposed to sprout in the fall. The leaves will photosynthesize and this will give it added energy to produce a larger bulb.
Did you plant onion seeds or onion sets? Onion sets should only be planted in the spring. This is because onions are biennials. The first year they produce a large bulb. The second year of growth they use the energy stored in the bulb to produce a flower. When they are planted in the fall and begin to grow they consider this the ‘first year’. When the weather gets colder they will go dormant. In spring when they begin to grow again they will act as two-year old plants and go straight into flowering rather than forming a bulb.
In warmer climates onion seeds are planted in the fall. Here is a fact sheet about planting onions from seed from Texas AMU.December 7, 2010 at 3:12 am #29626
Your garlic should be fine. The tops may get frozen back but they will grow back. Not sure why you put them in the cold frame. As far as hardiness there is no need extra protection. In fact the cold frame would most likely make the garlic push more growth,freeze back and then lose a some energy that would have eventually went into the bulb.
I generally plant mine outdoors anywhere from mid october to early december and haven’t seen much difference. A straw mulch is helpful to keep it from putting on too much growth in the fall.
Last year the ground was frozen by the time I got around to planting. I just laid the cloves right on top of the soil and covered with straw. By July 1st I had beautiful garlic.January 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm #29633
My articles about planting garlic (and yes, it will often sprout in fall) can be found starting from this one:
I don’t know if you planted multiplier onions — but they do go in in fall and here’s an article about those:January 17, 2011 at 3:14 am #29634
They were multiplier onions actually and they are doing smashing! Made it through our last snow well. Looking forward to my first harvest of them this year!January 17, 2011 at 3:18 am #29635
BTW, how did you know when to harvest your onions?January 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm #29636
When the tops (leaves)dry up and fall over. The Southern Exposure Seed Exchange has some good information on growing multiplier onions and garlic in the North and South here.March 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm #29645
Just thought I’d update- My garlic is getting huge stems- very thick- I think that’s good! My onions are doing well also. They seem to be getting bigger and bigger clumps of green stems everyday!June 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm #29738
Should I cut shallot scapes at all? If so when should I? What should my garlic scapes look like when it’s time to cut them? Somewhere I read that they straighten out but I’m not sure that is right.
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