Tuesday, July 9

Gardening is not an exact science

You really can't predict what will happen when it comes to gardening can you?

Last year my best garlic harvest came from the cloves planted in tubs in the greenhouse but this year the ones planted using that method were poor.

Considering the very wet conditions during the time that the cloves were in the ground, I didn't expect those planted directly on the plot to perform at all but I was in for a pleasant surprise. Like many other things the cloves were planted through weed control fabric and the tops looked to have grown very well and had no sign of the rust that often affects the leaves at this time of year.
As the leaves were beginning to go yellow and the elephant garlic was starting to produce a flower spike, I decided to dig up one bulb of each variety to see how they looked.
This year along with elephant garlic we planted two varieties - the softneck Early Purple Wight which will need using first and another softneck Solent Wight which should keep well. The bulbs in the photo above look much smaller than they were as they are dwarfed by the large elephant garlic in the middle.

As a result of my initial tentative harvest, I decided to dig up all the bulbs. Solent Wight has produced good sized healthy looking bulbs
The Early Purple Wight bulbs are a bit smaller but still of a useable size.
The elephant garlic has also performed well.
So has the weed control made difference - or is it just another inexplicable gardening foible?

I guess the moral is every year is different and we can't rely on repeat performances or even advice from other gardeners. Things can change from one year to the next. At least it's not boring!

14 comments:

  1. I suppose there's so many things which can affect different crops that you'll never get two years the same. Glad to see that your garlic has done well for you.

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    1. The really puzzling thing, Jo is when conditions are such that according to all advice and anything you have read things should fail but then they go on to produce well. Then another time things are given exactly the advised treatment and conditions and fail.

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  2. I was a little disappointed with my garlic haul this year. Quite a few small bulbs which haven't split into cloves this time round.They are still usable so I shouldn't complain too much.

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    1. The ones grown in tubs were like that, Jo

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  3. It's funny. Each year we say we'll do such-and-such next year but I think you're right - No gardening advice should be taken as gospel!

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    1. More with a pinch of salt maybe, Belinda

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  4. Advice is just that, it can be taken or left. Gardening as you said is never boring. Having a good memory is a bonus and if you are lucky or astute enough to predict the future weather conditions thats still only a percentage of the whole picture.

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    1. There are far too many variables, Rooko.

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  5. I grew Garlic this year Sue and for the first time ever it actually did grow, then the stalks fell over and I thought it was dead so I pulled it up and threw it - won't make that mistake again lol.

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    1. Oops and had bulbs formed, Linda?

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  6. Oh goodness....gardening is NEVER boring, as you say the conditions are so changeable!

    My garlic seem to have disappeared somewhere.....

    You do have a good crop there though....and all can be used for something. I rather enjoy the garlic wet.xxxx

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    1. There is plenty there to keep us happy, Snowbird.

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  7. Glad you got a good harvest...my garlic leaves have died back a lot more than yours....guess I should take a look beneath the soil this weekend!!

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    1. I dug ours early after reading advice to dig when the leaves started ti yellow, Tanya. Apparently leaving it in the ground too long can make the bulbs split.

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