Re: [gardeners] garlic in Texas

George Shirley (
Wed, 30 Sep 1998 10:47:47

At 06:53 AM 9/30/98 -0600, you wrote:
>At 10:29 PM 9/29/98 -0700, you wrote:
>>Hi, Allen.
>> Thanks for the reply on my garlic dilemma. You can tell a "hard neck"
>>garlic if the stem coming out of the bulb is hard. The stuff one gets in
>>the grocery store has a soft, sort of pliable stem. Most of the hard neck
>>garlics have a rosey colored outside skin and usually have roja in
>>their names. So I wonder if the Mexican Pink could be a hard neck, and of
>>course, when I think of Creole cooking, I think of red peppers. 
>> If I have to give up trying my roja cloves I've saved for planting in
>>Texas, where can I find the Mexican Pink or the Creole? Actually, I
>>thought I'd go ahead and give my rojas a try. If they don't make it this
>>year, I can start with one of your recommendations next year when I've
>>finally moved myself down there. 
>> This probably sounds a bit confusing, but I have a friend living in mom's
>>house, looking after it, the dog and the cat, and trying to keep the
>>plants I haul down there alive. Once I get there permanently, I will live
>>in mom's house till my new house is build near Sisterdale. Meanwhile, I'll
>>be going down for a two-week visit on Saturday.
>>Thanks for the help.
>>Vicki in Seattle, where there's a decided nip in the air tonight and the
>>tomatoes will likely be hit with late blight by tomorrow morning.
>Vicki, "Growing Great Garlic" by Ron Engeland (I think he's also a friend
>of Terry King) says "Too much summer heat (temperatures over 95 degrees F.)
>for more than a few days can cause early maturity and reduced bulb
>size...."  On the other hand, he says "Many people (including the author)
>would claim that small bulbs well grown in poor soil still produce the
>best-tasting, best-keeping garlic bulbs."  It's not going to cost a lot to
>try it.  If your garden area is windy, you might plant them three or four
>inches deep for desiccation protection.  Margaret
We're pretty hot and humid down here on the Loosyanna coast and generally
have difficulties with bulb crops. Never have been able to grow onions
worth a darn. Last year I planted elephant garlic, some a neighbor had
given me, and garlic bulbs I got from Terry King in Oregon. Put them in the
ground in September and by early May the tops were browning and falling
over so harvested them. The bulbs were considerably smaller than expected
but the garlic was exceptionally tasty. Our soil is pretty rich and runs
about 6.6 pH with more than adequate amounts of trace elements thanks to
liberal applications of Medina, a supplement produced in Texas. The onions
made little bulbs about as big as my thumb so weren't a total waste. We did
have drought conditions this year at that time so many things were maturing
early and didn't do well. But, by gum, I'm trying again, planted boughten
garlic and onion in mid-September in the herb garden, which is on a slope.
We'll see, never say die, and all those other cliches. Shucks, I'm growing
jicama, sunchokes, and Chinese Yams, not to mention edible gourds so a
little garlic and onion doesn't take up much room.