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Logo of AdAgrA 2019: True Success

Growing Garlic

Immian Wolfe



  • January 17, 2019
    9:30 AM


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Father in Heaven think you very much for life today recommit ourselves to you again both in what we think about what we do it was wisdom to understand think you a man growing garlic at home in your garden and growing a garden garlic 10020000 plants is a very different thing when you're trying to grow garlic by the acre and so I have learned and as some of you may have heard last night the thing about garlic is you get one batch per year so I have 5 batches of garlic in me that's half a day's worth of my normal work so I haven't learned nearly enough to tell you folks how to grow garlic commercially but they asked me to put on the class so I thought well this would be a great opportunity for me to learn from you guys how to do it right so I'll put up some slides and I'll tell the microphone what you all say so that it can be recorded on audio verse. Alright so garlic garlic there's a lot of interest in going to great now because it is a high value per acre crop it is high retail. Retail value particularly when you're doing it for seed seed garlic tends to be at least in my area anywhere from on the low side $10.00 per pound all the way up to 20 you know 18 to 20 dollars per pound that's pretty incredible especially if you can get a decent bulb of garlic That's a 3rd of a pound. You know we're talking $6.00 a plant here that's it's phenomenal I would suggest that it's unreasonably phenomenal how long that bubble will last we don't know it's going to be like a housing market and at some point it's going to shift with suppliant the laws of supply and demand one of the challenging things of course is on the supply side because some of us are having difficulty scaling it up and growing it so there's still an opportunity for lots of other people to get in on the on the bandwagon Having said that the if you're going to get to that scale where you're going a lot of garlic in the in the acreage amounts where you're going to be able to sell it now it changes in your price drops and generally as a rule of thumb for those of you are considering getting into how many are interested in commercial farming overall OK again maybe 50 percent of the class little bit less so when you get into commercial farming agriculture you have to make that decision are you going to go for volume to the wholesale market or are you and then you get an easy sell the reason one of the reasons why we went to wholesale is because in one phone call and with one delivery I can sell as much product at as much value as I could through $30.00 to $50.00 other transactions and trying to manage all of that So for us simplistically we didn't want to be doing the sales and we wanted to be doing the production and so we're into the wholesale business as a general rule of thumb when you're doing wholesale you're going to be about 50 percent of retail so just pretty rough guidelines in the produce business generally you're going to if you're going to go to a distributor the distributor is going to mark it up by 20 to 30 points they call it. The math is a little bit funny on that so it's not 20 to 30 percent. Something for another conversation but $20.00 to $30.00 points so if you're selling it at retail for $10.00 a pound. You're going to be able to sell it to them for $5.00 they're going to sell it. They're going to sell it for about $650.00 to $60.00 and then the retailer is going to mark that up by another 40 points and they're going to get it up to the $10.00 point so your price point versus theirs is different now when you're selling direct to the retailer by the way if you decide to take the less wholesale wholesale wrote the sort of half wholesale you'll be able to do about 60 percent. Even 70 percent sometimes of the retail price so factor that into your your mouth when you're doing it so when you're doing garlic generally the wholesale market if you're going to be doing it by the pound this isn't Canada I can't comment to what your pricing is down here in the U.S. I noticed though when I was checking out salad prices that you're in a very different market here than we are I saw 11 this is my next class but you know 11 ounces of salad for a $1.99 in a pillow pack bag that's that's pretty mind blowing to me. We don't have anything less than a $39911.00 ounce salad pack and off more often than that you know for $59.00. And so on for for that type of a pack in the hard clamshells nothing is less than $499.00 up in B.C. where I'm from so on the garlic pricing I did have a chance to check it out but generally 50 percent of retail where I am you're going to be able to push that out wholesale to a distributor for $5.00 a pound you might be able to do it for $6.00 a pound if you're going to certain specialty stores you could even be able to ratchet that up depending on those laws of supply and demand because garlic suppliers at least in my region are notoriously variable for the amount of production they're offering per year this farmer comes on they change their plan this other one comes off and so on so you can sort of count on that. I want to speak about the virtues of garlic I assume many people here know about it the different species and the different growing or the physiological differences between a hard neck in the soft neck just going to assume that in well maybe I shouldn't Does everybody know the difference between hard neck and soft net garlic OK So this is hard that garlic you can see because it has this this stem in the middle basically hard net garlic is more like a tulip it will it will put out a hard central stock that will have a flowering. Yet to skate with another name it comes out with an umbrella and it puts out actual blossoms that can be pollinated they aren't usually there's another conversation about that also print out. Ball bills which are many bulbs that are a genetic identical to the to the root so hard necked has its hard central stock soft neck does not in general hard neck is needs to be grown with a little bit more care because you want to place it more carefully Generally I'll disagree with myself shortly on that so if you if you place hard neck straight down it takes a while for that neck to come out and curl back up delays the emergence time reduces the amount of number of hours it gets to sunlight exposure and overall the plant will be smaller but also you get a crooked neck and in the retail market especially the specialty stuff they like a longer neck and they don't like to be crooked so you need to put a little more care into growing hard Nick Arctic some say and I confess here I'm a garlic. I'm I'm ignorant when it comes to the subtleties of garlic some people can tell the difference between flavors and heat and so on I've tasted and tested 20 different varieties of garlic and occasionally you can tell the difference in heat particularly in the raw stage and not even occasionally frequently you can in the raw stage once they're cooked you know there are different subtleties I found some you know the flavor is there without the heat but I don't know I'm just not enough of the garlic snob to be able to tell you there is a defined benefit flavor wise or otherwise to the other right now because it takes specialty growing practice is hard Nick is receiving quite a bit of popularity so in terms of value and getting your customer on board and having them you know be loyal to your product hard neck is more the way to go if you're going to be the volume market soft neck is generally easier to deal with soften it can be just as big as hard neck and sometimes bigger it tends to grow in the more southern regions the northern regions hard neck does quite well depending on certain varieties as well but the other thing about soft necks is generally you plant them a little sooner harvest them a little sooner hard next you generally plant them a little later harvest them a little later so the thing that I've learned or that I try to do maybe I haven't learned it OK my wife's Gramma Marilyn Smith Some of you may or may not know her she passed away a few years ago here and we miss her greatly one of the 1st times I was with her in her kitchen I don't know how it came up but she said to me Amy and this is this is the way she operated in her home and with her family because her Gramma taught her this she said Do what you are do what you can where you are with what you have on hand. So when it comes to getting into agriculture you know rather than laying out some significant investment and I know it's been talked about in the market gardening class stairs and so on you want to ease into these things unless you're experience to know what you want to ease into it do what you can where you are without with what you have on hand without some substantial investment that's that's untried or unproven so right at the beginning of the growing process we break the garlic and I just hope that this is going to play for us here you don't need to worry about the volume you're going to have to imagine a couple of things here you're going to imagine that this little wooden Hopper is full of garlic because I missed I missed the timing of that day when I took the video so the hopper is empty what we do you can break the garlic by hand and that is by far better than what I'm doing here what I'm doing here because we go through a significant volume of it is we put these little slots these little bars right here on a conveyor and we had those little bars come underneath a foam board a foam padded board with a rubber conveyor belt underneath it there are other ways to break garlic you can buy mechanical systems or build mechanical systems based on Ermey who's a good manufacturer out of France there's another there's another manufacturer out of Portugal J.J. broach those are the 2 biggest garlic equipment. Cultivation and propagation manufactures out there there's a few other small players in the market but those are the 2 big ones are any Ermey or J.J. brooch J J B R O C H. I did my own knock off of of what they are because this is what I happen to have on hand happen to have a piece of conveyor. And I was able to put it all together with you know $10.00 worth of materials that I had kicking around so let me just show you what happens here assume that this hopper is full of virus come underneath they're going to grab you're going to grab a gun ik right here in this corner and it's going to run it under a table that I thought I was going to show you unfortunately this why it's better to do by hand. When you run some of those balls under by the way they should be sized because garlic does come out of the field at different sizes you want to uniform ball when you're doing the breaking stage if you're going to do it mechanically because when you run it under that table you're going to create a rolling action that rolling action. Tends to just bust apart the clothes and it does a beautiful job of it I get say somewhere less than 5 percent generally I would say it's in the one percent range where a clove actually gets caught in there in an unhappy position and the close splits so the ball is the whole thing the Clovers the individual segment the close splits when the close splits it's now vulnerable to disease in the field you put it in it's likely going to. It's likely going to give up the ghost as it were to to fungal pressure and mold in the soil so I'm doing 4 acres this year I'm OK with one to 3 percent giving up the ghost because of the speed efficiency that gained me versus breaking it by hand if you want to break it by hand there's a couple of interesting things to consider one you can do it with your absolute freshest marketable garlic which has 1003 not 13 to 4 Bowl intact skins on it and especially if you do it later on in the fall when there's a little bit more humidity you'll find it's nearly impossible to break these things 3 to 4 skins and you're putting pressure on that and with the humidity that's in the skin I mean it's just it's brutal So when you think about breaking garlic you want to be really dry when the other things to consider is if you want to reduce the amount of skin load you have on your guard it is you can leave seed in this soil for an extra few weeks with moisture and allow that. Paper to. Break down by itself which garlic will naturally do those papers will decompose if you don't harvest at the right time and you leave or got it in the soil for you know up into the August mid August late August and there's still moisture in the soil that those papers will break down by themselves and well let me tell you they've become a part dandy that's what you want to do that's fine most people choose to selectively take their largest bulbs and I would like to tell you that I found more of a relationship between the largest clove and the largest bulb than I have between the largest bulb. And the largest ball what am I saying there we just come back here within this Clo this is a decent sized globe you can see early on in the year this is probably June or some period of time there's still a lot of energy that's going to be moving from the what's the disk in layers into the plant and these there will still be swelling of these little pieces but you've got very different size clothes here so this wood will be a decently large bulb but this one will not produce the sizeable next year that this one will has been my finding so you'll find that the commercial garlic seed preparation companies they sort their clothes and they plant their biggest clothes not particularly their biggest bulbs there's probably some to philosophical debate on there that I couldn't adequately engage in but that's what that's what I've found so far and that's what the commercial guys have have shown so after. We break apart the garlic We planted by the way from the time you break until the time you plant you want to minimize that period of time garlic once broken you've triggered a biological process one to separate it from the base of plate it's triggered to root it's also triggered to root by moisture so once you get into a humid environment in the fall if you're not planning to. Me if you're not planning to plant your garlic and you want to store it as long as possible dry storage conditions are important if it's outdoors and you have a rain it doesn't take very many rains and even if it's if it's able to share that outdoor air but it didn't get wet itself it's just in a shed somewhere it will absorb moisture from the air sufficient to trigger its own its own sprouting So if you're not wanting to plant it and you want to keep it keep it dry the planted stuff that you're going to use for a seed also should be kept dry because of ease of breaking but from the time that you break until the time you plant you should minimize it so that the that skin doesn't break down so you avoid fungal pressures. And I'm talking on the order of days here so if you if you split your garlic you want to plant it I would say within a week preferably within 2 or 3 days many people plant by hand I don't because it's just it's going to be too awkward for me for that volume of a volume of space so I'm doing about $100000.00 plants per acre so this year all have $400000.00 plants we hope in the ground and that's a that's a lot of. Work like this when we 1st did started garlic We did what everybody else does you you grab you maybe you take those spike things you see on line and and you make marks in the ground and then you have somebody come on and you put a single ball then each hole if you're doing specialty premium garlic and you're doing it direct to retail that's a model you can consider if you're going to do wholesale You can't do it that way it's not going to the numbers are going to work out at the end of the season for you so if you're doing specialty guard it to a small local market market you're farmer's markets your local community who you're going to get you know 20304050 customers who are going to buy anywhere from 3 pounds to 10 pounds a year for their family that's perfect go ahead and do it that way put every bald facing root down that's the base of play down you you put it to a certain depth different different seed sizes in general I'm sure all the gardeners are to follow that principle the bigger the seed the deeper it can go. If you're not going to do it you're going to go with the wholesale market mechanical planting is the way to go so a little You Tube university and I've seen a few different planters styles happen to have this machine which was a plug transplant or and I modified the plug transplanted to become a garlic planter So this is how I plant is going to be a number of things that come up when we watch a video planting doubts planting position planting density I'll try to cover it as we go through the video itself and if I missed something please remember in my behalf and ask this is what I've done it's not ideal if I can eventually. Get garlic to work for me I'm going to buy a J.J. brooch or Ermey planter and I'll tell you why this one doesn't grab the ball every time you see as I go through the video there's a couple of flaws but before I even get to the grabbing of the balls in the positioning of them and so on let's talk about seating depth and let's talk about the principles here these are and if my wife were here she's not good so she can't call me out on it. These are theories and I'm very quick to assert theory as law these are my personal theories if you agree with them or don't agree with them that's fine if they agree with somebody else's philosophy or don't and that's fine and I'm perfectly willing to change my mind as soon as this theory doesn't work out for me I'm perfectly willing I'm not committed to it I'm perfectly willing to change it my theory in general with plants is this so in China it's good for them you want them to get up and you want them to get exposed to the sun and begin that process of growth that generates storage sugars and so on and so forth all this over development so many people where I am they delay planting a garden until late in the fall and they plant you know 3 to 4 inches deep that's the home gardener I've done that when you have small seed you can completely lose the seed by the time that soil comes through 3 of that little you know a small clove by the see a half inch to half inch diameter by 3 quarter inch tall clove by the time that comes through 4 inches of soil. And 3 to 4 inches of mulch. It's late in the season by the time it's emerged through that and it comes through as a spindly yellow little. Set of shoots and it struggles the rest of the season has been my experience so if you think about how guarded grows in nature it sits there it stays in the ground and sometime often in late September where I am I'm in his own 7 B. sometime in late September those volunteers that I didn't get harvested out of the ground they pop out of the soil they're already emerging how many of those volunteers lose do I lose over the winter and die well I've done a few little test pots and they actually survive quite well with or without mulch Interestingly my assumption has been that the fall photosynthesis gives that little bald has used it storage energy to get emergence once it's got an emergence it's now trying to replenish some of its its stores its reserves and therefore if you can get a little photosynthesis in the fall I believe theory I believe that we increase the survival weight through the winter and the resistance to frost so getting my wife now here because she would harass me about that I've had so many series fail. Just being honest with you. So I plan shallow plant 2 inches ish It's difficult to manage planting depth mechanically. Because on on this planter it's one of the flaws planting doubts is relative to tire height tire height is relative to track the wheel track position sometimes bed surface varies relative to track position so the soil might have a slight rise but the tires didn't and therefore that garlic gets planted deeper so there's variability there a better machine would have soil depth or planting depth relative to bed surface not tire surface so some other flaws about this machine if you watch some of these clothes fall off before they get to the dump shoots these dump shoots are just old Jimmy pipe folded together braise it up make it into a chute drops down into a piece of steel tubing that goes down into the shoe I didn't draw the I didn't show you the shoes here but all you need in the shoe looking from the top that's the travel direction you just need something to open the ground a little triangle or anything Ideally you're going to use stainless steel because mild steel tends to corrode very quickly and then your soil builds up on it and then it becomes a funny furrow so you want to use a stainless if you can you can use a plastic something that's going to release the soil and give you a nice even furrow if it's if it's not you tend a ball up on soil and then it creates a much wider furrow than you would prefer to close so once you're open you just need to have a drop chute when you go down through the drop chute if I were to show you the back side of this drop chute this was my tube dropping down have an opening here at the bottom. That bottom of my drop Tube is a quarter inch above the soil surface couple of key things this being the direction of travel a couple of key things with you doing it mechanically if you're going to do it if you want to firm that soil bed so my shoes are they have a smoothing surface and they're there smoothing the soil bed like this because I want to pack that soil I want it kind of like a hard path one of the reasons why I wanted to be a hard pass is because on somewhat concerned about position this is where argue with myself about the hard neck position before mechanically it's just too difficult to get the stem to be up and the base of the plate down so far they know nobody's come up with a design to be able to do that consistently so my goal is actually get to get the garlic to lie on its side when it lies on its side I find that it has little to no trouble straightening out it's when it's past that 45 degree and it's more straight down that I get a significant curl if it's $45.00 or less I find it has almost no issue finding which way is up and emerging and having believe it or not a straight stem in the end so the reason why I smooth that soil service is because when you drop close of garlic onto that flat surface they tend to roll and they settle and they settle flat if it's soft and you've got a V. shape in there the way it comes down the chute is the way it stays it falls in it's completely surrounded by soft soil and it can't move I want my garden to roll so where did I get last year some of the problems are the garlic hops off before I would like it to that means that this one is falling off and this one is falling off at the same time so my spacing is not even. Sometimes they fall off here or they never even fill up on the way through so if you watch you'll see that some of these little cups aren't even full of garlic here you can see the a little bit of the flat flattening the light isn't great but you can see a little bit of the flattening and how the garlic tends to balance and roll a little bit before it gets covered if I were to improve this particular one I would have shields I have shields here that keep the soil from falling in on the bent clove I have them there already if I were to make this an improved version I would extend those a little further to give the garlic a little more time to settle before the soil falls back in on it I'm halfway through my time and I'm a quarter of the way through my presentation so positioning you know. 3 to 5 percent might have a bent stand. When I've actually counted it I've actually gotten as little as one percent so I'm trying to be on the most conservative side on the project too much optimism because sometimes we tend to do that in farming good up to 3 to 5 percent of Ben stems when I planted that way. I tend that to find that that's not the case but when it comes to spacing I'm trying to I'm trying to depending on the size of your bald now the bulb size is a function of your available nutrient the growing conditions your water so on water has a huge amount to do with the sizing of your guard ik the size of your bulb has so many different factors not the least of which is the genetic potential in the bald but having had great genetic potential you may have started with a seed that was Monster one 3rd you know 3 to the pound kind of garlic. And you can get 16 to the pound kind of garlic by the end of a year or 2 if things don't go the way they should even though the genetic potential is still there the genes haven't changed so generally when you're looking for a big arctic and you're able to grow it well and you've figured all the rest of the details out the bigger your ball the larger the space elephant garlic tends to be one to 2 you know per foot per row foot and they tend to be on more like 18 inch centers row to row I'm dealing with smaller garlic I'm filling it into those little mesh bags that you can buy with the U.P.C. code because I talked about that in a previous talk but I like U.P.C. codes because it makes it easier for my customer who is a retail store to commit to it Oh it's easy to scan through nobody will confuse it with that non labeled non-organic garlic that they paid $0.70 a pound for and therefore they're not going to lose money if some. Checkout clerk accidentally charges non-organic price for the organic garlic that I charge them $10.00 a pound for $8.00 a pound so I put the U.P.C. code on that so that it's cans through and it takes so the human error of the checkout clerk It's an easy sale easy sell for me so because I do that I'm actually looking for smaller garlic not looking for money monster garlic so I tend to look for an average and this is the failure of my Plantar Sometimes I have no drop you know I'm right there you can see I dropped at least one maybe too close but in general I'm looking for one every 3 to 4 inches that's that's what I'm looking for if you've got Monster garlic and you've got a good variety you might do it every 6 to 8 inches now garlic is often grown on a grid so some people do you know 12 by 6 some people do 8 by 8. Notice those numbers are fairly similar 8 Beta 64 square inches 12 by 6 or 72 square inches I'm doing 3 by 12 which is 36 or 4 by 12 which is up to 48 square inches per plant so the more space you give a plant the more potential collection of solar energy it has there's going to be a limitation there you're going to go beyond what the plant actually needs if you space it out too much or you could crowd it if you space it too tight in general that's what I'm going for. To mulch or not to mulch Has anybody not mulch their garlic here somehow. But if you don't mulch raise your hand OK there's untasted if you do mulch raise your hand OK I would say we're at sort of 8 to 8 kind of thing where about 5050 good the great Miles debate last year I'm all to the year before I didn't the year before then this year I haven't mulched and 3 years ago I did it's been a little frustrating trying to figure this out 2017 the spring of 2017 we had a long cold winter we had frost the entire year the entire winter and it but it came out very suddenly about February 15th it was a Thursday so Thursday night and we went from steady minus 10 with a foot of snow on the ground and we rarely get much snow in the way we had a foot of snow on the ground and went from minus 10 to plus 6 in rain so all that snow starts coming off the mountain and it it's it's flowing across the fields very quickly at plus 6 the frost starts coming out of the ground on the top but it's actually driving it down for those of you are familiar with the behavior of frost you know the top starts to soften a couple of inches but the frost actually goes deeper. So by Friday night I'm left with this and left with surface water I'm left with wet area and this area is all soaking wet and this area is frost this will be my ice cube to let you know it's frozen and that's a water droplet to let you know it's not frozen where does my garlic live my garlic is living in the top 3 inches Saturday night it drops to minus 17 Celsius by the way these are all Celsius temperatures what do you think happens to the top 2 or 3 inches of soil freezes solid because this water had nowhere to go my topsoil was completely saturated I did not have serious enough raised beds my raised bed was only a 2 inch raised bed I probably should have had a 3 or 4 so the water had nowhere to go it saturated my guard ik and I got 90 percent kill after this and for 5 acres of garlic in the ground and after when March came up I found I had the equivalent of about a half an acre worth of garlic spread across 5 acres worth of area so I go on a weed 5 acres and I finish fertilizing 5 acres and finish doing all this and the harvest a half an acre of arctic. Some of the things we learn so you think I go read it right about time after I was. Military when that happened beginning of March I come in and I notice that I've got a serious kill I dig up plants and find that they're decomposing and they're just not they're not going to they're not going to make it so I'm going to check my neighbor's property and the neighbors have mulch guess what they're fine the neighbors never thought the neighbors never thought the other neighbor who didn't mulch he basically lost everything as well so I thought Man mulch is key to keeping the frost in the ground and preventing me from having this unusual circumstance it was a one in 40 year event that occurs in our region it's I remember it happening once because I grew up there it happened once in $1905.00 and it hasn't happened since nobody remembers it most even of the old timers don't even remember an event happening happening like that I remember it because I was a little boy and when that water comes rushing down the mountains like that we're in a very steep canyon as you can see it's very steep terrain it's that makes the coolest little canyons in the gravel driveways and as a little boy if you've got trucks and excavators things like that that's the place to play because these gorges in the driveways can go to 2 or 3 feet deep and there they are awesome so I remember it distinctly It happened in 1905 same event hasn't happened since the problem for me with mulch is I can no longer mechanically weed so you'll see you'll see what happens so I mulch this last winter. Because I was afraid of that I made a mold spreader out of an old silent wagon do what you can where you are with what you have on hand so we chop this up and modified it and made it so that it could spread alfalfa hay out on the ground I should have done straw or barley straw some people are winking at me that's where I could have learned 3 we should in this class last year and you could have cleared me up on this so look at this June 11th of my weed pressure I have some overall not too shabby I've got I've got mustard OK here believe it or not most of that mustard is in the aisles not too shabby What's the date watch closely June 24th. 2 weeks later to find the garlic can you see any good I can here. Got mustard I've got Morning Glory like crazy I've got grass 2 weeks how can I get through in June 11th is when I started weeding by hand with a crew of 6 people by the time you get to June 24th Well tough this is what to look like after you pull the weeds out this row look just like this row the garlics in there and it's actually not doing too bad watch the dates we go through and we hand weed which costs and you being employed because a lot especially when they work one 3rd the rate that you work. And you make your garlic sales projections in your numbers based upon a reduced amount you know 80 percent of your own effort you think that that's what they're going to put out OK I can lead an acre of garlic in 30 hours but I move fairly quickly I have one employee who can also do that with said 10 of him the other employees the unemployment rate in our region is high. So when you're that's convenient because I'm looking for seasonal workers it has its downside so there's lots of available help in the summer it has its downside that the general principle is if that if you're unemployed in the middle of the summer there is there is some causal relationships there so I tend not to get the fastest workers OK this is July 13th I'm talking I'm topping mechanically with a sickle bar more notice the weeds remember what they looked like on the 24th this another 2 and a half weeks later a watch this is after having paid employees to go through and remove all the visible plants they could I guess they couldn't take out enough Morning-Glory so I mechanically thought if I had not malts I would have been able to deal with this mechanically so as soon as I saw that debate my question in the spring is you know do I do I remove the mulch I mean extremely sandy soil so the mulch has moisture management benefits to me do I remove the malts and get through it mechanically or do I leave it on you know when you make a judgement call you're dealing with other fires on the farm so I left them all John and this was my result this year that he did the topping so mechanically topping I don't get every every single one. But I get 90 percent of them in general when you're growing hardened garlic you want to pull off that scape and you know some people agree with it some people don't agree with it I find that there is a significant size up benefit to pulling off the skate when you do it at the right time there's a bit of a day debate if you read the book Growing great garlic by Ron indolent he has a bit of a point saying that if you wait until the stem begins to UN curl and straighten up he finds that he gets longer shelf life he thinks that the hardening of the stem is related to some hardening some hormonal changes that happens in the root and will give you a longer shelf life in the bald. I don't house all the feedback on that but what I do have is that if the earlier you can get the scape the bigger your bulb will be it may reduce your shelf life but if you can get that scape out as soon as it's emerged from the plant you will have the plant redirect its energy into producing seed from bulb rather than seed from ball bill and that'll be a good thing for your marketability if you can manage the shelf life in storage how much of the reduction in shelf life I haven't observed reduction in shelf life so run England makes a anecdotal comments there. From an experience he had one winter doing it where he had to delay his his trimming of the tops and. Know no other numbers than that so what do I do I've got 2 to mid to late July it's time to harvest my garlic and these weeds have come up again what do I do how do I get my garlic out of the ground I undercut it before I undercut it I take an old hay rake and I rake off the mulch and you'll see what it does to the weeds it's quite remarkable this isn't under 8 row you can see that the mulch in the weeds here has been pushed over to that row and my employees can now see the garlic stems they can see them over here so we rake that stuff off it tears off leaves so you need to do this after your size up has occurred if you end up getting to this desperate of a situation you need to do it after size that has occurred. And you want to recognize that some of those hardening off benefits you get in the curing of your garlic where the nutrients are are mind by the bulb and they're taking nutrients out of the plant tissue you've now reduced the resource there because there's less plant tissue for them to mine because you will have torn off some of those bulbs Having said that there is an interesting thing about the weeding of garlic mechanically that you'll note here these garlic plants especially in the small stage they can bear a surprising amount of handling That's a tip and trick bit of an insight for how I'm planning to attack this year's garlic weeds without mulch mechanically because they can take a surprising amount of manhandling ideally without ripping the leaves off when I do it this year but you can just see what happens at harvest time once they get to their undercut the garlic with a little undercut or bar I made out of a greater blade you want to undercut when the soil is reasonably dry you want to manage your moisture garlic likes water like lots of it specially in us and he saw where I am it likes to stay damp consistently evenly not dry out and and and be heavily watered even consistent moisture is very important to garlic especially in my soils so this undercut our bar you like to do it elected taper off by the time the scape is starting to stand up in soft net garlic by the time it's starting to wilt you need to be having had dry ground soften it got it tends to behave a little bit more like Gunny and in that way it it'll it'll fall over when it's letting you know it's ready to come out garlic when it's ready to come out it'll stand up to the scape. You can wait till longer but there's a good chance a lot of your papers will be compromised or some of your papers will be compromised that's why you want to be drawing out towards the end because you want you want to reduce the fungal activity in the soil as that garlic begins to go through its changes and its final segmentation and size up you want to reduce those fungal pressures because they'll automatically start breaking down your papers after undercutting you can leave it in the soil for a day or 2 as long as the soil is dry 3 days and you get a bit of a hardening off that hardening off is important for a couple of things it seems to be important to just toughen the outer skin so that if you're going to be handling the garlic it doesn't bruises easily it also it also seems to me have a benefit for exposure to sun everybody told me before this year you know this is listening to the wisdom of your elders not everybody some people told me before this year don't let your guard exceed the sun in previous years I've had garlic come out be on top of the ground be on top of the ground all summer and at the end of the summer you can pick it up and it looks no different and this is this is the hottest part of Canada we see 40 degrees Celsius in the summer and we have hot incredibly dry days intense sunlight and I've had garlic be on the surface also more long and be fine so I thought that's that's an old wives' tale this summer I harvested this is this summer I harvested the hottest week of the year it was consistently $38.00 to $40.00 every day this week that I harvested we pulled it up we get it on top of the ground we had half of my field harvested and I go and I start looking at the garden and it's begun the process of sugar breakdown it's brews it has sunburn this is the beginning of the process of making it into black garlic incidentally which is a whole nother thing but it's not marketable. I would say 30 percent of the garlic that I had up on the ground was too exposed to the sun and I lost it I had 2 years of receipt so the thought that was happening I took some of the mulch here and we put it on top of these piles of garlic that were field curing and for everything else that we did afterwards fantastic IT field here was in the shade the temperature must have been sufficient and excellent field here the last very last row or so that I brought out OK and I bring it into my closed shed and I stack it tightly reasonably tightly with the bulbs up trying to get them to and the bulbs exposed to the air to try to finish the cure and those that did not have 3 plus days of hot field here the stems molded so we didn't get as much nutrient mining there as I might have liked when I bring it off the field I put it on pallets I stick all the bulbs out so that they can finish curing and then those pellets go into my sheds for for a final cure ideally by the time as I mentioned they go into this pilot stage your stems are dry most people who are not working at this volume they will bunch their garlic in to hang it from the ceiling so there's lots of airflow around the entire thing some people fear I that if you hang it. If you hang it so that it balls down that you'll get a little bit of the benefit of the gravity whether there's truth to that or not I don't know we then clean our garlic same machine as before taking off the hopper just a set of Rotary brushes tends to brush off the skins it also does a bit of the breaking of the roots for me so I do not trim roots I've already trim the stems at this point I don't trim the roots the machine does it for me. It comes out and I've modified the machine to be a set of tapered rollers that that has variable speed on this card it isn't particularly clean because it was too moist but this particular run was it was still too wet when we were running it the drier it is easier it cleans these rollers a slightly tapered so smaller drops out here and drops out easier way to do this if you're doing it in small volumes as to. Is to have a set of nails I should've brought a picture of that you can have. Their varied with sets of nails and you can just put every ball down through there and it passes through the bottom you know it's too big and if you hit a nail too it can be size to fit hits a nail 3 in size 3 we've done fairly quick sizing by hand that way and that's highly functional as well if you're on the volumes once its size we would have already trimmed it we store it we pack it we label it we ship it we send out an invoice hopefully we get paid so this is commercializing the crop larger scale I got a lot to learn my 1st question is do any of you have some tips for me what I should be doing this next year I've used plastic ones too. And I've had I've had rhizome in a Swede screech grass in particular but others as well come up right through the holes that I've planted in and be so dominant that I've reduced the size of my crop that way too it's quite it's quite difficult to weed as well but yes that potentially been a mother problem with the the plastic mulch where I am is I'm getting creek water out of this there's a gully right here I get creek water out and removing the sediment to use drip is proved to be a bit of a challenge Morning-Glory lookalikes will do come out the hole Yes Actually Morning Glory look lights will come out the multo but also the grass will penetrate the mulch it'll actually poke right through yes yes Morning-Glory can can move for an extended period time I know you made a comment in our soil meeting the other day about solar arising and the ability to kill certain plants using the heat generated by black plastics or clear plastics and so on I have. Bind wheat I have a bind weed in my one of my fields I have one patch of bind weed I decided I'm going to full arise this stuff by putting glitter clear greenhouse plastic directly on the soil and I'm going to seal the edges all the way around it destroyed everything everything underneath every square inch of plastic except the vine weed the pine we thrived it grew it had it had a it had burn on all of it surfaces but it was loving it it just took right off yes yes so what he's saying is that day he's had Morning Glory grow underneath plastic for a month or more likely under under black white so white on the bottom black on the top 2 to absorb the heat and yet to block out all the all the light penetration so the Morning Glory continued to grow for a month pulled it off there it was he flamed it he says and he didn't come back I'm going to try that this year. I have another hopefully I can get to it in the next talk but I do want to talk about destruction of weeds rhizome in its weeds vs annual is and so on there are some tips to destroying rhizome as we'd see that work and that work in an organic system have shredded my mulch before that was 4 years ago. And I blew it on don't recommend that I should've because when you blow it on the seeds have a higher velocities are destroyed by the shredding and they have a higher velocity so they tend to go out you know it's the particulate density right the the light chaff comes out of the blower and it slows down quickly all the scenes congregated in circles so had they had these rings of lead pressure you know every time I'd stop the blower and shredder it would create a ring of seed so it was challenging but if I had done it spread it more evenly I could also mechanically weed I think that's a great idea the other thing I could have done is to put on inside edge Chuck silence because it would have already gone through a heap process and killed my that's a that's a dairy style salad undercutting the garlic I'm doing probably an 8 inch you want to be you want to be about 4 inches $2.00 to $4.00 inches under the bottom of the ball. Half an egg or garlic grow sales if you do a good density of good sizing and you do direct retail yourself there's no reason why you shouldn't see $40000.00 offer than this media was brought to you by audio perhaps a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or you'd like to listen to more sermon leave the W.W.W. audio person or.


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