Leaving garlic alone for a few years? May 30, 2016 18:41:08 GMT -5
Post by olddutch on May 30, 2016 18:41:08 GMT -5
In general this is correct, except if you are leaving hardnecks in place, they will bulbil out and spread themselves around in clumps from the bulbils if not from the bulbs and may do this as one feral I found in nw Iowa did for nearly 30 years. The eventual bulbs I recollected were the size of a quarter but still had half a dozen tiny cloves as well as a full head of decent sized bulbils. When the scape stems finally fall over they space themselves out quite well. Over the past several years, by removing the scapes and autumn planting in rich beds, I have increased the bulb size by about 3 times. The bulbs are still only about middling average, nothing like the size of a Japanese or a Music, but comparing pretty well to VietNamese Red.
Ferals get collected from all over the US; so I do not find the one I discovered to be all that unique. I would not necessarily expect your neglected garlics to stay put in one place, either, especially not if they were hardnecks.
Softnecks are quite likely to run out, but I would expect some clumps to spread and eventually show open centers, and those that actually did scape by accident would likely produce bulbils and there are quite often neck bulbils in softnecks as well. Garlics survive complete neglect surprisingly well, often better than mediocre culture.
I garden in Zone 4/5 in urban Minneapolis. The collected feral came from heavy good rich black dirt soil in zone 4 in far NW Iowa.