Joseph, Open this up large and look at this picture carefully. This is your garlic. These are not bubils but flowers. But, do they have pollen?
Holly: My garlic is far enough along to be able to confirm that there were 0.2% elephant garlic cloves among the garlics that I planted. Pretty sad when my elephant garlic cloves ends up smaller than regular garlic. I think that I'll get them fully separated this fall.
Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Jul 8, 2012 1:06:10 GMT -5
I have been reading up on the induction of garlic scapes and seeds. I have come up with a tentative method to try for inducing flowering even in softneck garlics....
1- Store the bulbs for a couple months in the refrigerator before planting. (This preconditions the bulbs to be more likely to set scapes.) 2- Plant as normal in the fall. 3- While it is still cold in the garden and days are short, and when the plants are at about the 7 leaf stage (about April 25th, 5 weeks before last spring frost) expose them to 16 hours of light per day for one week by installing temporary lighting above the garlic bed. The long photoperiod may trigger scape initiation. The cooler temperatures at this time of year favor the formation of flowers instead of topsets.
I have been finding topsets/flowers growing inside the false stem on some of my soft-necked garlics. It seems like these would be ideal candidates for testing this treatment. Also it would be nice to find a method that inhibits topsets so that they don't have to be removed manually.
That's interesting Joseph. So, all the genetics appear to be there for flower production and hence seeds. It would appear it's just a matter of finding the right sequence of environmental factors to trigger each phase. Since I have a small garden, compared to yours, I don't mind checking the flower scapes regularly to remove bulbils. If you decide to go ahead and do this though I will follow with interest.
Ray Silty loam over clay, pH 5.5, altitude 1000m, latitude 30deg south, 150 frost free days.
Oddly enough I was just discussing garlic seeds yesterday with an old Russian gentleman. He says the secret to getting seeds in Russia was to plant some garlic in the shade on the north side of a building. We didn't discuss any other details.
Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Jul 11, 2012 23:40:47 GMT -5
The manipulating environmental conditions for garlic flowering is a project for another year. For this year I am removing bulbils from flower heads. I might cut some and put in a bucket of water under a shade tree.
Post by Joseph Lofthouse on Aug 4, 2012 19:05:15 GMT -5
I have been removing bulbils from garlic flowers. Today I counted de-bulbiled stalks that seem like they have flowers on them with the potential of forming seeds. There are 34 stalks that look viable, and about 4 dozen that don't. I am keeping them watered. I counted 6 species of pollinators during a quick walk-through. In addition, there are about a dozen stalks growing in a bucket of water in the shade.