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Messages - GarlicFarmer

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General Discussion / Re: Planted Garlic
« on: November 29, 2017, 10:19:22 PM »
     Glad your garlic is in the ground.  We just planted 4200 Spanish Roja cloves today.  Our ground is bare now and we are lucky to be able to plant.  Tonight it will drop to 22 degrees.  We will just be waiting till March before we see any green shoots.

     Randy Holdredge

General Discussion / Re: What did you do in the garden today ?
« on: November 18, 2017, 09:07:14 AM »
     Going out to plant 7000 cloves of garlic, mostly German Red.  Temp is 37 degrees with rain turning to snow this evening.  Hope to plant more next week before were snowed in till Spring.

     Randy Holdredge

General Discussion / Re: Planting Garlic
« on: November 01, 2017, 09:07:52 PM »

     I lay down some 13-13-13 and mix in row before I plant in Fall (now).  I drop 400 lbs per acre,  which with 30' rows means 17,424 row feet.  This means sprinkle a cup of fertilizer every 10 feet .  I use my 2 row corn planter with fertilizer in fertilizer hoppers and the seed hoppers empty.  This lays out my row spacing and I make hills over the rows and plant into the hills or ridges.

Hope this helps.

Randy Holdredge

General Discussion / Re: Garlic selection and purchase
« on: October 03, 2017, 09:40:06 AM »

     Find a local Farmer's Market or roadside market and buy garlic that is locally grown.  This will give you a good chance it will grow for you as well.  The garlic type "Creole" may be a Hardneck but usually grow well in Southern climates.  The garlic at grocery stores are sometimes treated to prevent sprouting and usually don't grow as well as garlic from a local source.

     A lot of garlic is available online, but will usually be expensive compared to market garlic.

     Plant each clove with 1" - 2" of soil over it and space 5" - 8" apart.  I plant 8"- 9" apart.  I recommend rows be 15" or more apart.  I use triple 13 (13-13-13) fertilizer worked in before I plant.  This fertilizer is high in sulfur as many others are not.  Sulfur gives the garlic that bite or strong garlic taste.

     Remove flower stalks (scapes), after they are longer than 6", here that's mid June.  Dig up garlic when 40% - 50% of leaves are brown.  Here that is anytime in July.    Hang up in airy, shaded area to cure for 2-3 weeks for best taste.

     Plant in full sun and water 1" a week if rain isn't enough.  Plant in well drained soil where water doesn't stand or "pond".

     Good Luck,

     Randy Holdredge  (Hooke 'n Crooke Garden Tools)

General Discussion / Re: Finally dug all that garlic.
« on: June 30, 2017, 02:53:51 PM »

     Great job! Your garlic looks great.  Next year they might be even bigger.
Thanks for the post and pictures.  Glad it grew well in your area as it usually grown in colder climates and requires some cold  temperatures to form cloves.

     Nice that you cleaned up the bulbs.  The garlic will taste much better in three weeks after it has cured.  Hang up with the stalks on until they are dry then you can cut off the stems leaving them 2" - 3" long which keep the bulbs from drying out and give leverage when you break them apart for use.


     Randy Holdredge

General Discussion / Re: Triple 13
« on: March 18, 2017, 07:40:01 AM »
     I use Triple 13 because it contains some sulfur in it that is good for my garlic as well as other plants.  Most of the others like 19-19-19 don't have the sulfur in them.


General Discussion / Re: Merry Christmas!
« on: December 24, 2016, 09:50:13 AM »
     and a Happy New Year!

General Discussion / Re: What did you do in the garden today ?
« on: November 20, 2016, 07:44:13 AM »
Got Lucky!
     Just planted the last of the garlic yesterday in 62 degree weather.  A few hours later it started to rain and snowed 3" overnight.  The fields will be a wet mess or frozen from here to Spring.  This means we will have a Garlic Season next year.

     It takes a month just to split open the 6000 bulbs into cloves for planting.  We still have 500 bulbs of Spanish Roja that we couldn't get to.  At least we will have plenty for cooking with.

     We planted 15,000 cloves Friday and the remaining 13,500 Saturday.  This is the most we have ever planted and our total planted is about 52,000 cloves.  The field is about 3 acres.  Now, we have all winter to figure out how to harvest and sell it next summer.

     A couple of years ago we missed our window by one day and the cloves molded in the cellar and could not be planted in the Spring.  That put us out of business for two years and now were back in business.

     Think of us if you need garlic.  We should have a little.

     Randy & Jo Ann & Scott

General Discussion / Re: I got a garlic question!
« on: September 20, 2016, 09:03:51 AM »

     Everyone was giving you good advice so I had no need to comment except for one point.  I would not leave the tips of the bulbs above ground over the winter.  Mulch your garlic with 2" to 6" of loose material to protect them from hungry critters and to protect them from a hard freeze.  You can use leaves, grass clippings, quality hay without weed seeds, straw or other organic matter.  The mulch will keep the soil warmer by providing air to help insulate the garlic.

     I plant garlic in New York State which should be similar to your area.  We plant in the Fall, 3 to six weeks before a hard freeze.  This gives enough time for the garlic to put down roots which help it survive the winter.  Roots will grow well at around 60 F and can grow 2 feet deep in loose soil.  Ideally, we want root growth and no sprout. A sprout may get freeze damage and slow growth.  We want the root growth but not the sprouting.  This is why we usually wait till October (Columbus Day weekend) to plant.  Planting later will work, but won't give the time for the root growth we want.  If you plant earlier as in Aug. or Sept. use more mulch to cover the sprouts.  You could shake on 2 feet of hay and it will be OK.  In the Spring, the mulch will be compressed, so remove the mulch from around each plant to let the soil warm and not help fungus get started on the plant.  Mulch should be left elsewhere for weed suppression.

     Some growers recommend adding some nitrogen in the first week of May to help with leaf growth.  I have always wanted to do this but never have.  If I get my Side Dresser working I may next May.

     Here, in Mid-June the Hardneck Garlic will send up a "scape" or flower stalk.  I recommend letting this coil and remove it by breaking or cutting it off just above the tallest leaf before it uncoils.  I have found, for my conditions, I will get 30% bigger bulb growth.

     On or around June 21, when the days start to get shorter, the garlic will really begin to "bulb up".  Each time you see a lower leaf die, think of it as the bulb getting bigger.  Harvest will be when 50% of the plant is brown and 50% is still green.  In New York this can be anytime in July and may be different for each type of garlic.  I count green leaves and harvest when I have 6 green leaves left on the upper part of the plant.  I don't have loose soil so I loosen if first before trying to "pull" the garlic.

     Remove "peel away" the lowest green leaf down over the bulb.  This should get rid of the soil which may contain fungus and give you a shinny new bulb.  Hang the bulbs up in bunches of 10 or less in an airy area out of direct sun.  When you bend the leaves and they break, the garlic is cured.  This is the time to flavor will be its best.  Enjoy.

Randy Holdredge


     Your garlic looks great.  Next year they should be much bigger.  Break off or cut off the flower stalks (scapes), after they coil,  just above the highest leaf.  This usually gives them a 30% increase in size.  The timing would be about 3-4 weeks ago, so next year you'll have a reference time to look forward to.  Break them off after they coil but before the straighten out.

     Glad for your success!

     Randy Holdredge


     I use a MaterMacc, 2 row vacuum planter.  They offer a single row, self-propelled, vacuum planter.  Plates are available for usually $40.00 each and each will plant many types of seeds.  With six plates you can plant almost anything but garlic.  The machine is about $2650.00 and is available from Market Farm Implement in PA.  I don't think it is on their website but call (814-443-1931) and they will tell you about it.  The model is MaterMacc MSJ and you can Google it.  It will space the seeds in 1/4" spacing from 1"-3" spacing with the right plate and gear ratio.

     It is amazing to walk behind a self-propelled machine and drop 1 carrot seed every 1.5" or what ever spacing you choose.  This saves so much seed and is so fast.  It also has adjustable depth.

     I know it is too expensive for most people but it is an option that most people don't know about.

     Randy Holdredge

Tools and Equipment / Re: Help needed to buy a Hooke and Crooke hoe
« on: March 28, 2016, 10:27:38 AM »

     Hi Vince, I noticed your post and asked if we (Holdredge Enterprises, LLC) could get a tool to you.  I suggested that we could ship just the "tool head" and you could put your own handle on.  This would require drilling a .625" (5/8") hole, 3 1/4" deep and filling the voids with epoxy after the tang is installed.

     Please send us your full shipping address: street, town, zip and we will calculate charges.  The standard box for 1-4 tools would probably cost way too much but we will see.  It usually only cost a couple dollars more to ship 4 tools with handles than it does one.  The box is charged by length, width, and height and although it weighs only 3 lbs it is charge for 12 lbs by UPS etc. because of the space it takes in the truck.

     Please let use know which tool(s) you want, Honey Bee with 4" blade or Heron (recommended) with 6" blade and quantity you want.

     Email back

Thanks,  Randy Holdredge

General Discussion / Re: Heirloom Seeds
« on: February 26, 2016, 06:43:09 PM »

     There is a website that does searches on seeds, who has them and how much.  I went to and found the "stick up cowpea" at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  This is a good site that can help find a lot of sources for seeds, not all but many.  It is a good tool that I thought you should be aware of.


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