6 Reasons Why Your Garlic Bulbs Are Small

Garlic is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, and while garlic can grow in a variety of settings, those large garlic bulbs can be elusive.

It is fine to have garlic bulbs of different sizes, some small and some large, but if the garlic is consistently small, it is usually a sign of a problem holding them back, such as insufficient watering or weed competition.

You may be thinking: if I did everything right, why didn't my garlic grow as expected? Maybe you are just making a small mistake without realizing it. These are some of the most common reasons for this problem.

1. Large garlic needs room to grow; avoid crowding and weeds.

As with most vegetables, regularly remove weeds from your garlic bed. Garlic can (and should) be mulched after planting with at least 1 inch of straw or leaves to help eliminate weeds.

Garlic is sensitive to competition, even among other species of garlic. Garlic grows best with a minimum of 3 inches (7.6 cm) of space between plants, up to 5 inches (12.7 cm) is recommended.

If you plant garlic in pots or raised beds, leave at least 2 inches of space between the edge of the pot and the garlic so that the developing bulb has enough room to grow.

2. Compacted soil and deep planting can reduce the size of the garlic bulb.

Like all roots, as garlic bulbs develop underground, they expand and displace the soil around them. If the soil itself is very compacted.

The best soil for garlic is sandy loam soil with a lot of organic matter (compost). Since most gardeners don't have ideal soils that are too sandy or too heavy, correcting your soil with compost is the easiest way to make it more suitable for growing garlic as it improves soil structure and adds nutrients and microorganisms. beneficial to the garlic bed.

3. Letting hard-neck scapes grow.

One of the benefits of growing hard garlic is that you can enjoy an early harvest - hard garlic produces a curly flower stalk called a garlic husk. To maximize the size of your garlic bulbs, you must harvest your garlic leaves. They are perfectly edible and have a mild garlic flavor, but can be described as fresh and slightly sweet.

4. Plant the garlic too early or too late.

The best time to plant garlic depends on where you live, but it is 3-6 weeks before the average first frost date. You can plant garlic in early spring, but for best results, plant it in the fall so you can harvest it next summer.

The reason for planting a few weeks before the first frost is to give the garlic cloves enough time for a few roots and a small sprout to grow before the frost kicks in and goes dormant.

5. Garlic requires constant watering to develop full-size bulbs.

Garlic is tolerant of dry soil but takes on fuller and larger bulbs when it doesn't go through dry spells. Although too much water can cause the bulbs to rot, a lack of water damages garlic plants and reduces their productivity.

6. Harvest the garlic after the lower leaves die.

It is difficult to know exactly when to pick garlic, as it does not ripen like most vegetables and is edible at any stage of development. As a general rule, you want to harvest garlic because the plant begins to die again, but before the entire plant has died again.

When the bottom 3-4 leaves have turned yellow, up to about half of the plant's leaves, this is when you will want to harvest the garlic. The upper leaves should still be green or almost green.

We hope you enjoy this video about Reasons Why Your Garlic Bulbs Are Small:

Source: Self Sufficient Me

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