I have been having some very early garlic harvesting this year. I dug the first batch up on May 31, after finding all the plants in one earthbox had suddenly “keeled over”.
I have never seen this happen before, but I took that as a signal to go ahead and harvest.
Some of my garlic has developed multiple scapes this year. The photos below are from Ontario Purple Trillium, but they were not the only plant affected by this. I harvested all the scapes and was amazed to come out and find more of them emerging, not just one extra, but several from each plant. I love scapes, so can’t complain, but I was a little concerned about what it might mean for the garlic developing below ground.
You can see a a couple of examples in the photos below (and keep in mind, when these photos were taken, I had already harvested scapes from every garlic in the box – so all of these are “extras”):
Another unusual thing the garlic did this year was putting up more leaves than usual, not the usual broad leaves, but thin little “extra” leaves.
So I went hunting on the internet to see what this might be, and found one website that mentions having the exact same phenomenon last year, (2012) both with extra scapes and the additional smaller leaves. (though not the keeling over) They have a theory, that early warm weather in March, followed by multiple freezes in April, caused the garlic to perceive that it had gone through and extra year. We had some summer-like 70 degree weather very early in the season, I don’t recall the exact dates – and it was followed by cold and rain, if not a lot of freezing. So this may indeed be what has happened.
I have harvested 3 earthboxes already, and the garlic looks great. Varieties that have been harvested are Chinese Purple, Music and Ontario Purple Trillium.