Onions, douze points. Garlic, nul points

Onions drying after harvestProbably my best ever crop of onions. They’re nearly all big and sound; only had to eat two in a hurry (they had a bit of mildew and wouldn’t store).

The garlic, on the other hand, has been my worst ever crop. A total rust disaster.

Tiny garlic bulbsThese are the biggest bulbs I could harvest – only a dozen from two 15ft rows. I’m a bit gutted, but it’s hardly a surprise. The garlic has been getting more and more badly affected by rust every year.

So, albeit with a heavy heart, I’m making a Big Decision: I’m giving up on garlic. I’m a big believer in the WC Fields axiom: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then give up. No point making a damn fool of yourself.”

12 Responses to “Onions, douze points. Garlic, nul points”

  1. Carrie Says:

    It takes a strong person to walk away when a plant is mocking them, refusing to grow even though you really want it too. Bast*rds. Touched a raw nerve there, for me it’s Brassica ~ never again!

  2. walnut tree allotment Says:

    Hey Soilman
    I share your grief with the garlic – I’ve had little or very limited success with the stuff over the past two years – but have had great results with onions.
    Regards S

  3. Greenmantle Says:

    Further to our recent discussions on the future of on-line journalism at Freelance unbound, and the likely success or failure of paid content, there was a very good and heated debate about this, and other online issue on Radio 4 the other day.

    I think the show is called “Media Watch” or someting similar, at was on Weds Lunchtime 5th Aug. If you didn’t catch it it’s worth a “listen again” on I-player. Second half of the show from about 1:30pm onwards.


  4. maureen Says:

    Don’t give up !! mine weren’t too good last year, but this years, planted last autumn, were fantastic. I grew ‘Cristo’ these were the biggest, and also Isle of wight garlic, which was good but not as big as Cristo.
    Have one more go before giving in.

  5. Tanya Walton Says:

    I didn’t grow garlic after my disaster last year…I got absolutely nothing…couldn’t even find what i had planted!!! Maybe I will give it a go next year though.

  6. Susan Says:

    Is there a crop you can plant now or next year in it’s place to fix the soil and then plant garlic the following? For instance onions love being planted in the same spot as lettuce was the previous year/crop.

    Also I wanted to mention I love how you used the green house to dry the onions, great multi use idea for it. Makes me want to get one myself!

  7. Soilman Says:

    Carrie: The only thing that makes brassicas ungrowable is club root. If you haven’t got that, you CAN grow them (it’s just a pain in the arse)!!

    Greenmantle: Thanks for the tip. I’ll check it out. Had lunch with a pal at the Telegraph today who says there’s a growing realisation there – previously impossible, because of ostriching – that they are on a sinking ship.

    Susan: I have no choice – I live in a tiny house with a tiny garden and Mrs Soilman has banned me from drying the onions in the house or garage…!

  8. Matron Says:

    I can’t do garlic either. I know HOW it should be done, but it just doesn’t want to for me.

  9. Jacquie Says:

    Hey Soilman!

    Yup, I’m still around and getting back into the swing of things with blogging and gardening. You’ve dome well as usual, and it’s a shame about your garlic. I’m sitting here thinking if I can grow garlic, then so can you! Give a small amount another try this autumn or next spring, they are easy! I think it also depends on the sets you get. I could have given up on onions after planting perfect looking sets bought on ebay which did diddly squat, but my faith got restored by sets bought in the spring and planted in haste from Marshalls which have done fabulously even though they are a tad small in size. It’s all relative mister, keep trying. You’ll succeed next time, I know you will!

  10. Soilman Says:

    Thanks for optimism, Jacquie. I fear, though, that the time for it has passed. Six years of garlic growing and six failures later, I know when I’m beaten!

  11. Lucy @ Smallest Smallholding Says:

    Just try growing it in a big pot. A well-drained rather large pot, perhaps?

  12. Soilman Says:

    You know, Lucy, that is a bloody genius suggestion. And such an obviously brilliant one. So brilliant that it didn’t even cross my mind.

    Thanks for a top, top idea. I’ll grow the buggers in pots in my garden next year… er, just like I used to before I got an allotment.