Homegrown garlic didn't develop paper skins

Asked September 30, 2019, 10:26 PM EDT

Hello, I grew Spanish Roja garlic - planted Fall 2018 and harvested Summer 2019. This variety did not develop the paper skins while the other two varieties that I grew did have paper skins at harvest. What can be done? Thank

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

The first question - do different varieties of garlic have different number of skins? i could not find that answer. Genetically that answer is yes, but each variety has a bit different number of skins and/or colors.

Each clove or new garlic planted has X numbers of skins .

I couldn't find anyone that has counted the skins at pre plant or before planting.

Each clove can have different numbers of skins.

From OSU veggie experts, each time you water the garlic plant, a "skin" layer goes away. So if it is a wet spring or you have to irrigate a lot in the summer, a lot of the skins go away. Your Rojo suffered more skin loss.

So the answer is irrigation or weather related and variety. But the Rojo may have started out with fewer skins.

So in the spring, dig up different garlics and see how many skins are left after the winter rains. The fewer the skins, the less you can irrigate before the the heads split open. However, that is not bad unless you are selling the garlic.

So there are a lot of factors happening here, many as I am sure that have never been thought of before. END FACTOR - the Rojo or other thin skinned garlic; with few spring skins, the heads split. You do have the cloves. But the cloves for the fall also may have fewer skins because of the wet spring and/or summer.