Row by Row Episode 71: Growing Shallots, Leeks, Garlic, and Onions

Viewer Questions Answered

Since several of our viewers have questions about growing shallots, leeks, onions, and garlic the guys decided to answer all your questions on this week’s episode. The first question the guys answer is when to plant Vidalia onions in the garden. According to Greg, if you are direct seeding go ahead and plant them in the garden. If you are transplanting Vidalia onions, you can transplant anytime in November. The next question is should elephant garlic seed be cold chilled or stratified for 8 to 10 weeks before planting? In the South, our temperatures never get cold enough to vernalize it so the hard neck garlic or soft neck garlic will stratify. With elephant garlic, you do not have to place into cold temperatures before planting because it will stratify whether we get a cold winter or not. The third question mentioned is what size plots do the guys have in their gardens. In Greg’s garden, he has a couple of different plots that range from 20×15, 30×40, and 40×60. Travis mentions that the garden plots are typically average around 1,000 to 1,500 square feet. The next question is wondering the best time to plant English peas and sugar snaps in the garden. Travis says that as soon as the weather conditions stop being higher than 90 degrees, he will begin planting English peas for the Fall. Another question a viewer has is whether or not garlic has any pest problems when growing in the garden. Greg has only experienced aphid problems on garlic, but no tremendous problems where it affects the garlic. He mentions that he has never treated elephant garlic or onions with a pesticide in the past. The sixth question is how many plantable cloves of the elephant garlic per pound and can you plant on double rows. Travis counts the cloves and normally between 10 to 12 cloves come per pound and he does plan to plant them in double rows in the vegetable garden. In the past, Greg has planted shallots using the dibble wheel and he plans to do it again this year. Travis mentions you can plant shallots and onion transplants using the dibble wheel. The next question the guy’s answer is if mustard plants will kill off root-knot nematodes. According to Travis, mustard plants will kill root-knot nematodes due to the release of glucosinolates. However, the spicier the mustard the better off it will kill the nematodes, so he suggest using Florida Broadleaf. The ninth question talks about how to cut cover crops in so they won’t come back in the garden. Greg says the only cover crop that is invasive and you could have problems with reseeding is Buckwheat. Just make to cut the seed pods and incorporate it back into the garden before they bloom and mature. Another question related to removing cover crops from the garden is can animals eat them down. Travis mentions that you can certainly get animals such as goats, chickens, pigs, and cows in the area to help remove cover crops from the garden area. The last question the guys discuss is whether they are using any nitrogen-fixing inoculants with the cover crops. Greg mentions that if you have a situation where you have been planting legume varieties for a long period of time the beneficial bacteria is already present in the soil. If it is a new area that you are planting a legume, then he would add a nitrogen-fixing inoculate to the garden soil.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, Greg and Travis try some garlic dill pickles and jambalaya pickled okra that a viewer sent them from George Farms in Texas. This week, Greg has planted Sweet Harvest onions in his onion bed.

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