On some varieties of winter garlic, so-called arrows are formed, which many gardeners are trying to remove in a timely manner. They are designed to ripen the seeds. In the future, it will be possible to collect seed from the inflorescences. But, many gardeners do not set themselves the goal of collecting seeds. In addition, the formation of arrows takes a lot of energy from garlic. Therefore, to increase yields, it is customary to pick them. From this the question follows: when to remove the arrows from winter garlic?
Why you need to pick off the arrows from garlic
Winter garlic varieties are fully ripe by mid-July. Arrows begin to appear on plants sometime in the first week of June, just after all the feathers have formed. Arrows are located in the center of the neck of the bulb. Because of this location, all nutrients are directed to it. Thus, the plant fulfills its biological role - the formation of seeds.
This whole process requires a lot of different minerals. At first, the plant gives all its strength to the formation of the arrow itself, and then directs all the rest to the formation of seeds. It follows from this that it is necessary to pluck the arrows from the garlic even before the plant begins to bloom. This is the only way to save the necessary nutrients for the growth of fruits.
Firstly, garlic with arrows is significantly delayed in growth and mature fruits will have to wait several weeks longer. And secondly, the yield drops dramatically. Of the expected number of fruits, it will be possible to collect only a third. Experienced gardeners have noticed that as soon as the arrows appear, the plants immediately slow down in growth.
Attention! One has only to remove unwanted shoots, as the garlic immediately gains strength and again begins to actively grow and increase in size.
Do not rush to remove absolutely all arrows from the plants. Some gardeners use them to determine whether the garlic is ripe or not. A cracked seed pod indicates that the fruit can already be harvested. Plants with the arrows left can be left and then collected seeds for sowing.
When to delete
There are 2 most common opinions on when to pick arrows off garlic. They both have their pros and cons. So, let's take a look at each of them separately:
- It is necessary to cut off unwanted shoots immediately after their appearance. On the one hand, this method ensures that the appearance of the arrow does not in any way affect the growth and development of the bulb. But at the same time, very soon the shoot will germinate again and you will have to repeat the procedure. Perhaps, during the entire vegetative period, it will be necessary to repeat what has been done more than once.
- You can pluck the arrows after they begin to twist. In this case, the shoot will definitely not germinate again, since it simply does not have enough time before harvesting. However, during its growth, the arrow will have time to select a large amount of nutrients.
As you can see, it is very difficult to find the ideal time to remove shoots. Nevertheless, it is customary to pluck the arrows at a time when they have not yet managed to grow more than 15 cm in length. For such a period, they will not cause severe damage to the growth of the plant. In addition, the likelihood of re-germination is lower.
From the above, one thing is clear that it is imperative to pluck the arrows off the garlic. And how exactly you do this depends only on you. Some can remove shoots several times per season, others pluck practically formed arrows.
Important! The main thing is not to allow the garlic to bloom. In this case, you can not expect a good harvest.
How to cut off correctly
It is impossible to say exactly how to break off the shoots correctly. You can just choose a method that is convenient for yourself. In this case, in no case should you pull out the shoots, as this can damage the stem itself. At first, it may seem that the plant has not been harmed in any way. But, soon the stem begins to turn yellow and dry out.
Warning! By pulling out the arrows, you can uproot the entire plant.
The best option would be to simply pinch off the shoot at the base or break it. Some gardeners argue that due to uneven breakdown, in this case, the plant will heal for a long time. Those who find this to be a serious problem can use special gardening tools. For example, pruning shears or garden shears are suitable for these purposes. Special tools can not be dispensed with even if the arrows have become numb. While young shoots are easily cut off even with a kitchen knife.
It is best to remove shoots in the morning in sunny weather. Then, during the day, the cut site can dry out completely. The shoot should not be cut off at the very base, but slightly higher (about 1 cm). This is done in order not to harm the stem itself.
Attention! The remote arrows are commonly used in cooking for the preparation of many dishes and preservation.
Now there are definitely no those who still doubt whether it is necessary to remove unwanted shoots from garlic. As you can see, arrows only slow down the growth and development of fruits. Many people remove shoots by hand; for some, such cleaning is carried out only with the help of special tools. The main thing is to remove the shoots in time, otherwise the garlic bed will not only lose its attractive appearance, but also will not bring the expected harvest. Below you can also watch a video showing how some gardeners perform this procedure.