Okay. I need some help! I should preface with the fact that this is my first year vegetable gardening, and I feel a little overwhelmed (although all I'm growing - or trying to - is garlic, beets and spinach).
In regards to my garlic, I am at a total loss. Here's the scoop:
We had a VERY late spring here (most planting didn't happen until mid-June). I know garlic is best planted in the fall, but I read that you can plant in the spring as well. I planted some garlic in a pot outside, and some in my vegetable garden as well. I planted a few cloves in the pot as I was told that since our winters are so harsh, I could try bringing it into our basement and letting it go 'dormant'. However I also planted some in my garden so that come harvest time I could compare which was better.
I got my garlic at Rona, however I'm not sure if it's softneck or hardneck (although based on my research I *think* it's softneck).
All of the garlic in the pot 'sprouted', in that they all grew very thin, grass-like extensions, and about half of them in the vegetable garden sprouted the same sort of thing.
I recently noticed that all of the 'sprouts' in the pot are completely gone, and all but one of the grass-like sprouts in the vegetable garden are gone (and the one that is remaining is lying flat on the ground).
I expressed this concern to my roommate, who gave me a clove of hardneck garlic to try planting, and so I planted it in a spare spot in the pot - and it shot up with huge scapes (or what I assume are scapes, as they look like all the images on google, but different than what the other cloves I planted look like) right away - and is still going strong.
SO. As it stands, my pot still has a bunch of cloves in it, but only one (the singular hardneck) has anything coming out above the soil, and the other cloves no longer have anything growing above the soil level.
In my vegetable garden, there are still multiple cloves as well, but only one has the 'grass' sprouted out of it, laying flat on the ground.
So here are my questions:
1 - what was the grass-like extensions growing out of the garlic I planted in June? They aren't scapes...they look very different.
2 - Whatever they are - those 'sprouts' - what happened to them, and does that mean that the garlic underneath is no longer healthy and growing?
3 - When should I 'harvest' the garlic that I've planted in the vegetable garden? Should I mulch the vegetable garden and pick it next summer (in which case it will have been in the ground for a year), or should I harvest it this fall and replant some cloves for a spring harvest?
4 - What should I do with the pot? Mulch it and leave it outside like the vegetable garden, and harvest it next year? Or bring it inside and let it go 'dormant', and harvest it next year?
I'm SO sorry for all of these questions. I really thought I had an idea of what to do at the beginning of the summer, but I've been told so many contrasting things and now I'm just so confused.
If anybody out there has had the patience to read this far through, thank you! And if you could answer my questions, it would be greatly appreciated as well!
PS - I am in Zone 3a, and our winters here are the among the coldest in the world (I'm in Winnipeg, Canada).