Garlic originated in central Asia, where they have cold winters and damp springs.Today's hardneck varieties still prefer these conditions and are favored by northern growers.Luckily, softneck varieties developed from the hardnecks can be grown in warmer climates.Garlic can be propagated from bulbils, but you’ll need to wait two years for the plants to develop.Garlic can be propagated from bulbils, but you’ll need to wait two years for the plants to develop.All purple striped garlic varieties exhibit some stripping, but that's where the similarity ends.Porcelain Garlic: Features a plump bulb with only a few fat cloves.Porcelains are covered in a very thick outer skin, making them a good choice for storing.'Georgian Crystal' is at the mild end in flavor while 'Romanian Red' has a hot, lingering tanginess.Silverskins: This type of garlic has silvery, white skins and is composed of many small cloves.Very mild in flavor, it's great for diners who haven't quite warmed to the taste of garlic.Your garlic will still grow, planted pointed side down, but the shoot will have to curve around you will wind up with a malformed bulb.Most experts believe the scapes drain energy that would otherwise go into bulb development, resulting in a smaller yield.Other garlic growers feel allowing the scapes to remain until they turn woody results in a better-storing bulb.Once the soil temperature has cooled off to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the roots of the garlic clove will start to germinate and begin to take hold and anchor the plant.Without sufficient time to grow good roots, the garlic plants will heave out of the ground.A three to four-inch layer of mulch applied after the ground freezes will also help prevent heaving.You may have planted a small clove, but the bulb is now several inches deep with a strong root system.When to harvest garlic is a judgment call, but a good sign that it’s ready to go is when the lower leaves start to brown.Leave the bulbs in the ground too long and the cloves may be bursting out of their skins, making them unable to be stored.If you are experimenting with several varieties, Artichokes mature first, then Rocamboles, Purple Stripes, Porcelains, and finally Silverskins.Garlic likes to be stored in cool temperatures, as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit.Store bulbs for replanting at room temperature, with a fairly high humidity of about 70 percent. .
How to Plant and Grow Garlic
And as a natural pest and fungus deterrent, it makes a powerful companion to a variety of plants, from herbs and veggies to flowers and fruit trees.Revered throughout antiquity for its cultural significance and healing potential, entire books and festivals have been dedicated solely to growing this vegetable – and many more to eating it!A bulbous perennial, garlic is a species in the genus Allium, with close cousins including chives, leeks, onions, and shallots.It grows 18-24 inches tall, and the head, or bulb, is a storage organ used for fuel reserves to prepare for adverse and wintery conditions.The flat, grass-like leaves and segmented bulbs are highly aromatic, and typically grown as an annual in herb and vegetable gardens.If left to grow, the umbels – or flower heads – open to reveal showy, star shaped blooms in shades of pink and white.While you can grow from these seeds, propagation from mature cloves is the preferred method, having the best success rate and usually resulting in larger bulbs.While growth is simple and straightforward, garlic’s signature taste is bold and complex – one of the reasons why it’s beloved in almost every global cuisine.It’s harder to braid hardnecks, but you get a different bonus from this subspecies: the delicious scapes, or flower stems and buds, a culinary darling that we’ll get to later!Some studies, like this review from the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine published in 2014, show that allicin exhibits powerful antibiotic and antimicrobial effects, such as killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi.This means you won’t find these fantastic antimicrobial properties in dried powder, or even in cooked cloves from your own garden.An extensive, multicultural tale of epic proportions, in its wild form, it was first used as a food source by our foraging ancestors.Domesticated and cultivated in the Middle East some 7,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indians, and numerous others embraced it as an irreplaceable condiment, food, and even medicine.The first recorded reference circa 1550 BC is found in the “Codex Ebers,” a medical text used by priests in ancient Egypt.In India, it was an important and powerful Ayurvedic remedy – Ayurveda being a healing tradition that is still practiced today, utilizing both food and herbs as medicine.For more information on the fascinating history of garlic, check out journalist Michael Castleman’s “The New Healing Herbs: The Essential Guide to More than 125 of Nature’s Most Potent Herbal Remedies,” available on Amazon.Annual growth from cloves, the individual bulb pieces, is the preferred propagation method of both commercial growers and the home gardener.Choose large, firm bulbs free from brown patches, soft spots, or shriveling, and with the exterior paper tunic still intact.One of the first crops to emerge in spring, garlic thrives in well-draining, fertile soil with a loamy texture, and requires full sun to produce the biggest bulbs.The ideal conditions to stimulate bulb formation require exposure to 40-50°F temperatures for a period of 6-12 weeks over the winter months.Vernalization occurs naturally in regions with cold winters, but in milder areas, several weeks of storage in the produce drawer of your refrigerator will provide the required temperatures and humidity levels.Spring sowing is not recommended because bulb formation halts in hot temperatures, and garlic requires a long growth period.This late growing period gives them a nice head start, with explosive growth triggered by warm spring temperatures.A raised bed improves drainage and can be beneficial in areas with high rainfall levels or heavy soil.Bulbs require only moderate to average water levels, and benefit from a thick, 6-inch layer of dry mulch such as clean straw, evergreen boughs, or fern fronds added when you plant them.In summer, adding a layer of mulch helps to retain moisture, maintains cool soil temperatures, and keeps weeds down.One of the most effective companion crops for the garden, garlic’s high sulfur signature is a natural pest and fungus repellent.A soil borne fungus, avoid planting wounded or damaged cloves, and rotate allium crops annually to reduce the chance of infection.Provide excellent drainage, proper spacing, and adequate air circulation to avoid welcoming conditions.This fungal infection is the result of poor storage of seed stock, and planting wounded or bruised cloves.This disease is exhibited by fluffy, fuzzy fungal growth on the stem and bulb of plants that quickly causes them to rot and die.Curing is the term for the thorough drying required for flavors to develop fully, and it helps to ensure a long storage life, free from discoloration and rot.This is called “green garlic,” something you might see at restaurants or farmers markets, and it makes a delicious alternative to the bulb type.Or, you can clip them off after harvest – just make sure you leave 7 or more inches of stalk attached to the bulb, which will help it to cure by drawing moisture away from the cloves.If you clipped your garlic instead, store it in loose piles in containers that permit airflow – preferably in breathable crates, boxes, or shelves.Check the progress daily – once the paper-like skin starts to peel away but the cloves still feel firm, you’ll know they’re ready.You can then cut off any leftover plant material and store as you like – in a dry basket in a cool, dark cupboard, or in a paper bag in the fridge.Being careful to keep them intact and without breaking them up into cloves, set aside the largest heads in a dark and dry place for use as seed next year.For the ultimate French fry or veggie dip, try Foodal’s homemade garlic aioli – it’s full of delicious flavor.Raw cloves can have an overwhelming flavor and heat, and consuming them might cause indigestion or stomach cramps in some individuals, so be cautious.Some studies (like this one) have found, however, that a cold-water press of the cloves, such as in a warm or cold tea, can retain some allicin, and may work as a mild antimicrobial tisane.According to this study, consuming garlic regularly as a culinary herb provides allicin and other beneficial phytonutrients that may boost health and immunity.Among herbalists and alternative medicine practitioners, there is a lengthy tradition behind garlic’s use as a topical antiseptic, cold and flu fighter, digestive healer, and tonic – and it’s still employed by some naturopaths for combating various ailments, even stomach ulcers and parasites. .
What Kind of Garlic Varieties Should You Plant?
You can plant a large amount in a small space, it doesn’t have many pests or diseases, and it loves cold weather.And if you live in a very cold climate like mine in Wisconsin, you’ll be pleased to hear that it survives harsh winters like a champ.As a bonus, if you plant the right garlic varieties it can store for many months in your home, allowing you to use it as the base for delicious meals all year round.Softnecks tend to store for longer periods of time than hardnecks and they grow well in most climates.Hardnecks produce a scape, or stalk, in late spring that grows from the center of the plant.Because the outer paper on the bulb is thinner they won’t store as long as softneck garlic.Personally, I don’t like to deal with peeling and chopping lots of tiny cloves, so I grow only hardneck varieties in my garden.At our house, we cook from scratch most nights of the week and our dishes usually start with garlic and onions being thrown into a cast iron pan.In fact, when a recipe calls for one clove of garlic we scoff and throw in one bulb instead.220 might seem like a lot, but we give a bunch away to family and friends, and we save some of our harvest for planting that fall.Once you start growing garlic you can save a portion of the bulbs for planting instead of having to buy new seed every year.That means if you’re growing garlic for the first time you should plan to have seed by October so you’re ready for planting.Instead, shop at your local farmers market for seed garlic or order some online.Music : Hardneck Porcelain variety with big cloves, long storage life, widely grown.Romanian Red: Hardneck Porcelain variety with purplish coloring on the skins, big cloves, great for storage.This article includes a video of my annual garlic planting with extra tips!I freeze garlic scape pesto in jars and we eat it all winter long on egg dishes, pasta, pizza, tacos and more.Find my favorite garden varieties, supplies, books, tools and more in my Etsy list and Amazon storefront.Pick one or two garlic varieties that looking interesting, place your order and put it on your fall to-do list this season. .
The Complete Guide to Growing Garlic
Also, heads of garlic can last for a long time when properly cured and stored, so they can be used in the kitchen and enjoyed for months longer than many other vegetables from the garden.And that fresh scape is a delicious treat that you can enjoy many weeks before the garlic head is ready to cook with.You can mince garlic scapes to make pesto, grill them, saute them, mix them in with stir-fry — or even use them in soup.Most varieties of hardneck garlic fall into one of three categories: Rocambole, porcelain and purple stripe, but there is even more diversity than that, including Creole and Asiatic.Meanwhile, elephant garlic, which is particularly large, is a different species altogether and can be grown successfully in the North or South.The garlic that you find at your local grocery store is almost always from China or California and, though it depends on where you live, there is a good chance it is not suited to grow in your region.In the South, October is an ideal time but you could wait until November, December or even January.Either way, garlic will grow best and produce the biggest heads when planted in soil that drains readily and is rich in organic matter.But do not add fertilizer at planting time, as it may stimulate vigorous growth early on that will be damaged when winter weather sets in.If you wish to fertilize, knowing the nutrient makeup of your soil first is always a good place to start.Nitrogen, on the other hand, is a nutrient that is utilized quickly and does not persist in the soil as phosphorus does.Nitrogen is an important nutrient for garlic, especially in spring for foliage health, which is the main lifeline to bulb development below ground.Fruition Seeds Company offers such a product that they claim to have perfected over the years to emphasize bulb development in the fall and foliage growth in spring.Take a trowel and dig parallel furrows 2 inches deep and 1 foot apart.Space garlic cloves in the furrows 4 inches apart and cover them with soil so the surface is level once again, and then water in.If you are working in an irregularly shaped space, don’t worry about creating neat furrows.Instead, while being conscious of the spacing requirements between cloves, make 2-inch-deep holes with your fingers in any pattern you choose.Either immediately upon planting or soon before frost is expected, protect the garlic with a generous application of mulch.Loose straw makes for a great, fluffy, insulating mulch, should be applied in a 6-inch layer.In warmer climates where the ground doesn’t freeze, all that’s needed is 2 inches of organic mulch to block weeds and retain moisture.Changing up where garlic is grown (an example of crop rotation) is important for avoiding allium pests and diseases.When garlic is approaching maturity, the leaves running up the stalk turn yellow then brown, starting at the bottom of the plant and moving up.When at least half of your garlic plants reach this stage, cease watering for a week, then perform a test by pulling up one bulb.The cloves of garlic bulbs left in the ground for too long will begin to separate and the protective skin may crack.In a house or well-ventilated garage and out of direct sunlight, garlic plants can be placed on wire racks or hung, roots up.Storing at a relative humidity of 60 to 70% with good airflow is ideal to prevent the accumulation of moisture.Sign up to receive gardening resources, eBooks and email updates on the joegardener podcast and more.None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here.The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship.At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Park Seed, and Exmark.The inclusion of any products mentioned within this post is entirely independent and exclusive of any relationship. .
By that time, many summer crops have already been harvested, leaving some free garden space.If you're replanting garlic from your own stock, choose the biggest and best heads from the summer's harvest.Garlic from the produce section at the supermarket may have been treated with a sprout inhibitor to prevent it from growing.Hardneck garlic varieties produce a stiff stem that grows up through the center of the bulb.Prepare the soil by loosening it to a depth of at least 8" and mix in some slow-release, granular organic fertilizer.Water gently to settle the soil, and then cover the bed with a 4" to 6" layer of straw.Even as air temperatures drop, the soil will stay warm enough for the newly planted cloves to establish roots before the ground freezes.Sometimes you'll see some green shoots form in fall; that's fine and won't harm plants. .
Choose the Best Type of Garlic to Grow
Grandpa gave me a lot of tips about gardening, but he never mentioned that there are many different types of garlic!The first time I shopped for seed garlic, I was astounded at all the types there are to choose from.If you studied Latin in high school, you’ll recognize that the allium name means that garlic is related to onions, shallots, leeks, and chives.While you use hardneck and softneck garlic in exactly the same way (in pesto, stir-fry, spaghetti sauce, etc) they each look a little different and have different storage life.This refers to the thick stem or flower stalk that grows up in the middle of the bulb.This thick stem is called a scape, and it usually grows into a squiggle at the top of its stalk.They give a mild garlic flavor, sort of like a green onion.If you leave the scapes to grow, they will become woody (i.e., not good eats) and eventually flower.Bigger cloves, easy to use…the only drawback with hardneck garlic is that it doesn’t store as well as softneck.This can be helpful for chefs who want the option to choose larger or smaller cloves in a recipe.You’ll be able to braid the leaves, since there is no woody stem, and softneck garlic keeps longer than hardneck.Basque Turban matures quickly, so it can be harvested and enjoyed early in the summer.Inchelium Red has large bulbs with a thick outer skin, and can have several clove layers. .
Which Type of Garlic Should I Grow?
Growing your own garlic opens up a whole new world of flavors, from subtle and sweet to strong and spicy.Plant cloves in the fall, and you’ll be rewarded with a rich garlic harvest come spring or early summer!Before you start picking out varieties to try, it’s important to know the main differences between hardneck and softneck garlic – and which type will thrive in your garden.Explore different flavors of hardneck and softneck garlics using our starter charts below, including a handful of popular varieties. .
The scientific truth about garlic varieties
When getting started with garlic production, growers soon learn that there are literally hundreds of named cultivars or strains available in the U.S. and Canada.Softneck garlic, the kind usually found in supermarkets and often imported, has the best storage life and is easier to braid than hardnecks.In 2003, Dr. Gayle M. Volk of USDA’s National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, CO, did DNA fingerprinting of 211 varieties of garlic.The cultivars were ‘Ajo Rojo’, ‘Chesnok’, ‘German White’, ‘Inchelium’, ‘Purple Glazer’, ‘Red Janice’, ‘Sakura’, ‘Siberian’, ‘Silverwhite’, and ‘Spanish Roja’.The small-scale, sustainable farmers participating in the project were provided with planting stocks from the same original sources and were asked to grow them on their farms for two consecutive years using their best practices.The harvested bulbs were analyzed for quality, wrapper color, yield, clove characteristics, and elemental composition.When growing multiple varieties of garlic, a display board like this can help customers compare the different kinds.In contrast, cultivars Chesnok Red, Purple Glazer, Red Janice, and Siberian were more likely to have moderate or dark violet stripes, streaks, or splotches, particularly when grown at the northern Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, or Washington locations.”.The implication for growers is that the variety you plant may look different in size and color when you harvest it, especially if you purchased it from a distant supplier. .
 It is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran and has long been used as a seasoning worldwide, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use.The leaf blade is flat, linear, solid, and approximately 1.25–2.5 cm (0.5–1.0 in) wide, with an acute apex.The plant may produce pink to purple flowers from July to September in the Northern Hemisphere.[a] Genetically and morphologically, garlic is most similar to the wild species Allium longicuspis, which grows in central and southwestern Asia.There are at least 120 cultivars originating from Central Asia, making it the main center of garlic biodiversity.Garlic does well in loose, dry, well-drained soils in sunny locations, and is hardy throughout USDA climate zones 4–9.When selecting garlic for planting, it is important to pick large bulbs from which to separate cloves.Large cloves, along with proper spacing in the planting bed, will also increase bulb size.Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates and produces relatively large cloves, whereas softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator and produces small, tightly packed cloves. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) conducts a certification program to assure freedom from nematode and white rot disease caused by Stromatinia cepivora, two pathogens that can both destroy a crop as well as remain in the soil indefinitely, once introduced.Botrytis neck and bulb rot is a disease of onion, garlic, leek and shallot.“ Initial symptoms usually begin at the neck, where affected tissue softens, becomes water-soaked, and turns brown.The phytochemicals responsible for the sharp flavor of garlic are produced when the plant's cells are damaged. Although many humans enjoy the taste of garlic, these compounds are believed to have evolved as a defensive mechanism, deterring animals such as birds, insects, and worms from eating the plant.This chemical opens thermo-transient receptor potential channels that are responsible for the burning sense of heat in foods. Upon cutting, similar to a color change in onion caused by reactions of amino acids with sulfur compounds, garlic can turn green. It was consumed by ancient Greek and Roman soldiers, sailors, and rural classes (Virgil, Eclogues ii.Garlic was placed by the ancient Greeks on the piles of stones at crossroads, as a supper for Hecate (Theophrastus, Characters, The Superstitious Man).Garlic was rare in traditional English cuisine (though it is said to have been grown in England before 1548) but has been a common ingredient in Mediterranean Europe. Translations of the c. 1300 Assize of Weights and Measures, an English statute generally dated to the 13th century, indicate a passage as dealing with standardized units of garlic production, sale, and taxation — the hundred of 15 ropes of 15 heads each – but the Latin version of the text may refer to herring rather than garlic.Garlic has been used for traditional medicine in diverse cultures such as in Egypt, Japan, China, Rome, and Greece. In his Natural History, Pliny gave a list of conditions in which garlic was considered beneficial (N.H. xx.Galen, writing in the second century, eulogized garlic as the "rustic's theriac" (cure-all) (see F.
Adams' Paulus Aegineta, p. 99).Avicenna, in The Canon of Medicine (1025), recommended garlic for the treatment of arthritis, snake and insect bites, parasites, chronic cough, and as an antibiotic.[medical citation needed] Alexander Neckam, a writer of the 12th century (see Wright's edition of his works, p.
473, 1863), discussed it as a palliative for the heat of the sun in field labor.In the 17th century, Thomas Sydenham valued it as an application in confluent smallpox, and William Cullen's Materia Medica of 1789 found some dropsies cured by it alone. The distinctive aroma is mainly due to organosulfur compounds including allicin present in fresh garlic cloves and ajoene which forms when they are crushed or chopped.Green garlic is often chopped and stir-fried or cooked in soup or hot pot in Southeast Asian (i.e. Vietnamese, Thai, Myanmar, Lao, Cambodian, Singaporean), and Chinese cookery, and is very abundant and low-priced.Additionally, the immature flower stalks (scapes) of the hardneck and elephant types are sometimes marketed for uses similar to asparagus in stir-fries.Inedible or rarely eaten parts of the garlic plant include the "skin" covering each clove and root cluster. The root cluster attached to the basal plate of the bulb is the only part not typically considered palatable in any form.An alternative is to cut the top off the bulb, coat the cloves by dribbling olive oil (or other oil-based seasoning) over them, and roast them in an oven.In East and Southeast Asia, chili oil with garlic is a popular dipping sauce, especially for meat and seafood.Tuong ot toi Viet Nam (Vietnam chili garlic sauce) is a highly popular condiment and dip across North America and Asia.In some cuisines, the young bulbs are pickled for three to six weeks in a mixture of sugar, salt, and spices.Garlic is essential in Middle Eastern and Arabic cooking, with its presence in many food items.Tzatziki, yogurt mixed with garlic and salt, is a common sauce in Eastern Mediterranean cuisines.It is traditionally hung; softneck varieties are often braided in strands called plaits or grappes. Refrigeration does not assure the safety of garlic kept in oil, requiring use within one month to avoid bacterial spoilage. Infection may first appear as soft or water-soaked spots, followed by white patches (of mycelium) which turn blue or green with sporulation.As of 2016, clinical research found that consuming garlic produces only a small reduction in blood pressure (4 mmHg), and there is no clear long-term effect on hypertension, cardiovascular morbidity or mortality. A 2016 meta-analysis indicated there was no effect of garlic consumption on blood levels of lipoprotein(a), a biomarker of atherosclerosis.A 2016 meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies found a moderate inverse association between garlic intake and some cancers of the upper digestive tract. Another meta-analysis found decreased rates of stomach cancer associated with garlic intake, but cited confounding factors as limitations for interpreting these studies. Further meta-analyses found similar results on the incidence of stomach cancer by consuming allium vegetables including garlic. A 2014 meta-analysis of observational epidemiological studies found that garlic consumption was associated with a lower risk of stomach cancer in Korean people. A 2013 meta-analysis of epidemiological studies found garlic intake to be associated with decreased risk of prostate cancer.A 2014 review found insufficient evidence to determine the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold. Other reviews concluded a similar absence of high-quality evidence for garlic having a significant effect on the common cold. An environmentally benign garlic-derived polysulfide product is approved for use in the European Union (under Annex 1 of 91/414) and the UK as a nematicide and insecticide, including for use for control of cabbage root fly and red mite in poultry.Garlic is known to cause bad breath (halitosis) and body odor, described as a pungent garlicky smell to sweat.Studies have shown sipping milk at the same time as consuming garlic can significantly neutralize bad breath. Symptoms can include irritable bowel, diarrhea, mouth and throat ulcerations, nausea, breathing difficulties, and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis. Garlic-sensitive people show positive tests to diallyl disulfide, allylpropyldisulfide, allylmercaptan, and allicin, all of which are present in garlic.People who suffer from garlic allergies are often sensitive to many other plants, including onions, chives, leeks, shallots, garden lilies, ginger, and bananas. Possible side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, sweating, dizziness, allergic reactions, bleeding, and menstrual irregularities. Garlic may interact with warfarin, saquinavir, antihypertensives, calcium channel blockers, the quinolone family of antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, and hypoglycemic drugs, as well as other medications.In Europe, many cultures have used garlic for protection or white magic, perhaps owing to its reputation in folk medicine. Central European folk beliefs considered garlic a powerful ward against demons, werewolves, and vampires.To ward off vampires, garlic could be worn, hung in windows, or rubbed on chimneys and keyholes.In celebration of Nowruz (Persian calendar New Year), garlic is one of the essential items in a Haft-sin ("seven things beginning with 'S'") table, a traditional New Year's display: the name for garlic in Persian is سیر (seer), which begins with "س" (sin, pronounced "seen") the Perso-Arabic letter corresponding to "S". When expressed per 100 grams, garlic contains several nutrients in rich amounts (20% or more of the DV), including vitamins B6 and C, and the dietary minerals manganese and phosphorus.Per 100 gram serving, garlic is also a moderate source (10–19% DV) of certain B vitamins, including thiamin and pantothenic acid, as well as the dietary minerals calcium, iron, and zinc (table).The composition of raw garlic is 59% water, 33% carbohydrates, 6% protein, 2% dietary fiber, and less than 1% fat.