Table vs. Seed Garlic
What’s the difference between table garlic and seed garlic? Seed garlic is graded at over 1.75” diameter and selected for seed quality during harvest. Each clove you plant is a genetic clone to the parent–so if you plant larger garlic cloves in the fall, you get larger garlic bulbs in the spring!
Table garlic is graded at 1.5”- 1.75” and is perfect for seasoning your favorite savory dish or for roasting and eating on its own.
Hardneck vs. Softneck
All our garlic is hardneck, or garlic which produces a flowering scape in the spring. The hardneck garlic palate experience ranges from sweet, spicy, or super fiery depending on the variety and cooking method. One of our favorite annual cooking activities is roasting a bulb from each variety and taking part in a garlic tasting party.
To learn more about why our garlic is so great, check out this video.
Scroll down for garlic planting, growing, harvesting, and storage tips.
Varieties for Sale
|German White||Also known as German Extra-Hardy, Northern White, and German Stiffneck, this is a large, beautiful, and well-formed porcelain garlic. Its flavor is very strong and robust, and it’s a good all-around garlic with a medium hot taste. 6 cloves per bulb.|
|Music||Music is a large and well-formed porcelain garlic. Its flavor is rich and musky, strong and robust. 6 cloves per bulb.|
|Ukraine||Ukraine is a rocambole garlic with wrappers which are brownish with red and purple streaks. 6-8 easy peeling cloves and a very strong flavor.|
Garlic Planting Tips
- Make sure to use seed garlic to ensure large, disease-free bulbs. The cloves you plant from each bulb are genetic clones of the bulb itself and will therefore grow to the same size, all other factors (weather, fertility, etc.) being equal.
- Break apart the bulb into individual cloves. Be careful not to bruise or cut the cloves. (No need to peel these cloves!)
- Select the biggest cloves for planting.
- Garlic grows best when it is planted in late fall 4-5 weeks before hard frost. The idea is that you want it to send its roots deep, but not actually emerge from the soil. Consult with your local extension agent to determine when that would be, or send us a note and we can help you determine the best date. In Northwest Indiana Zone 5b, we usually plant between Oct 15-25.
- About 12 hours before planting, soak the cloves in this mixture: 1 Tbsp baking soda, 1 Tbsp fish seaweed fertilizer, 1 gallon water. Right before planting, dunk cloves in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 5 minutes. Remove cloves from alcohol and plant immediately.
- Each clove is planted 5-6 inches apart in rows that are 8-12 inches apart.
- Plant about 3-4 inches deep, or about twice as deep as the size of the clove.
- Plant basal side down! (This is where roots will grow from base of clove.)
- Mulch heavily (3-5 inches deep) with weed-free straw for weed and moisture control. You can use grass clippings, but you will need to put a new layer on in the spring.
- No need to remove the mulch in the spring as the garlic is strong enough to push through the mulch.
Garlic Growing Tips
- Once you plant in the fall, you won’t need to do anything until spring when the garlic plants emerge from the soil. Garlic is very frost tolerant!
- Think of garlic as two plants in one. Early spring is vigorous, like a green leafy vegetable that benefits from good watering and nutrients. In late spring, when the flower stalk (the scape) starts to curl, begin tapering off watering. It is more like a drought tolerant plant at this stage.
- Assuming you mulched in the fall, you shouldn’t need to weed (unless your straw had weed seed in it!).
- 2 weeks before harvest, stop watering.
- Harvest the garlic scape (the curly flower shoot) in June for fresh eating once it has one curl.
- Not harvesting garlic scapes will result in 1/3 to 1/2 smaller bulb size, but it will store much longer, because it has fully “hardened off” physiologically.
- Harvest when 60% of the garlic leaves are green and 40% of the leaves are brown. About 6 full green leaves should be left when you pull the plant for harvest.
- Timing of harvest will vary from year to year.
- Pitchfork plants or hand pull if your soil allows for it.
- Garlic can sunburn in 10 minutes or less, so keep it out of the sun. It also can bruise easily, so be careful in your handling.
- Leave stem and leaves attached to bulb.
- Hang in bunches of 5-10 plants in well ventilated, 100% shade for 2-3 weeks.
- Let cure for 2-3 weeks. Stem will be dry, not wet when you cut bulbs from plant.
- Cut leaves and stem from bulb. Leave 1 to 1.5 inches of stem on bulb.
- Garlic doesn’t go dormant; it enters a stage of rest. The idea is to extend this rest as long as possible.
- Ideal storage is 40% to 60% humidity in a dark place.
- Temperature should be 55-65 degrees.
- If you put garlic in the fridge, leave it there until ready to use, as it will sprout within 2-3 days after you take it out of the fridge.
Recommended Reading: Growing Great Garlic by Ron L. Engeland