We are late in putting in our cucumbers this season because garlic was growing in the raised beds that we use for this purpose. We decided to chance ripping out the garlic in favor of getting the cucumbers in. Lesson 1: put garlic in a dedicated bed, or alternate with a short season summer crop. Lesson 2: Plant varieties not by alphabetical name, but by type or maturity.
Most of the varieties we grew were hard neck varieties. The garlic definitely did better in the raised bed than it did in the pot. But I am concerned about the space that it takes since it is so long season given our limited garden space. I learned from last year to let the varieties dry in the shade. Some of our harvest;
These are the varieties we grew (in alphabetic order) – Descriptions from the websites we purchased the seed garlic from:
Amish Rocambole (Rocambole) An Amish heirloom variety. Produces nice large good looking bulbs with rosy pink and brown stripes on the bulb wrapper. (From Gales Garlic Gardens)
Asian Tempest (artichoke hardneck variety) It’s a variety originally from South Korea and is positively wonderful in baked dishes. The taste when baked is somewhat sweet with a bit of a baked sweet garden pepper flavor to it. It is positively breathtaking if eaten raw. It is one of our all time favorites. Averages about 5 cloves per bulb. (From Filaree Garlic Farm)
Chesnok Red (standard purple stripe hardneck variety) This is another one that has done consistently well for us. It’s said that this is one of the best cooking garlics. It is very flavorful, having won “best baking garlic” taste tests conducted by Rodale, Sunset Magazine, Martha Stewart and others. It holds its shape and retains flavor well when cooked. It has large easy to peel cloves. Originally from Shvelisi, Republic of Georgia. Averages about 8 cloves per bulb. (From Gales Garlic Gardens)
Georgian Fire (Porcelain hardneck) a large and beautiful garlic with rich robust flavor. Known as one of the best tasting garlics. The clove covers are a light brown streaked with purple From a growers perspective, it is a large and healthy garlic to grow and appears to be relatively resistant to most of the diseases that can affect garlic. The raw taste is strong with a nice hotness that is not unpleasant. A good salsa garlic or salad warmer. (From Gales Garlic Gardens)
Inchilium Red – (Artichoke) Large bulbed vigorous strain; our best selling Artichoke. In a 1990 taste test at Rodale kitchens this one was a top rated softneck. Discovered on theColville Indian Reservation by Larry Geno; original source unknown. Four to five clove layers with 8 to 20 cloves. Bulbs over 3 inches possible. It seems to have higher soluble solids (i.e. denser, heavier bulbs) than other Artichokes. Mild but lingering flavor with a tingle. Inchelium has a somewhat flattenedbulbshape.
Japanese (Asiatic) A very unique strain, similar to Elephant Garlic in appearance. Plants form bulbil capsules to 20 inches in length. Giannangelo Farms obtained this rare garlic from an elderly Japanese farmer in Western Washington. A very unique strain with 5 to 7 large yellow to tan cloves. Beautiful delicate white bulb wrapper. Very long bulbil capsules. Baking creates a smooth texture with lingering heat and flavor. Raw, it slowly heats up and leaves a lingering pleasant aftertaste. (From Filaree Garlic Farm)
Kettle River Giant Garlic (Artichoke) – Flavorful and Heirloom! This artichoke softneck can become massive in size, up to four inches at times. It has been a long-time heirloom garlic grown in the Pacific Northwest. Cold winters are not a problem for Kettle River Giant. The wrappers are a beige-white with pink overtones. It produces 8 to 15 cloves. It also stores well. Rich on taste with a medium heat makes this another favorite softneck.
Majestic : Majestic grows into 2.5 to 3″ bulbs and are the hardiest most disease resistance bulbs in the field. Majestic has shown to be a tried and true producer of the largest garlic bulbs resulting from the the largest growing plant in the garlic field. Stores about 7-8 months. Not a Hot flavored garlic for a porcelain garlic flavor, but a true all purpose garlic flavor. (From Gales Garlic Gardens)
Music (porcelain hardneck variety) The flavor is good, sweet and pungent, very hot when eaten raw. It is an Italian variety brought back to Canada by Al Music in the 1980s from his homeland. • One of the most popular varieties due to taste, vigorous growth, and 6-8 large easy to peel cloves • Flavor is rich, strong, robust and pungent • Music grows well in northern states being one of the largest plant and garlic and is resistant to garlic diseases. (From Gales Garlic Gardens)