General Hardneck and Softneck Info
Q: General Hardneck and Softneck Info
What are the differences between hardneck and softneck garlic?
Hardnecks as pictured above have a hardnecked stem coming through the middle. The makes for less cloves per bulb and often larger cloves. They offers a vast array of flavor possibilities. The downside of hardnecks is that they tend to store for a shorter length of time. Chefs cherish their ease of pealing.
Softneck have no distinct stem in the middle and as a result tend to have many more cloves per bulb. This comes in handy when figuring seed stock for next year to replant. They tend to store twice as long as hardnecks. Most "fresh" garlic sold in grocery stores are softneck varieties grown in California or China.
Q: Storage Info
How and how long can I store the garlic?
Hardneck varieties will store from 6 - 9 mos.
Softneck varieties will store 9 - 12 mos.
Store in a dark, cool place whre there is good air circulation. Never put in a refrigerator because it encourages the bulb to sprout.
Q: Softneck Info
What are the different softnecks available?
Of Softneck varieties we have two distinct subgroups:
1. Artichoke- 14-20 cloves/bulb, good all around garlic, more mild usually
than hardneck varieties, easier to grow, larger bulbs than other softnecks
2. Silverskins- 10-14 cloves/bulb, best variety for braiding. small tight
bulb, good fresh on salads for a more subtle bite
Q: Hardneck Info
What are the different hardnecks available?
Of Hardnecks we have three distinct subgroups...
1. Rocambole- usually 8-10 cloves/bulb, loose skins make it easier to peel, preferred by gourmet chefs for its complex flavor, good all around garlic, excellent for pesto
2. Porcelain- 4-8 cloves/bulb, tighter skins allow for longer storage, good for roasting, good in salsa or fresh on salads if looking for some zing
3. Purple Stripe- 8-10 cloves/bulb, excellent for cooking
Q: Planting Guide
What do I need to know to plant my own garlic?
* Plant between September 15 and November 30...after the first light frost.
* Garlic likes loose rich soil with lots of organic matter to provide good drainage.
* Plant the largest cloves to grow the largest bulbs. Leave the outer skin on the bulbs and do not seperate the cloves from the bulb until you are ready to plant.
* Plant the colves root end down, pointed end up, 6-8" apart. Cover with 2" of soil and a 6" layer of mulch. Do not remove mulch in the spring; it help control weeds and preserve moisture.
* "Scapes" are the curly stems that often form as the garlic matures. Cut or break them off after they are 10" long- they will inhibit bulb growth if allowed to grow, and they are good in soups and stirfrys.
* Harvest after leaf die-back begins and there are still five green leaves remaining on the plant-sometime in June or early July. Do not wait too long or the bulbs will begin to separate in the ground.
* Do not bang the garlic against a hard object or each other. It will bruise. Tie in a bundle of 6-10 and hang in a shaded, dry, well-ventilated shed or garage. Leave hanging for 4-6 weeks.
* After thoroughtly drying, trim off the roots and cut the stalks off about 1 1/2 in above the bulb. Store in net bags - old onion bags are good.