We had a fine time planting garlic this week. This is our third try at it, and we're growing eight different varieties. Here's the rundown of what went in the ground this fall.
Mother of Pearl: We ordered 1 lb. of this variety from the Organic Garlic Seed Farm in 2011. It produced well, and we planted about 5 lbs. of saved seed this season. The skin is iridescent and really does resemble mother of pearl. It has a mild flavor and each bulb contains numerous small cloves.
Kettle River Giant: This is our first season growing this variety. We ordered it from OGSF, as we have been extremely pleased with the quality of their products and reasonable prices. We planted 5 lbs. of it. This variety is also true to its name, as each bulb is comprised of a handful of very large cloves.
I like the way I feel like I'm recklessly littering as I plant garlic, with white papery skins thrown about the landscape.
Chesnok Red: This seed was first ordered from OGSF in 2011. We planted 1 lb. of it last year, and it produced well. The cloves are large, and the heads are tight. We put 5 lbs. of saved seed in the ground this season, and I look forward to planting it again next year.
Georgian Fire: We first planted this variety in 2010. We had ordered 1 lb. of seed from Seed Savers Exchange. It was an incredibly strong producer for us, so we were glad to plant it again in 2011. It seems that each time we've planted Georgian Fire, the bulbs and cloves increase in size. I guess it is true that garlic slowly acclimates to its new home over time. This is my very favorite hardneck variety. The bulbs are comprised of about five to seven tightly-bound cloves, and each clove is enormous. The flavor is intense, and the skin is a gorgeous red. We planted about 5 lbs. of saved seed this season.
Georgian Fire, my current favorite
Purple Glazer: I love this variety. We planted 1 lb. purchased from OGSF last season. It was very prolific. This is a great garlic to roast. It has large cloves and great flavor. The skin is perfectly purple. This is my second favorite hardneck. We planted about 5 lbs. of saved seed this season.
Purple Glazer, ready to roast
Persian Star: We purchased the seed from OGSF and planted 1 lb. of it last fall. It produced very well. The appearance is similar to Purple Glazer, but the cloves are a bit smaller and more numerous. We planted about 5 lbs. of saved seed this year.
Music: I've heard a lot of garlic growers rave about this variety, but it was the poorest producer for us. We ordered 1 lb. from OGSF in 2011. The seed looked fantastic, but we ended up with only a couple pounds of mature garlic this summer. So, I saved it all for seed, and it is now in the ground. Maybe it will begin to acclimate, so I'll be patient. The cloves are large, and the heads are beautifully white.
We ordered 1 lb. (only 2 heads) of seed from Seed Savers Exchange in 2010. It did quite well that season, but it the results were even better this summer. We saved all of the seed, and it was enough to plant a 50' row this fall!
For more on our garlic history, check out these posts:
We've upgraded from a 100' row of garlic in the asparagus field, to an ocean of garlic in the main production field. We planted thirteen rows that are about 50' long this year. How far we've come! Now, we just need to get some straw on top of those rows...