Garlic Varieties and Planting

Hardneck Varieties

- Closer to wild garlic than softneck varieties

- Complex flavors

- Shorter shelf life than softneck varieties

- Produce scapes (edible stems that need to be pruned mid-summer)

- Better suited to colder climates

- Produce 4 to 12 cloves

  • Brown Tempest - (Purple Stripe) Initial hot taste that mellows to a pleasing garlicky finish. A great roasting garlic. Brown Tempest produces purple marked bulbs with 5-7 plump, light brown cloves with a rosy blush. Stores well.
  • Chesnok Red - (Purple Stripe) Chesnok Red holds shape and retains flavor when cooked. Great choice for baking with a creamy texture, tastes sweet, and is used to make garlic ice cream! Produces very large bulbs that average 9 to 10 easy to peel cloves.
  • Cook Home Hardy - Well, it looks too good not to pass it on! We think it was German Extra Hardy, but our grower lost track a few years back. If you’re a serious collector, you may take a pass. If you want good, reliable garlic and aren’t too picky about provenance, give this one a try!
  • Georgian Fire - (Porcelain) Described by chefs as a truly "white hot" garlic. Raw taste is strong with a hotness that is not at all unpleasant. Great for salsa and salads. 4-6 cloves per bulb. Produces thick, sturdy, flavorful scapes.
  • German Extra Hardy - (Porcelain) Strong raw flavor, high sugar content, and not too hot. One of the very best for roasting. 4-5 very large cloves per bulb. Outside skin is ivory-white, but the skin covering the cloves is dark red.
  • Mike’s Hardneck - Variety cultivated by DCGP gardener and retired farmer Mike Olund.
  • Music - (Porcelain) A Minnesota growers favorite with excellent yields and cold tolerance. Large bulbs with 4-6 easy to peel pink skinned cloves per bulb. Excellent flavor good for pestos and sauces. This variety is not a long keeper; stores well for up to 6 months.
  • Persian Star - (Purple Stripe) Reliable, all-purpose variety from Uzbekistan. Also called Samarkand. 8-10 slender cloves per bulb. White bulbs with purple and red inner clove wrappers. Stores well for 6-8 months. Pleasant, mildly spicy flavor.
  • Phillips Rocambole - (Rocambole) Medium-sized, easy-to-peel cloves with a mild garlic flavor, and slight sweetness.
  • Spanish Roja - (Rocambole) A Northwest heirloom with "true garlic" taste. Easy to peel cloves with hot flavor. Averages 11 cloves per bulb.
  • Zemo - (Porcelain) A spicy garlic flavor with moderate heat. 2–6 cloves per bulb. Late harvest. Stores 5 months.

Softneck Varieties

- Excellent storage, average 6-8 month shelf life

- Typically milder flavor

- Softer stems conducive to braiding

- Tend not to "bolt" or produce scapes

- Produce 10 to 40 cloves

  • Chamiskuri - (Artichoke) A good storage garlic from the Republic of Georgia. Large bulbs with 10-15 cloves per head. Rich flavored and pungent, and stores until mid-winter.
  • Mike's Northland Softneck - Variety cultivated by DCGP gardener and retired farmer Mike Olund.
  • Oregon Blue - (Artichoke) A maritime Northwest heirloom with good yields and good storage qualities. 10-12 cloves per bulb. Light purple tint on the bulb wrappers. Artichoke types store well for about 8 months. Nice spicy flavor is good raw or baked.
  • Red Tochliavari - (Artichoke) Red Tochliavari is a popular, early harvesting softneck variety with rich and mildly pungent flavor. Produces 12-20 cloves with straw-colored wrappers. Although it is a softneck, Red Tochliavari may produce a scape with seeds called bulbils when stressed by hot weather near harvest time. Bulbils can be planted and grown out over two seasons, if desired. Stores 5-6 months.
  • Silver Rose Softneck - Rose-colored cloves in very smooth, bright white bulbs. Beautiful for braiding; one of the longest storing garlics and very fast growing. Approx. 12-15 cloves per bulb.
  • Thermadrone - (Artichoke) Long keeping bulbs with a mild taste prized for French cooking. Produces 23-20 cloves per bulb. This variety does not like wet feet (water-logged soil).

Not Garlic Varieties!

  • Elephant (Allium ameloprasum) - While Elephant garlic is not a true garlic - it is actually related to leeks - it is cultivated in the same manner. The large size makes it fun to grow and easy to use. The flavor is mild, so if you are a strong garlic lover, plan to use it like an onion rather than garlic.