Growing Great Garlic (cont)
By: Robert Kourik
There are two basic kinds of garlic, hardneck and softneck. Hardnecks (H) are considered the more primitive, wild form. They are generally easier to peel and offer a wider span of tastes. They produce a central stalk that you should remove soon after it appears so that heads reach full size. Softnecks (S) tend to be hotter, have a narrower range of flavor, and usually produce larger heads that last longer in storage.
'Artichoke' (S): Very adaptable. Named for how the cloves curl up around the core of smaller cloves just as the leaves of an artichoke curve up around its core.
'Asian Tempest' (S): One of the newer best-flavored and hottest varieties.
'Bogatyr' (H): Stays usable longer than most varieties of any type.
'Brown Saxon' (H): Stays usable longer than most softnecks.
'California Early' (S): Mild and slightly sweet flavor.
'California late' (S): Spicy hot.
'Carpathian red' (H): A hardneck variety that's sturdy and strong.
'Chet's Italian red' (S): A very mild variety.
'Creole red' (S): Good looking and good flavored, it's one of the top choices in most tastings. Does very well in Gulf Coast weather.
'Duganskij' (H): A mellow, moderately hot, and long-storing variety.
'German red' (H): Hot-flavored and tasty. A good choice for cold-winter regions.
'Inchelium red' (S): Large heads and hotter than otherwise comparable 'Chet's Italian Red'.
'Pitarelli' (H): A variety that stays usable longer than most softnecks.
'Siberian' (H): Flavorful and good in cold climates.
'Spanish roja' (H): Medium-sized cloves peel easily and offer medium-hot flavor. One of top choices in many garlic taste-offs.
A frequent contributor, Robert Kourik gardens near Chester Aaron in Occidental, California. Kourik was honored by the Garden Writers Association with a Quill & Trowell for this article in 1999.
Photography by National Gardening Association and Suzanne DeJohn/National Gardening Association