I’ve been crazy about garlic since I first started cooking. When I was 12, my parents gave me The Frugal Gourmet cookbook (remember him?) with the following inscription: “You enjoy cooking and we hope that this book will add to that enjoyment. Just go easy with the garlic!”
Frugal cooking and garlic…some things never change.
It’s time to order your seed garlic for fall planting. Depending on your zone, you will plant between September and November—I plant right around Halloween.
Here are some garlic tips from Growing Great Garlic, a superb reference book (and some commentary from me).
There are two main kinds of garlic—hardneck and softneck. Softnecks are the easiest to braid, and they keep longer. They’re my favorite.
Elephant garlic is not garlic at all, but is a kind of leek. It has a very mild garlic flavor, and I avoid it for just that reason.
Each garlic clove that you plant turns into an entire head of garlic.
Garlic came to America from many countries, including Germany, Poland, Russia, Greece, France, and Spain.
It doesn’t need perfect soil to grow, but a shovel or two of compost sure helps.
Don’t plant it in containers, just in the ground. My container garlic was so tiny, it was barely worth harvesting.
I ordered my seed garlic from Filaree Farm this week. These four varieties will be coming my way in October:
German Brown: Our stock from old time gardeners of German descent in Idaho. Strong hot spicy flavor. Cloves colors exhibit a distinctive brown hue.
Inchelium Red: Discovered on the Colville Indian Reservation by Larry Geno; original source unknown. Mild but lingering flavor with a tingle.
Chesnok Red: Our top cooking garlic that holds shape and retains flavor after it is cooked. From Shvelisi, Georgia. One of our best baking garlics.
Silver White: Originally a California strain from Harmony Farm Supply. This large bulbed garlic has proven productive in both hot interior and humid maritime climates.
This is my favorite, but it was sold out. I’m on the waiting list!
Transylvanian: Originating in the heart of the Transylvanian mountains, these bulbs produce plump, firm cloves. Slight rosy blush on bulb wrappers.
If there is a vampire invasion, we’ll be safe here. Come on over!