Planting Fall Hard Neck Garlic 2021


I did hold back my best Music Garlic that we grew this year and I look forward to growing it again next year.  Having said that, we have decided to expand our garlic selection.  We choose to buy from a grower in the ottawa valley for a few reasons..  Wide selection to pick from, organic and they are around 3 hours further north then use and whole two garden zones harder.. they are zone 3 and we are 5a. If it can grow really well in zone 3, it should do excellent in zone 5. 

We choose 4 kinds to add to the garden plans of 2022

“Fish Lake 3 (Very strong)
Hardneck Garlic, Porcelain
The premier and best known variety from the legendary garlic breeder Ted Maczka. One of our earlier varieties, this variety is stronger and larger than most porcelains. The white bulbs have 5 to 6 cloves and the clove wrappers are purplish pink.”

Ivan (Strong)
Hardneck Garlic, Porcelain
Don’t believe all the tall tales you hear about this one. This variety was cultivated in BC for years by a fellow named Ivan. One year he sold some of his surplus and the “Ivan” variety was born. When asked what it was called before it became famous, Ivan said “We called it garlic” So anyone who tells you it came from Mennonites or the old country is feeding you a story, lol. Its a lovely medium hot porcelain with 4-6 large cloves that stores extremely well.

Northumberland (Strongest variety we grow)
Hardneck Garlic, Porcelain
We’ve never seen garlic this size before. We almost mistook it as elephant garlic. It is the hottest variety that we grow. It has 4 large easy to peel cloves. This is the real McCoy folks.

Purple Stripe (Medium Strong)
Hardneck Garlic, Purple Stripe
In the absence of a compelling back story we call this workhorse variety “Purple”. Its medium hot, has good size bulbs, 8-9 cloves per bulb and stores well into the winter. One of our more vigourous varieties, it grows faster and multiplies faster than any other variety we grow. Good when you don’t want or need huge cloves.

I am excited to be growing a very early harvest one, two more really good keepers for winter and one that is to be a crazy fast and multi clove which seems just perfect for me for use in jars when you want to pickle with nice smaller garlic cloves.  

When you look at the photo I used, I would like to say that I did go a tiny bit cheap on my choice of the garlic, I bought large bulbs, which I was VERY happy with but I would like to point out to be fair to the seller, that he also sells extra large, jumbo and colossal. 

I am very sure that getting those massive bulbs would go a long way to giving you a jump start on the bulb size, I am very comfortable getting the large, growing them out and selecting seed garlic from them next year to size things up. 

I will note that they came with a very detailed sheet on recommends for feeding the soil, (which I have covered) but I was surprised that they recommended a full extra 2 inches of straw cover crop thicker then I have been using. I thought my 4 inches was good but ok, I will move it to 6 inches of coverage, I can do that.. 

We still have another two weeks give or take of harvest in Hill Garden before those plants will be taken out and the ground cleaned, prepped with compost and the garlic will be planted in rows, Each kind will get its own row, other then My Music which is going in a totally different part of the kitchen garden.

Typically we want to get our hard neck garlics in the ground by the end of sept, I expect that some folks are already planting in the colder zones here in canada and others are not even thinking about planting till oct in warmer zones.. 

Wishing you a good fall planting garlic planting season.

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