Plant the Garlic Collection in fall. The collection includes 1/4 pound of Lorz Italian and 1/4 pound of Korean Red. This should produce plenty of garlic for a family of four, but garlic lovers may need two to three times as much.
The Lorz Italian is a softneck heirloom from the northwestern part of the U.S. that thrives in hot summers and has a bold flavor. The bulb can produce between 2 to 18 cloves. It is generally harvested
mid-season and stores longer than hardnecks, about six to eight months.
The Korean Red is a hardneck Asiatic garlic with a rich, yet mellow, garlic flavor and a warming aftertaste. The bulb can produce between 6 to 8 large, purple-striped cloves that are also great for eating raw. Korean Red garlic is harvested early in the sumer and stores well for about six months.
Garlic is usually planted in early October in the northern regions of the U.S and from November through January in southern regions. Northern growers should plant four to six weeks before the ground freezes to ensure good root growth prior to winter.
If your winters are too long and extreme, then softneck garlics should be planted in the spring.
We recommend planting in soil that has been prepared by digging 8 to 12 inches deep and all trace of weeds removed. Garlic likes full sun and rich, well-drained soil with a slightly acid pH of 6.2 to 6.8.
Break bulbs apart into individual
cloves and plant the root end down, about 2 inches deep and 4 inches apart. Cover with soil and mulch immediately.
Mulch again after the soil freezes to protect the plants from the winter cold.
In the spring when plants are growing green leaves, water like any garden green. When days lengthen and the temperature
climbs and garlic is finished growing new green leaves, taper off watering a bit.
As harvest approaches don’t keep the topsoil too wet for any length of time or bulbs may mold or stain. Hardneck garlics send up a flower stalk in early June. About one week after the stalk begins to turn woody and it starts to uncoil, cut off the stalk about 1/2 inch above the top plant leaf. This redirects the energy into the bulb.
As harvest approaches, plants begin to dry down from the lowest leaf up and from the leaf tips downward, one leaf at a time. We suggest
harvesting when the top four leaves are still 50% green. Loosen the soil to remove the bulbs; do not pull them out by the leaves.
Don’t leave freshly dug bulbs in direct sunlight for more than a few minutes or they may sunburn (literally cook).
The plants and bulbs cure completely in three to four weeks
in dry climates, but may need fans and drying sources in wet climates. Check to make sure the papery covering is dry. When completely cured, the neck may be cut about 1/2 inch above the bulb.
Most garlics store well at room temperature. Temperatures
of 34 to 40 degrees F will cause sprouting. Temperatures in the 30s are good for garlic that you plan to eat, but bulbs for planting should not be stored very long at cold temperatures.
Softnecks will do well at low or high humidities, but keep in mind that softnecks take longer to cure because they have layers of cloves. Big bulbs, in particular, tend to appear dry while retaining moisture in the bulb center, and they rot at high humidities unless fully cured. Humidities over 70 percent also cause swelling of root nodules in most garlics.
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