Garlic is one of the beloved crops by people in the food industry because of its culinary uses. That makes it an excellent plant to grow in your garden. However, if you want one in your garden, there are many types of garlic to pick from.
Most gardeners perceive garlic as one plant, but that is not the case. There are varieties of garlic in the market and on farms. The thing about this plant is the different varieties have different growth requirements; thus, if you were to plant one species with different requirements, it might not be healthy.
What is a garlic plant?
Garlic is a plant in the Allium family. It consists of plants such as onions, leeks, and shallots. The garlic bulb contains 10 to 20 segments in a single bulb, called cloves. It’s not accurate, but give or take.
These segments have a strong scent and delicious smell that add flavor to food. They are also used for medicinal purposes. The standard type of illness that garlic cures are the common cold. The health benefits come from sulfur compounds produced when chopped, crushed, or chewed.
The Types of Garlic to grow in your garden.
Garlic is classified into two categories: Softneck garlic (Allium sativum) and hardneck garlic (Allium ophioscorodon).
Softneck garlic is further subdivided into three categories that are artichoke, silverskin, and Middle Eastern. Artichoke can be seen through its cloves and outer skin. The cloves overlap while the outer skin is thick to ensure a long shelf life of more than six months. Silverskins have strong yet pliable skins that show their outer skin. Softneck garlic is better than hardneck garlic because it matures faster, they don’t need trimming since they don’t produce central stems, and you can plant them in the spring.
Hardneck garlic, just by its name, has a central stem that turns woody when it matures. It’s the most common type of garlic planted since most varieties are hardnecks except a few. Most farmers prefer this garlic type because it has unique and complex flavors. The only problem is that they take time before they mature and are planted during the fall.
Chesnok Red (Allium sativum)
Chesnok Red is a hardneck garlic plant from the Republic of Georgia. This garlic has a cold-hardy, purple stripe scape. It is capable of producing bulbs with 12 cloves each. Once you remove the cloves from the bulb, they have a red tone. When you roast the cloves, they offer a smooth texture and a fine flavor.
The plant can grow in hardiness zones of 3 to 8 with full and direct sunlight exposure. Ensure the soil is well drained before planting the garlic. Place the garlic two to four inches apart to ensure they have enough space to make their food.
The elephant garlic is a unique plant that belongs to the onion genus family. Other than that, it is a perennial plant and different from the other garlic. Since most garlic plants are liked because of their flavor, elephant garlic has a mild flavor. It is used by roasting on the grill, baking in the oven, or spreading garlic.
You can plant this garlic during spring or autumn, or you can choose to plant it during winter.
Georgian Fire Garlic
The Georgian Fire garlic is one of the favorite plants that farmers have chosen to plant because of its flavor and cloves. It produces six to eight large cloves, compared to others that produce more gloves but are small-sized. It produces a fine scent when used in food.
There is no preferred method of using the cloves, but you can roast them or eat them when fresh.
The plant grows well in fertile, rich, and well-drained soil. It takes more time to mature compared to others.
Bogatyr is a hardneck purple stripe garlic with an intense flavor for cooking or fermenting. It is rich in magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. That means you can use the cloves for healthy purposes.
The plant originated in Europe and Asia. It can grow in hardiness zones of five to ten. Also, it requires rich, well-drained soil and exposure to direct sun to grow into a healthy plant.
Artichoke garlic got its name from the arrangement of cloves in the bulb that looks like an artichoke. A single bulb can contain up to 14 cloves that are in different sizes. Since it’s a softneck garlic, it matures fast with no stem and short leaves.
It produces a mild and pleasant flavor that people find helpful compared to other types of garlic. This garlic is easy to grow, and since most commercial farmers grow it, you can easily find a market to sell if you plant it in large quantities.
Porcelain is a hardneck type of garlic. It grows into a large bulb that can hold up to seven cloves. Compared to other types of garlic, porcelain is easy to peel.
When you plant it, it requires rich, well-drained soil to work. Exposure to direct sunlight is a must for most of these garlic plants. You can choose to plant it in the fall when the weather is cool for cultivating.
Inchelium Red Garlic
This type of garlic is different from other types of garlic because of its ability to adapt to different weather conditions for it to grow into a healthy plant. It also has high productivity and an early rate of maturity.
The bulb has a thick skin that is capable of storing 16 cloves that are in good health. The cloves are known for their mild spicy taste when used in food. Besides, it is a good source of vitamins B6, C, and manganese.
What are the Best Types of Garlic?
Choosing the best garlic depends on various factors, such as what you are looking for in the garlic. For instance, if you want flavor, then the best garlic is hardneck garlic. For commercial purposes, it is best to go for soft neck garlic because it lasts for more than six months in storage. Thus, you should know the available garlic qualities before choosing the garlic you want.
Garlic is a good plant for your garden. Besides its flavor and health benefits, it is also a good companion because of its scent. Also, plants from the Allium family have the unique ability to be good companion plants. But, not all plants are compatible with garlic, so ensure you confirm if it’s a good companion before you plant it.
Always check the type of garlic you are planting and the growing conditions it requires. Such small mistakes can cost you your plants.