You may have heard some terms thrown around describing certain garlic varieties but what do they mean? Below we’ll give you a brief description of what Hardneck and Softneck really mean in the garlic world.
- Hardneck garlic has fewer cloves per bud than the softneck varieties.
- They will produce a flower stalk, or scape, that will need to be removed once the plant forms.
- The cloves are larger than softneck varieties.
- These varieties will store well for only a few months, so use them sooner than later.
- Grow hardneck varieties in regions where there is extended cooler weather.
- Softneck garlic has more cloves per bud than hardneck varieties.
- They will not produce a hard flowering stalk, which makes it a great choice for braiding.
- The cloves are smaller than hardneck varieties.
- These varieties can easily be stored for up to 9 months.
- Grow softneck varieties in regions where winters are mild.
Regardless of which variety you think will suit you best, it’s time to start dropping your fall garlic! Garlic can be planted in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked, but fall planting is recommended. Bulbs will grow bigger and more flavorful when you plant them in the fall. Plant 6 to 8 weeks before your first hard frost. In southern areas, February or March can be a better time to plant. Most people generally plant garlic somewhere between October-February.