2010 was our first year growing garlic, and we were pretty pumped about our harvest of 19 bulbs.
This year we really scaled up, and planted 114 cloves. I experimented with growing garlic in the holes in the blocks that our raised beds are made of, but that didn’t really work out, so we ended up with around 100 usable bulbs. We grew five varieties: German Extra-Hardy (from our stock from 2010), Russian Red, Inchelium Red, Lorz Italian and Siberian. The latter three were organic stock from Chert Hollow Farm.
In planting I made the ultimate mistake of not recording where I planted which variety. I made a mental note and planned to write it down, but forgot to do it and then misplaced my mental note. Bad idea. Very bad. Garlic varieties are very difficult to differentiate, so I ended up spending a good amount of time counting cloves and looking for colouration differences.
In the end I was able to figure out which bulbs were German, Russian and Siberian, but the Inchelium Red and Lorz were impossible to differentiate. I don’t like the idea of not knowing what I’m growing, so I’m only saving seed stock from the German and Russian, and we’ll eat the rest.
I’m planning to get some new stock of Inchelium Red from Chert Hollow again, plus I ordered another cool purple variety online, and might also be able to get my hands on a gourmet French variety. We’re going to try growing shallots this year, too, so we should be all stocked up on alliums come next summer.