Talking about the garlic coming up yesterday got us thinking about all the different kinds of garlic and the cultivars we grow. We thought today we would briefly give an overview of the different groups of garlic and discuss the cultivars in those groups that we grow. We wont go into too much detail about each group but if your looking for more information "The Complete Book Of Garlic" by Ted Meredith is a great resource.
All said there are 10 different groups of garlic with a few cultivars that don't really fit into any of the groups. Over 90% of the garlic grown in the US is in the artichoke group and is either the cultivar California Early or California Late. This is the garlic most consumers buy because it is what is sold at the grocery stores and many people don't even know other garlic's exist. The groups are as follows:
1. Artichoke - The most well known and easiest group to grow. Often lacking the character of many of the other garlic groups.
2. Asiatic - This group is fairly simple and direct in it's flavor. They harvest early just after the Turbans but sore fairly well.
3. Creole - Generally sweet tasting garlic that is well suited to hot Southern climates.
4. Glazed Purple Stripe - Strongly bolting hardnecks with attractive purple bulb coloration. Generally a nice mild flavor garlic without strong vegetative or sulfurous overtones.
5. Marbled Purple Stripe - Purple striped or marbled bulbs with large fat cloves. Generally 5-7 cloves pr bulb. Plants can grow to 6 feet in optimal conditions. These garlics can be quite hot when raw and are easy to peel.
6. Porcelian - Impressive plants that can grow to 7 feet tall. Large cloves with only 4-6 pr head. One clove produces an amazing amount of garlic. Has the highest yields of allicin of all the garlic groups and is a very intense garlic. Often described as the hottest of garlics it lacks the flavor complexity of some of the other groups.
7. Purple Stripe - This group is the most wild and closest to the origins of the garlic. Not surprisingly then this group exhibits the most diversity of all the groups. Generally these are great culinary garlics with a strong complex and rich garlic flavor. Often considered the best garlic for roasting.
8. Rocambole - This group is generally considered the best tasting of all groups. They have a rich, deep and complex flavor that is almost sweet. They are best raw and make great salad dressings. Their downside is they require more care to grow than other garlics and they store poorly.
9. Silverskin - These are among the most long storing garlics. They can be aggressively hot raw but sauteed until brown they will retain their strong garlic taste while adding caramelized nutty overtones.
10. Turban - This group is typically simple and direct in is flavor. They are the first plants to grow in
the spring and the first to harvest in summer.
This is the bed just planted with garlic last fall.
We plant our garlic with a 5.5 inch spacing between heads and a 6 in inch spacing between rows.
Of the 10 groups of garlic we are currently growing a cultivar in every group except the silverskin group. The garlics we grow are:
1. Artichoke - California Early
2. Artichoke - Lorz Italian
3. Artichoke - Tochilavri
4. Asiatic - Asian Tempest
5. Asiatic - Korean Hot
6. Asiatic - Pyong Vang
7. Creole - Ajo Rojo
8. Creole - Pescadero Red
9. Glazed Purple Stripe - Vekak
10. Marbled Purple Stripe - Bai Pi Suan
11. Marbled Purple Stripe - Bogatyr
12. Marbled Purple Stripe - Brown Vesper
13. Porcelain - Georgian Crystal
14. Porcelain - Georgian Fire
15. Porcelain - German White
16. Porcelain - Music
17. Porcelain - Romanian Red
18. Porcelain - Russian Giant
19. Purple Stripe - Chesnok Red
20. Purple Stripe - Red Grain
21. Purple Stripe - Samarkand
22. Rocambole - Killarney Red
23. Rocambole - Montana Giant
24. Rocambole - Pitarelli
25. Turban - Lotus
26. Turban - Placid
27. Turban - Thai Fire
28. Unclassified - Pskem River
All said we planted 374 cloves of garlic last year and if we have a good harvest it should yeild over 40 lbs of garlic!