Garlic is a popular perennial that is easy to grow and adds taste to food. You won’t find a limitless supply of different kinds of garlic in the vegetable area of the supermarket. You usually only have one option. And the label simply says garlic. However, there are a variety of garlic cultivars that come from all over the world, from Asia to Russia to France.
Growing different garlic varieties is a lot of fun. Once you’ve harvested and cured your crop, you can appreciate the variances in flavor next year.
You’re probably planning to prepare your garden beds and might be looking for the different varieties of garlic seeds now that garlic planting season has here. How do you know which ones are most suited to survive the cold, last the longest in storage, or offer the most heat to your favorite dishes, with so many options available?
Although garlic comes in hundreds of varieties, we’ve chosen our favorite and most popular ones.
Basic Types of Garlic
Garlic comes in two varieties: softneck and hardneck.
It’s critical to know the distinction between hardneck and softneck garlic. If you want a bumper crop of garlic scapes, go for hardneck kinds, which are also better suited to colder climes. Warmer climates produce more softneck garlic, which lasts longer in storage. This is the type of garlic you’ll usually find in the supermarket.
Garlic Varieties That You Should Know
This garlic has a white exterior peel and deep purple-striped interior wrapping. It’s a mid-to-late-season type with a long storage life. Individual cloves are pointed with brown, purple-streaked wrappers, and bulbs typically contain 4 to 6 cloves per bulb. Bogatyr has a long-lasting and spicy flavor.
This cultivar has medium to big bulbs with 4 to 6 uniform cloves.
This cold-hardy species has beautiful skin with dark purple stripes and hails from the Republic of Georgia (not the state). It takes longer to mature than most other types, producing tiny to medium-sized bulbs with 9 to 10 cloves each. Roasting Chesnok Red is a wonderful choice because it keeps its garlicky flavor.
This garlic derives its name from the Republic of Georgia, and it belongs to the porcelain garlic group because of the satiny white outer wrapping surrounding the bulbs. The inner wrappers can be brownish, purple, or a combination of the two colors. Individual bulbs are enormous, with 5 to 8 huge cloves per bulb, and it’s frequently referred to as one of the best-tasting types, with a white-hot flavor.
This is a popular and dependable cultivar. It has big bulbs with brown-colored outer wrappers, and an average of 6 large cloves per bulb is produced. When eaten raw, the flavor is fiery, but it cools down over time.
This cultivar is known for its pink blushed cloves, which are sweeter and gentler in flavor than white varietals when cooked and heated when eaten raw. Plants generate 12 to 16 cloves per bulb and keep them for a long time.
The white outer skin of this type has red streaks, and it produces huge bulbs with roughly 8 cloves apiece. It has a rich and spicy flavor, and because it doesn’t store as well as other varieties, it’s a good choice for dehydrating or freezing.
This garlic is a heritage cultivar from Russia’s Black Sea region, with huge bulbs and cloves and a milder flavor than other varieties.
If we had to pick just one variety to cultivate, Music would be it. It’s a hardy type that stores nicely. At maturity, the plants produce huge, usually white bulbs with four to six easy-to-peel cloves per bulb. The flavor is strong and lingers.
German White, a popular variety with enormous white bulbs, used to be the most common kind found at garlic festivals and farm stands.
Despite its hardiness and disease resistance, I’ve struggled to keep it growing year after year, with many of the planted cloves decaying or failing to survive the winter.
This variety’s plants have wider leaves than others, although they aren’t particularly tall. They produce a medium-sized bulb with 6 to 8 homogeneous cloves in light purple to reddish-brown colors. It has a mild flavor and is excellent for roasting.
It’s s indistinguishable from Bogatyr in terms of physical traits and flavor, although it has somewhat different genetics.
This garlic produces medium to large bulbs with 4 or 5 cloves per bulb and is a very hot variation.
This medium-sized garlic bulb has 5 to 9 cloves and is recognized by its bright crimson stripes. It works well in pesto because of its strong garlic flavor, which stands up to heat without being overpowering.
This garlic has a softer flavor than most hardneck kinds, but it’s robust enough to distinguish itself from milder softneck varieties.
This type produces a medium to large bulb with few cloves and is resistant to bottom rot (approximately 4 to 7 per bulb).
This cultivar, which has a hue similar to German Red, has been a reliable performer for us, producing medium-sized bulbs with large, easy-to-peel cloves (4 to 6 per bulb).
A hardy cultivar with huge plants and bulbs containing 5 to 8 enormous cloves apiece. The flavor is spicy and works well in a variety of cuisines, especially when eaten raw.
They have qualities in common with Music. The bulbs are huge, with white wrappers and a hazy purple line running across them.
This is a reliable, early variety with brownish-purple outer wrappers. Its huge bulbs each contain 4 to 6 cloves, some of which are doubled (two cloves within a single wrapper skin).
It’s the tastiest and most attractive cultivar among the over 100 variations. It comes in a variety of purple colors, ranging from deep black to blush pink. And the flavor is powerful but not overpowering—it reminds me of a huge bold red wine. It can be used in any recipe that requires raw garlic, such as garlic butter, dips, and dressings.
It’s a softneck cultivar that gets its name from the overlapping clove structure surrounding the bulb, which looks like an artichoke. The bulbs are huge, and the plants are strong. This garlic rarely produces seedheads, although they occasionally develop bulbils that protrude from the lowest section of the stem. Artichoke garlic typically has 12-20 cloves with a mild flavor. They are a favorite among those who prefer eating raw garlic because of the mild flavor. The flavor of some strains may be enhanced by cold winter growth.
Vietnamese Red Garlic
It’s a hardneck garlic that may last 6 to 8 months in the refrigerator. With hardneck rocambole garlic, it’s all about the flavor. The smooth, creamy texture of the easy-to-peel purple striped cloves is complemented with a great combination of sweet and salty flavor. It gives exactly the appropriate garlic flavor to any dish while allowing the other components to shine. It’s excellent for places in the north, and it keeps well in the refrigerator.
Italian Late Garlic
It’s a softneck garlic kind. It can be kept for up to 6 months in the refrigerator. Tight, light-colored wrappers enclose large, round outer cloves in this softneck artichoke garlic. It has a deep garlic flavor that is appealing to the palate. It has a high yield and can be braided. Each bulb contains 8 to 12 cloves.
It’s a sort of leek, not a real garlic variation. Soups, salads, and sauces benefit from the mild flavor, which leaves no garlic aftertaste. It belongs to the same family as the leek. Mammoth bulbs can weigh up to a pound and contain 5 to 7 large cloves. It can be kept for 6 to 10 months in the refrigerator.
Garlic is a simple and enjoyable plant to grow. Watering should be done carefully to keep the soil moist but not wet. Too much moisture in the soil might cause decay, while too little moisture will diminish the number of cloves produced. Mulching helps to add a layer of winter protection to raised beds.
Garlic, like onions, is a strong feeder, so adding some garden food before planting can help feed the plants into the spring. Adding plenty of leaf compost and/or aged manure to the soil will provide the garlic with the proper level of fertility.