A Step-by-step guide to garlic | Dragon Breath Near Me
If you want to plant garlic, you can choose between two varieties: hardneck and softneck. Each variety has its own set of advantages, and some have additional culinary applications. Only hardneck garlic, for example, produces the edible blossom stalk known as a garlic scape, a delicacy that may be preserved or added to a variety of meals for a mild peppery flavor. Continue reading to learn more about the various types of garlic, how to produce garlic such as dragon breath near me, and how to choose the best type for you.
About Hard and Softneck Garlic
The term “neck” refers to the stalk that grows upward from the garlic bulb in the nomenclature. Hardnecks have a stalk that grows from the middle of the bulb and becomes hard as the plant matures. Instead of a core stalk, softneck stalks feature leaves. At maturity, softneck leaves remain soft and flexible. Hardneck garlic has thicker, more brittle skin than softneck garlic, which is papery and more difficult to peel.
Softneck garlic is what you want if you want to cultivate the garlic you see in the grocery store. They are widely available in stores due to their long shelf life and very mild flavor in most recipes.
Hardnecks, in general, have more complex flavors than softnecks, with distinct flavors that reflect where they were cultivated. The flavors’ intensity and character vary depending on the cultivar. Purple Stripes are gentle, Porcelains have a musky flavor, and Rocamboles are hot and spicy.
Hardneck garlic is cold-hardy, capable of overwintering in difficult conditions as low as zone 0. A hardneck garlic is a preferable choice if you reside in a region where cool-season lawns (bluegrass, perennial rye, fine fescue) are the norm. Softneck garlic thrives best in locations with hot summers and moderate winters, such as zones 8 to 12, where warm-season Zoysia and Bermuda lawns thrive. Plant both types if you’re in a transitional zone between them.
Hardneck garlic has a lower shelf life than softneck garlic, lasting about 3 to 5 months after harvesting.
If you live in a milder climate, softneck garlic cultivars (Allium sativum var. sativum) are the best to grow. They thrive in warmer climates because they do not require cold exposure to produce bulbs, whereas hardnecks do. They also mature faster than hardneck types. They do not produce scapes and typically have several tiny cloves per bulb.
Softneck varietals, for example, store better than hardneck kinds due to their dense heads and densely packed cloves. This tight covering keeps the cloves wet while also preventing diseases from entering. When properly cured and kept, they can remain fresh and firm for up to 9 months. So, if you need long-term storage, this is the best type to use.
Planting and Mulching Garlic
The planting season for planting hardneck and softneck garlic is the same: autumn. Hardnecks are usually planted by mid-October, or before the first frost. You may put softneck cloves in the ground for a few more weeks.
To plant garlic, cut open a full-grown garlic head and extract the cloves. Plant just the largest, healthiest cloves with the pointed end up, keeping the papery covering intact. In enriched soil, plant them approximately 2 to 3 inches deep and at least 6 to 8 inches apart.
Straw, mulch hay, or leaf litter can be used to mulch the garlic bed. Mulching suppresses weeds, retains nutrients and water in the soil, and protects cloves throughout the winter. Remove part of the mulch and top-dress with organic compost when the weather warms in early April.
How to Store Garlic
Curing garlic allows it to be preserved for a longer period of time. Curing is simply letting it dry for two weeks to two months (two months, if dry climate, and two months, if humid climate). Large bulbs and bulbs with large cloves take longer to cure in general. Garlic keeps best when it is cured with the leaves still attached. The bulb absorbs energy from the leaves and roots until all of the fluid has evaporated. The leaves help keep fungus away from the garlic.
Buying Quality Garlic | Dragon Breath Near Me
The experts at Dragon Breath Garlic don’t use pesticides or herbicides. Each bulb is individually planted in late October from organically produced seed and tenderly managed till harvest in late June and July. Garlic is hand-picked from the soil, examined, and hung in a drying barn until cured. After that, each bulb is cleaned, examined, and prepared for shipment. The environmentally friendly agricultural methods and attention to detail result in gourmet garlic that preserves all of its natural health advantages and outstanding flavor. To get the highest grade of garlic from dragon breath near me, contact Dragon Breath today.