Planting your own organic seed garlic provides a year round supply that can be sustainably grown year after year. They are available in groups that are suitable for planting based on heat, winter conditions and length of the growing season. The type of organic seed garlic that has spread throughout the world from its supposed origins in Central Asia is Allium sativum. Plants referred to as wild garlic, including those found in the U.S. are usually members of the Allium family, generally Allium vineale. Gardens around old homesteads where garlic was once planted may continue to reproduce, just as they do with asparagus and wild onions.
Different varieties of certified organic seed garlic can be planted to provide a longer harvest if desired. Be sure to plant for both cooking and replanting the following year. This is one of the easiest plants for sustainable gardening, so long as they are stored correctly. The plants are usually divided into softnecks which braid well, and hardneck varieties. You may want to try some of both; softnecks tend to thrive in warmer areas, while hardnecks do better in areas that are cooler. It grows well in many soil types, but does best in soil that drains well. Garlic seeds should be planted during cool weather.
• Artichoke garlic seeds is considered to be the easiest to grow. It encounters few problems during the season and rarely bolts. It’s adaptable and does well in heat; however this variety doesn’t tolerate cold winters.
• Asiatic garlic is a fast maturing variety with white or striped purple cloves, and is good for storing.
• Creole garlic seeds produce bulbs that live up to the name, with both sweet and hot varieties that grow well in the South.
• Purple Stripe Garlic seeds grows well in the South with thick scapes that can be used in cooking. The bulbs are easy to peel and feature a complex, rich flavor.
• Porcelain garlic is the highest yielding plant and features easy to peel, large cloves.
• Rocambole garlic seeds are considered the best tasting of all garlics, featuring easy peeling bulbs. This variety is best suited to Northern climates as it requires cold weather for the best growth.
• SilverSkin Garlic is a variety that is very adaptable to most climates, however it may not provide the rich flavor people associate with the plant. The organic seed garlic from this variety can be stored for a year.
• Turban garlic produces large bulbs early in the season. The flavor is hot when raw and adds a nice accent when cooked.
Organic seed garlic can be planted in pots indoors or directly into the ground. Garlic is a great companion for lettuce, cabbage and beets. It’s long been used in medicinal gardens. It shouldn’t be planted near potatoes, peas or beans though. Once the leaves turn brown the bulbs should be ready to pick. Depending on climate conditions some can be left in the garden to regrow the following season, or the bulbs can be stored for replanting. Hang them in a cool area for storing to prevent rot. Brush off any dirt and peel before using. Most types can be easily replanted the following year to create a sustainable supply. Organic seed garlic should be grown using organic gardening methods for the healthiest and highest quality produce.