Garlic varieties for next year

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6 years 6 months ago #518374 by Name123
I'd like to plant some more garlic varieties for next year. So far I've just been growing Takahui originally obtained from Koanga. Has anyone bought from anywhere they would recommend? Got any varieties you might recommend? The last place I would buy from is the local nursery, which always has the nastiest looking bags of diseased garlic I've ever seen.

Here are the varieties I've found for sale:

Setha's Seeds ($16/500g + postage)
- Rocambole
- Henry's Soft-top
- Takahui soft neck

Trade Me (all Cato's Garlic)
- Kakanui soft neck, 250g ($8 + $2 postage), 1kg ($25 + $10 postage)
- Ajo Rojo hard neck, 250g ($8 + $2 postage), 1kg ($25 + $10 postage)
- Printanor soft neck, 1kg ($25 + $10 postage)

Koanga
- New Zealand Purple hard neck rocambole, 150g ($10 + postage)
- Rocambole Early White hard neck, 150g ($10 + postage), 500g ($36 + postage)
- Takahui soft neck, 150g ($10 + postage), 500g ($36 + postage)
- Rocambole Early Red hard neck, 150g ($10 + postage)

Sentinel Seeds - shop web site down!
- Te Pirita soft neck.
- Kakanui hard neck.
- Takahui soft neck.
- Tulare soft neck.
- Printanor soft neck.

Interestingly, Trade Me Cato's Garlic lists Kakanui as soft top, and Sentinel Seeds lists it as hard top.

I might also ask sces what varieties they want grown out for next year, if any. Their guide seems to be a good overview of varieties available in NZ.

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6 years 6 months ago #518415 by Belle Bosse
Have you looked into Elephant Garlic?
It is huge and not quite as hot as some of the others, but still nice as garlic goes.

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6 years 6 months ago #518418 by 4trees
Hi, if you are interested I have Garlic chives which are really handy available. Cheers.

Cheers
http:treeandshrub.co.nz

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6 years 6 months ago #518427 by Name123

Belle Bosse wrote: Have you looked into Elephant Garlic?
It is huge and not quite as hot as some of the others, but still nice as garlic goes.

Yes. I have lots of elephant garlic. I am not particularly inspired by it, and just let it go to seed. Never produces any. I hear you can grow it as a leek, and eat it that way.

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6 years 6 months ago #518428 by Name123

4trees wrote: Hi, if you are interested I have Garlic chives which are really handy available. Cheers.

I have garlic chives. :)

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6 years 6 months ago #518429 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Garlic varieties for next year
Am not sure what your goal is in asking about other vvarieties? Are you trying to collect as many as possible so you have a full range of whats available?
I find one that grows well and keeps well and just usually stick with that and grow it year after year

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6 years 6 months ago #518433 by Name123

muri wrote: Am not sure what your goal is in asking about other vvarieties? Are you trying to collect as many as possible so you have a full range of whats available?
I find one that grows well and keeps well and just usually stick with that and grow it year after year

@richardw has commented several times that my garlic (takahue) was a soft neck, and he only grows hard neck now. I thought I'd look at all the different varieties available, and try a hard neck garlic to see if it was a better growing experience and maybe some others. I was hoping that people might suggest other places to get different varieties, or existing places where not to get them if they were low quality like my local nursery.

That said, maybe it's a good investment (time and gardening effort-wise) to collect and grow as many varieties as possible in the long term.

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6 years 6 months ago #518477 by meganp
There are a small group of people who are actively trying to produce true garlic seed which is only made possible by removing the bulbils in the spathes of hardneck varieties to allow the flowers a better chance of survival. It is a painstaking process with a very low rate of success. Even if the flowers survive - many of the flowers will shrivel up before they open and are pollinated, the germination rate of the resulting seed is as low as 30%.
Growers in the US and Canada who have had the most success have worked with garlic from the purple stripe varietal group and here in NZ, both the Tokoroa Community Garden and a seed saver friend of Richard's have produced TGS without any intervention but sadly, were not aware of the importance of their achievements at the time.
Fortunately, Robyn at the TCG sowed the resulting seeds and has shared some of the garlic plants with Richard and me. It is also possible to import true garlic seed from Dr Ivan Buddenhagen who is the only person currently selling tgs to the public, providing that you apply for the necessary permits. Although many seeds have been produced in research laboratories since the 1980's none of it has been made available to the general public.
Artichoke garlic which is a softneck garlic has been selectively cloned over the years and no longer produces scape and when it does bolt, the bulbils are produced in the pseudostem and there are no flowers.
None of the garlic that is sold in NZ is correctly identified by its varietal group so we have to work with whatever hardneck varieties are available and observe the characteristics over several growing seasons to try to correctly identify them.
Each varietal group has different characteristics and growing multiple varieties not only allows you to extend the growing season but offers different flavours. Just as we grow different apples - sweet dessert, tart crisp eaters, cooking apples; cider apples; early & late varieties; garlic has different characteristics. Turbans are semi bolting and very early to harvest - they can be ready to lift at the end of November to first week in December depending the growing conditions; followed by artichoke varieties mid to late December; purple stripes; creoles; rocamboles and silverskins January through to the beginning of February. The flavours are quite different too - some are very hot tasting raw, others very sweet with a lingering after taste and others very mild. Their storage qualities range from 4-5 months for turbans up to 8 months for the creoles and silverskins. I was still using artichoke varieties last right up to December, although they had sprouted, were still fine to eat.
Name123 if you would like to try some un named hardneck bulbils, send me a pm and I'll give you my address to send a stamped addressed envelope. They will take three to four years to grow into full sized bulbs - the first season will usually produce rounds - undivided bulbs; followed by small bulbs the following season. If the cloves from those bulbs are very small, they may revert to rounds when replanted
The following user(s) said Thank You: rotors, RichardW

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6 years 6 months ago #518487 by Name123

meganp wrote: None of the garlic that is sold in NZ is correctly identified by its varietal group so we have to work with whatever hardneck varieties are available and observe the characteristics over several growing seasons to try to correctly identify them.
Each varietal group has different characteristics and growing multiple varieties not only allows you to extend the growing season but offers different flavours. Just as we grow different apples - sweet dessert, tart crisp eaters, cooking apples; cider apples; early & late varieties; garlic has different characteristics. Turbans are semi bolting and very early to harvest - they can be ready to lift at the end of November to first week in December depending the growing conditions; followed by artichoke varieties mid to late December; purple stripes; creoles; rocamboles and silverskins January through to the beginning of February. The flavours are quite different too - some are very hot tasting raw, others very sweet with a lingering after taste and others very mild. Their storage qualities range from 4-5 months for turbans up to 8 months for the creoles and silverskins. I was still using artichoke varieties last right up to December, although they had sprouted, were still fine to eat.

I'm familiar with true garlic seed and when you and Richard get it sorted, I look forward to growing it. I'm interested in named varieties of garlic available in NZ, to hopefully be sure I am actually getting different varieties, although given the sentinel/catos mismatch in my original post even that is questionable. I still have bulbils from my garlic last year, I have enough hobbies/projects and don't have the interest to grow them out. But thanks for the offer.

The information on varieties is something I can look into further. Thanks.

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6 years 6 months ago #518488 by meganp
A good place to start learning about the varietal groups is this site - www.australiangarlic.net.au/garlic-groups

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