Garlic Varieties: Hard Neck vs. Soft Neck

    Hard Neck 

    The major thing that differentiates hard neck varieties from soft neck varieties is hard neck varieties produce a tall, woody flowering stalk that usually grows bulblets at the top, called a scape. But if the plant is allowed to put its energy into these seeds, the bulb forming below the ground will end up smaller. So cut seed stalks off as soon as the flower head has reached 8-9 inches tall. The scapes are a gourmet delight! Steam them whole and serve with melted butter like asparagus or cut them into short lengths to add to a stir fry. They have a delicate garlic flavor which gives a subtly different and delicious flavor to the sauce. Hard neck varieties tend to be hardier, but they can only be stored for about 3-4 months.

    Krandasger Red: Produces large bulbs with 6 – 8 large cloves per bulb. This garlic has an intense flavor that increases in intensity when the weather is colder.

    Music: This high yielding variety produces bulbs with about 4 – 5 cloves. Its flavor is slightly spicy, and sweetens when it’s roasted.

    Soft Neck 

    These garlic varieties tend to yield more cloves than hard neck varieties. They also typically store for twice as long. Because the necks are literally soft, these varieties of garlic can be braided.

    Inchelium Red: An all-purpose with a mild, lingering flavor. Produces large bulbs that are approximately 3” with about 10 cloves per bulb. Capable of being stored for up to 9 months.

    Transylvanian: Noted for its hot, sharp flavor, and of course its ability to keep the vampires away, this variety produces large bulbs with up 16 cloves, and stores extremely well.


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