Garlic (Allium sativum) has two types or subspecies softneck and hardneck.
Almost all garlics found in supermarkets are softnecks because they can be planted mechanically, tolerate shipping better and store longer. Softnecks have a larger number of smaller sized cloves in a bulb and rarely send up a long flowering stem, called a scape. The cloves are usually arranged in multiple layers without a central stem.
Hardnecks produce the flower stem or scape, which can be seen as the stiff central stalk in the middle of the bulb. The cloves grow in a single layer around the stem and are usually larger. Hardnecks typically are easier to peel as they grow fewer layers of the papery wrapper, both around the bulb and individual cloves.
Hardnecks tend to thrive and produce better in areas of cooler to colder winters, while softnecks grow well in milder climates with little cool or cold winter weather. That isnt to say you need to be in a cold winter area to grow good hardnecks, just that they might be a little smaller than those grown in a cold winter.
Taste is where hardnecks really shine, as their flavor profile is far more complex, richer, spicier and more garlicky, adding much more to a dish than just a standard garlic flavor. After first tasting and cooking with hardnecks, many home gardeners will only use them in their dishes! Another benefit is the scapes are edible and quite delicious, giving a second harvest of extraordinary flavors.
Garlic is best stored in a cool, dry and dark place in the house as it is never completely dormant.
This is a pre-sale offer only, once we sell out of our committed amount, there wont be any more available until this time next year. Garlic orders will ship early September 2016.