Can anyone recommend a hardneck variety for southern California -- specifically the San Diego area? So far I've just been planting the grocery store bought garlic with some success. Thanks!
Turban and asiatic garlics are sort of hardneck garlic (they usually produce scapes), but what you probably want from a hardneck is good storage ability. You could try creole garlic for that.
Some garlic need a period of chilling to get them to sprout vigorously because the plant is adapted to not grow until it thinks winter is over. You don't want this to happen because they will grow timidly all winter long - while the conditions are perfect for garlic to grow well. If you refrigerate the garlic for a month in sept/oct before you plant them, they will think winter is over and sprout/grow significantly faster.
Thanks for the info! Can you recommend a good online store to purchase creole types? Also, I've noticed that some online stores don't tell you if the garlic is creole, turban, etc... what are some names of the creole types? Thanks!
I have ajo rojo, it should be ripe in a month or so. gourmetgarlicgardens sells them, among others, and has detailed descriptions. Mid to late summer is the time to look for garlic seed, most of the crop isn't even in yet for this year.
Garlic can also be frozen to preserve it as an alternative to garlic that stores well, allowing you to pick types that give you the best yield. Certainly turbin/asiatic and artichoke garlics will grow well for you, in addition to creoles. I got a number of baseball sized heads from turbins/asiatics this year, unfortunately these start sprouting in Oct unless you freeze or dry them.
Here is a link that might be useful:
Cool... thanks for the advice. I'll probably order one of the sample packs from gourmetgarlicgardens.com.