Garlic for Arizona

tracydr(9b)May 25, 2010

I'm loving my garlic that I grew this winter. I just started using it this week and it's amazing. I haven't been drying it yet, just pulling it up and using the entire bulb. I'm waiting to pull out the bigger ones as they don't look quite ready yet. Can hardly wait to try the elephant garlic, which is blooming right now.

Last winter, I planted grocery store garlic/elephant garlic. The quality of the garlic was not great. I'm thrilled with the results. I'd like to improve on this by actually ordering something unique this year. I know it probably needs to be softneck but wondering what varieties you recommend. We like a strong, fresh garlic taste and long keeping qualities.

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bloosquall(Wa 6)

The longest storing garlic are the silverskins. I suggest Silver Rose for it's size and crispness. Artichokes are less hot and more on the mild side. Lorz and Inchelium are my two favorites but there are many.

-bloo

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 9:06PM
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tracydr(9b)

Thanks! What do you think the white, papery skin store variety is in Arizona? It sure doesn't seem to keep very long when I buy it. Although the stuff I'm pulling up is from the grocery store garlic and seems nothing like it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 9:10PM
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bloosquall(Wa 6)

Tracy,

A lot of the grocery store garlic is a softneck Artichoke from China, the reason it doesn't last very long is because it's been in cold storage for who knows how long so when it gets to the store it wants to start growing. I have found a silverskin at a local vegi place here though. I believe it comes from Cali.

Here is a link that might be useful: click here for more info and varieties

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:42PM
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neohippie(8b)

Do you live the desert part of Arizona? There's actually a variety called Sonoran that is an heirloom from your region. I'm looking for it to add to my own collection and it looks like Ronniger's Potato Farm (www.ronnigers.com) carries it as well as The Garlic Store (www.thegarlicstore.com).

No idea how it tastes, since I haven't grown it myself yet, but I just thought it was neat that there was a garlic variety "native" to the Sonoran desert. I would guess that means it grows well there. (At least better than something like German Extra Hardy or anything else advertised as being cold-hardy... yeah, not a problem for us!)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 1:11PM
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tracydr(9b)

I found a place that grows near here on Local Harvest. They actually have a few hard necks that I want to try.
Real probably get Bloosquall,'s recommendations as well, for insurance.
I have a partially shaded place I'd like to put in garlic for the winter? Will that work? I've been growing in my front yard but they're not that pretty late in the season. Would rather put some prettier brasicas in that spot.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 9:59AM
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tracydr(9b)

I found a place that grows near here on Local Harvest. They actually have a few hard necks that I want to try.
Real probably get Bloosquall,'s recommendations as well, for insurance.
I have a partially shaded place I'd like to put in garlic for the winter? Will that work? I've been growing in my front yard but they're not that pretty late in the season. Would rather put some prettier brasicas in that spot.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 10:00AM
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bloosquall(Wa 6)

Tracy, for the hardnecks I would suggest a porcelain or purple stripe...there are so many to chose from it would be tough to make a list but here are a few that are popular these days. partial shade is ok for garlic...the more sun the better as a rule but they'll be ok

Porcelain:
Music
Romanian Red
Rosewood
German White
Georgian Crystal or fire

Purple stripe:
Chesnok
Estonian
Klaver
Metechi

Check out filaree for a good list of varieties then go buy from who ever you feel comfortable with.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 11:46PM
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tracydr(9b)

Bloosquall- would it be better to buy locally so that garlic is adapted or will your garlic be fine? If you think yours will do ok, when should I order it? I'll probably want about 5 pounds of mixed varieties.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 11:58AM
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bloosquall(Wa 6)

Tracy, I would recommend getting bulbs that you know already grow well in that location. I'm in zone 6 where everything but the creoles grow well. I listed some that I will have available but by no means insist you buy from me...there are many small growers like me out there with good garlic. I listed the purple stripe and porcelains because I understand they will do well in both the north and the south. Another family is the artichokes and silver skins that are grown in Cali where it's warmer.

I am taking advanced orders at this time if that is your choice. Another one is "we grow garlic.com." Karen is wonderful. Also Natalie at Cornerstone garlic farm in NC is worthy of a mention.

-bloo

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 10:48PM
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thinking_stomach

Hi Tracy,

I also live in a very warm climate, like you, and I grow A LOT of garlic. Someone recommended Sonoran, which is a recommendation I would second. However, it doesn't store for very long. In my climate (Southern CA), all varieties do pretty well EXCEPT the porcelains. I just wrote about my garlic harvest on my site; perhaps on it, you can find some varieties that interest you.

Also, Gourmet Garlic Gardens is based in Texas and is accustomed to selling seed stock to folks who live in warm climates. It might be a source to check out, if you can't find what you're looking for locally.

Here is a link that might be useful: The 2010 Garlic Harvest

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 5:03PM
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promethean_spark

I grew silver rose this year, it was the last garlic to come in and the onset of hot/dry summer stunted it a bit. I would not recommend it for hot parts of Arizona.

A trick you can do with garlic is refrigerate it for a month before planting. This tricks the garlic into think it is spring (when it's really October) and the garlic will emerge sooner and grow more vigorously. Without this cold treatment, some garlics will grow timidly to avoid winter damage until they accumulate enough chilling in-situ.

Here's an example: refrigerated on the right
From 2010-06-16

Turban and asiatic garlics will start sprouting vigorously in the fall even without pre-chilling, which is why they don't store well - but is also why they succeed in tropical areas. They ripen first too, which makes them the most reliable in hot climates.

I have a variety of 'warm climate' garlic for trade if you're interested, just send an email. We're a long way from planting time though, so no rush. ;)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 2:21PM
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tracydr(9b)

Promethean spark, thanks very much!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 1:38AM
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tracydr(9b)

These tips and tricks are great! I'm so excited to try something besides my grocery store bought garlic,
I just planted tshe stuff from the store as an experiment, thinking they wouldn't do well here at all. Actually planted it only as a bunny deterrent, along with onions.
The deterrent didn't work BTW. After I took down the net to harvest late peas the bunnies ate everything, especially the onions!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 9:59AM
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bucks(9 Arizona)

Tracy: I am a small grower in the Phoenix area.I am all natural. You may wish to get your stock from the same place I did, and that was Dutch Valley Growers. It is fresh and is a California white softneck which really grows well in this Arizona heat. They are on the internet. Just tell them that you are a small grower like me and they will most likley sell to you. They have a 10 pound box and a 30 pound box.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 8:06PM
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crackerusmc

Not trying to solicit sales, but I came across your post and thought I would relay this information on. I have included our family owned and operated farm information for your review. All of our Garlic is raised utilizing organic methods here in the Northern part of Arizona (Camp Verde). If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thanks

www.bakerfamilyfarms.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Baker Family Farms

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 11:03PM
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tracydr(9b)

Thanks very much,crackerusmc. I'll consider making an order from you for this year's garlic!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 4:17PM
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