ID-ing grocery store garlic

phantom_white(6)July 10, 2010

I hear that garlic can't be hybridized and that any garlic bought in the store is probably not "messed with" as far as genetics go. If that's the case, does anyone know if normal supermarkets sell heirloom varieties? I usually buy garlic from Walmart and have gotten solid white, white with pink stripes, white with deep purple clove skin, and some that was brownish. I always end up having some of the cloves sprout, so would they be worth cultivating even if I didn't know what they were? I planted a bunch a couple week ago that sprouted and they're coming up right now...


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Most grocery store garlic is softneck type because they are large, store long, and have lots of cloves, i.e. good marketing properties. Historically these have been California Early or California Late, but since most such garlic now comes from China I am not sure of the variety. Many are treated to prevent sprouting, so planting garlic from the grocery store may or may not work (but usually does).

Garlic should be planted mid October to mid November in zone 6, so the ones you just planted will not form bulbs, but can be used as garlic scallions.

If you are looking for specialty or gourmet garlic I suggest you try and


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 4:28PM
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still_kris(z17 NoCA)

Don't forget to check out local farmers markets for garlic to grow. If itis from your area then all the better as it will be acclimated already.

Also, check out alternative grocery stores, healthfood stores, co-ops and the like as they many times specialize in locally grown produce.

I have had really good luck with a white grocery store variety. I think it might be late Italian, but I am not sure. Purchased garlic for seen that was not organic as it was the nicest looking of the lot. Grew it one year and it is considerably fuller than what I started with.

"Any garlic is better than no garlic" has been my mantra for many years so I take what I get and am grateful when it exceeds my expectations.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 2:31PM
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bloosquall(Wa 6)

The checks in the mail Tom...I have found the garlic at walmart to be straight from China...ewww. From what I've seen the bulbs with the concave bottoms where the roots were are from China. I have no idea what they may be.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 5:59PM
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jonas302(central mn 4)

I planted Chinese garlic here in mn from some bulbs that sprouted last fall what a waste of space my hard necks are doing super but it might be climate related

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 11:30PM
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