grocery store garlic vs. garden center garlic

phantom_white(6)August 25, 2006

i've heard numerous people say that garlic bulbs bought at the grocery store are just as good for planting as those bought from the local garden center. i've heard equally as many say that grocery store garlic should be avoided, and to go with what the garden center sells. i'm a first-time garlic grower, so can someone point me in the right direction?

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Hi Phantom,

I planted Inchelium Red and grocery store garlic this year and the grocery store was much larger with nice fat cloves. It also matured sooner and tasted fine. Mind you I have not yet tasted any of the Inchelium Red, and have not yet developed a refined garlic palate, so I can't compare flavor, but I was quite happy with the grocery store crop. Be sure to plant only large cloves from large firm bulbs, and you may want to try more than one type for comparison.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 5:44PM
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i was going to plant Music garlic, but they were SO expensive... i guess i'll just stick with my store-bought garlic. maybe i'll post later on to let you know how they did. thanks for posting.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 6:25PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Phantom, grocery store garlic will grow just fine.

However, 99% of store-bought grocery is California White, arguably the worst choice of the 540 known varieties. It's problems are legion, starting with the fact that it doesn't taste all that good at its best, and tends to turn bitter.

Music is a very good choice; a great general purpose garlic that many people feel epitomizes what garlic should be.

Yes, like most "gourmet" garlic, the purchase price can be high. But consider this: It's a one-time purchase. Once you bring in your first crop you save some of it back for replanting.

I once did the math on this, and by the third year (with certain, perhaps unrealistic assumptions about replanting), your cost-per-bulb is something like 1.9 cents.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 7:35AM
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veggiecanner(Id 5/6)

I started with grocery store garlic the first year. planted a small bed of it. the second year I found a flea market with garlic for sale. I bought 2 different types, 2 bulbs of each and planted them with bulbs from my first harvest of grocery store garlic.
i have recieved some other types through trades so now I am going to plant less and less of the grocery store kind.
However the grocery store garlic has allowed me to raise plenty for the table while expanding my garlic production for very little cost. I'll probably not ever quit growing from my original grocery store garlic as it is doing pretty good here, this will be the 4th year growing it in my garden. Now I grow about a 4x15 foot bed of garlic, which is plenty for 2 people. For my original cost of $5.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 6:32PM
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