Need advice on seed garlic

sheryl77November 20, 2012

My local stores are out of the garlic they sell for their customers to plant. I order things through Azure Standard but their seed garlic is very expensive. A pound of Bair Organics Seed Garlic, Chesnok Hardneck, is $19 and a pound of Bair Organics Seed Garlic Inchelium Softneck is $14.

Is seed garlic usually that expensive? Can I just plant stuff out of the store? Would I be able to use the garlic that comes up for seed garlic next fall? Anyone know the differences between these two garlics?

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stevelau1911

Hard neck garlics are typically stronger in flavor with larger cloves while softnecks are easier to brade after harvesting them.

One thing with seed garlic is that not all of them will sprout and be viable while when you use bulbs, almost all of them will be viable. As far as growing from seed vs growing from bulbs, I would suggest going straight with bulbs since they will make seed heads anyways.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Those prices are typical for seed garlic. I'm actually surprised they have any left.

Store bought garlic is usually "California Early" and is one of the most boring and blah garlics out there. You can plant it, and continue saving you own planting stock, but I wouldn't recommend it.

I sell seed quality hardneck garlic for $10/lb. plus shipping and still have some available. If you are interested you can email me at madroneb@yahoo.com (hopefully no one will mind this plug :)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 8:31PM
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gemini_jim(7 MD)

A farmers market or health food store might have more interesting selections, with the bonus that they are more likely to be locally adapted.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:14AM
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still_kris(z17 NoCA)

I grow several varieties of garlic and take offense at the comments about the grocery store kind. It is nice to look at and stores well besides being good tasting. Yes, there are others with large, impressive cloves, some are much spicier, but this is a good working-class garlic, imho, and I have no trouble selling it.

As far as the price of garlic used for seed (as opposed to those bulbules, as stevelau1911 misunderstood) it is very high priced, but given the state of shipping these days there is a lot of chance for rotted stock.

The best thing is to cultivate friends who grow garlic (don't know how you will find them, I have had no trouble) and trade with them.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:42AM
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stevelau1911

I grow a lot of grocery store garlic which is usually the artichoke soft neck varieties with a tinge of red on them. I grow those because they are easy to braid, but I also prefer to grow hard neck varieties because I like having a variety of species. The one drawback with hard neck types is that they tend to take longer to mature so I can't grow them in the vegetable garden.

I always thought seed garlic was the same thing as bulbils. Am I wrong? Anyways I prefer nice big cloves just because it is so much easier to harvest them, and unlike bulbils, large cloves will almost always produce nice heads of bulbils the following year.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:55PM
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