Harvest Monday, October 27, 2014 – Planting Garlic – German White & Duganski

For the past umpteen years I have planted multiple varieties of garlic, all properly labeled at planting time. However, between harvesting, curing and cleaning I always manage to get the varieties mixed up. Currently, except for the German White, all my other garlics are mystery garlics.

So this year I decided to plant only 2 varieties, German White and Duganski. As you can see from the photos below it would be impossible to get the 2 varieties mixed up.

German white garlic (06998)

Garlic, German White

I like the German White very much, both the young garlic green and the garlic scape are fat and tender with a mild sweet garlic flavor, the garlic cloves are big and easy to peel. Each head contains 4 – 6  huge cloves. The head in the above photo contains 5 giant cloves and 1 small clove.

duganski garlic (06996)

Garlic, Duganski

Duganski is a new variety for me. We grew this variety in the Heritage Vegetable Garden at Locust Grove (where I am a volunteer) for the first time this year. When I saw the mature head of garlic that we harvested, I was smitten by its beauty (I know, you are thinking: “she’s got a loose screw upstairs”) decided then and there to plant this variety.

Each large head with its beautiful, purple stripe, contains 8 – 12 cloves. The head in the above photo contains 11 fairly equal-sized cloves.

Duganski is a hard neck garlic so I am looking forward to harvesting the scape as well. Like the German white the cloves are also easy to peel.

garlic cloves (06990)

Left: Duganski Garlic Clove. Right: German White Clove

As you can see from the above photo, the clove of the German White is about twice the size of the Duganski. I now have a choice of clove sizes when adding garlic to a dish.

◊ ◊ ◊

Garlic is easy to grow and bothered by few pests. If you have never grown garlic before do give it try. Below are my planting guide that I hope you will find useful and encouraged to give growing garlic a try.

» Select a well drained, sunny location in your garden.
» Garlic is a heavy feeder, I enrich the soil by digging in compost and/or well rotted manure.
» Select and save the best heads with the largest cloves from the current year harvest

If you are a first time garlic grower, get your garlic for planting from a farmers market or the health food store, the garlic from the food market are most likely treated with a growth retardant and will not grow.

Day of Planting
» I plant my garlic around the end of October, last year I planted on October 29, this year I am a few days earlier. Depending on your planting zone (I am zone 6a, used to be 5) your planting date will be different than mine. (Your local cooperative extension or your local garden centers are good sources for garlic planting time table.)
» I sprinkle granular organic fertilizes on the surface of the soil, mix in well using my hoe.
» Prior to planting, I separate the garlic cloves and plant each clove, pointed end up, 2 inches deep and 3 inches apart (the guideline is to plant the cloves 5 – 6 inches apart. See Harvesting below to learn why I plant my cloves so closely).
» Water well and deeply especially if the ground is dry. The cloves will get established before the ground freezes and may send out shoots. That’s OK, not to worry, they will survive the winter.

NOTE: Will mulch the garlic bed with a few inches of leaves after the ground freezes.

» Weed if needed.
» I fertilize with fish emulsion fertilizer in the spring and water as needed. By the first week of July, as harvest approaches, I water less frequently and no watering few days before harvest.

Garlic Green aka Green Garlic – Starting around the end of March (depending on weather may be early April) I begin to harvest every other garlic plant to use as garlic green (also known as green garlic) until around mid-May. The whole plant, green as well as white parts, are edible.

Click here for a (non)recipe using garlic greens.

The remainder of the garlic plants are now properly spaced to grow and mature into full heads. For the same space I am getting 2 different crops.

garlic green (01328)

Garlic Green aka Green Garlic

Garlic Scape – Around the last week of May, the garlic plant begin to send out garlic scape (seed stem) which I harvest until about the 3rd week of June. (Soft neck garlic will not produce scape.)

You can substitute garlic scape for the garlic green in this (non)recipe.

garlic scape (03163)

Garlic Scapes

garlic scapes (03190)

Garlic Scapes

I run my fingers along the seed stem and snap, both the stem and bud are edible.

Garlic Head – Harvest when the lower leaves are brown but at least 4 green leaves remain on the top of the stem, for me that’s around mid-July.

garlic (o5442)


To check for readiness, I dig one head to see if it is nicely wrapped with a parchment-like wrapper, if not, I will check again in a few days. Once ready, using my garden fork, I lift the heads, very carefully, out of the ground (do NOT pull), brush off extra soil (do NOT wash) tie them into small bundles and hang them in my shed (see NOTE) to dry and cure. This will take a few weeks. Once cured, I trim the roots, cut the stems to about 1½ inch above the heads and brush off the loose dirt. Store at room temperature (not in the fridge). Will keep for 3 – 6 months, depending on variety.

NOTE: I leave my shed door open during this drying and curing period to allow for air circulation. You can also place the plants single layer on elevated screen or garden flats to dry. Drying should be done in a dry and airy location but out of the sun.

…   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …   …  …   … Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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80 Responses to Harvest Monday, October 27, 2014 – Planting Garlic – German White & Duganski

  1. Pete and I last grew garlic when we lived in Johannesburg. Just realised that was over 12 years ago!
    Have a beautiful week ahead Norma.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  2. Jenny says:

    Very nice garlic and so big! We also have several “mystery” garlic patches this year as my labels got stolen by birds (I usually lose half of them), but I did label new plantings this weekend and hope it will work out well.

  3. I love the purple papered garlic but to be honest any garlic is my friend. Your stash of garlic fills me with joy. 🙂

  4. Great photos!!! Wish I could put some in this year but…probably next year. We re still doing the garden clean-up and are quite busy.

  5. Great information about garlic Norma! That Duganski is beautiful. I hope is does well for you in your garden.

  6. Ginny says:

    Your excellent instructive article about planting and using garlic came at just the right time! I bought garlic at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in Saugerties in September, have been procrastinating about planting it and was thinking I better get it in the ground soon. With pleasant weather predicted for Tuesday – I’ll be following your instructions on planting it.Thanks for the helpful info!!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Ginny,
      You are welcome. Glad my post is timely, happy garlic planting tomorrow. Was going to attend the Garlic Festival this year but somehow never got to Saugerties.

  7. Eva Taylor says:

    That’s an amazing tutorial, thank you Norma! This year will be my final attempt, I’ve already spent more on growing garlic than I really use over one year. I must say I will be heart broken if it doesn’t work.

  8. dvelten says:

    Good tutorial. Hope it recruits more garlic growing addicts because it really isn’t hard to grow and the results are so satisfying. I am planting Duganski this year as well. Hope the results are as nice looking as yours. The catalog pictures were certainly enticing.

  9. pooks says:

    I planted garlic and shallots a few weeks ago [8a, here] but nothing has happened. Were they supposed to send up shoots? I am sad. And wondering if I should plant more.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Pooks,
      May be may be not. Where did you get your garlic for planting? If from the food market they may not grow as they most likely were treated with growth retardant. I am not familiar with the planting time table for zone 8a, you could call your co-operative extension for a garlic growing fact sheet.

  10. Michelle says:

    Garlic planting is on my list of must do for this week. Excellent tutorial Norma, thank you.

  11. cecilia says:

    I have multiple varieties to plant this year as well.. I hope the wind does not blow my labels away.. but I am sureyour Garlic is good whether it is mystery garlic or not! //c

    On Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 6:12 AM, Garden to Wok wrote:

    > Norma Chang posted: “For the past umpteen years I have planted > multiple varieties of garlic, all properly labeled at planting > time. However, between harvesting, curing and cleaning I always manage to > get the varieties mixed up. Currently, except for the German White, all my > o”

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Cecilia,
      I wish I was more organized. Don’t know how you managed to keep up with all that needs to get done on your farm and still be so organized, any tips for me?

  12. Love those garlic scapes! When is the best time to plant garlic?

  13. p.s I planted some in September, but I just got some green leaves…nowhere to see the garlic scapes :-((

  14. Great informative post, Norma! I never knew there are so many different types of garlic. I definitely prefer the easy to peel one though!

  15. Our garden just about exploded with garlic somehow, it was the weirdest thing! 😛
    Your garlic stash looks so good, we use it more than anything 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. grafixmuse says:

    I love the purple stripes on the Duganski too. Very nice tutorial on how to plant garlic too. I hope it encourages some to try growing some. It is rather easy to grow and so rewarding.

  17. cheri says:

    Hi Norma, I tried growing garlic before with no luck, thinking maybe it was something from the market. will buy from farmers market, great tips. Pinned!

  18. Margaret says:

    Wonderful garlic primer, Norma! I’ve never tried green garlic before – is it similar in flavour or milder/stronger than scapes?

  19. How long will the garlic keep after harvest?

  20. mac says:

    Great tutorial, Duganski is beautiful. My daughter gave me 10 different varieties of garlic to plant this year, I’ll have to plant some of them at the old house due to lack of space here, that means I won’t be able to check on them as often and possibly miss the young garlic scapes.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      You are such an organized person I am sure you will not get the 10 varieties mixed up like I would. Looking forward to reading about them in a future post.

  21. I’ve got to get my garlic in the ground this weekend! Thanks for the great essay.

  22. Ms. Norma that garlic looks absolutely wonderful You always amaze me with your superb harvesting skills.

  23. hotlyspiced says:

    I’ve never seen garlic scapes here and definitely have never tried them. I would love to try them. I didn’t know it’s easy to grow garlic – I thought it would have been very tricky. I do always find that white garlic is easier to peel but purply coloured garlic is more tricky and definitely the cloves are smaller. Great that you have a choice! xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      Garlic is one of the easiest crop to grow, you can even grow it among your flowers or in a container. To get garlic scape you need to plant hard neck garlic, soft neck garlic does not produce scape. Your local garden center should be able to help with planting time table.

  24. Kristy says:

    I’m definitely going to remember to grow garlic someday when I have a garden. It sounds like an easier thing to grow especially since it’s resistant to most pests. I do love garlic too. I think we go through one to two heads a week easily. I typically double what most recipes call for I just love it so much. 🙂

  25. Juliana says:

    Norma, thank you so much for the tips of planting garlic…I love garlic but never planted any kind of it, especially that I do not have space for it…but will considered planting in pots
    Awesome pictures as usual..hope you are having a fabulous week 🙂

  26. daphnegould says:

    I’ve got to get my garlic in the ground too. I grow the same German garlic (though I call it German Extra Hardy). It is very nice in the kitchen as it is so large and I usually want a lot of garlic.

  27. ChgoJohn says:

    What a great post, Norma. You’ve taught us all quite a bit about planting garlic and I bet this post will get referenced plenty of times. I myself do not plant garlic but, if I ever do, I’ll be sure to come back here to learn how it’s done. Thank you!

  28. Sophie33 says:

    I am on a list for an allotment nearby. I really want to grow all of this later on! I have never seen garlic scales over here though,..I am intrigued! A good produce, Norma! x

  29. Sophie33 says:

    I am on a list for an allotment nearby. I really want to grow all of this later on! I have never seen garlic scapes over here though,..I am intrigued! A good produce, Norma! x

  30. Oh, I can see the beauty of the duganski as well! You are so my inspiration for gardening when we move again next year—you always get me so excited with your posts and harvests!

  31. cocomino says:

    They are very large. It’s interesting to grow such unique garlics.

  32. Sophie33 says:

    Hey Norma!
    We surpassed 11 other candidates & have the allotment since November the 1st! yeah! We already worked there 5 hours to put & clean away the weeds. The land is 9 meters deep & 17 meters large. Great hey? There were a lot of those nasturtiums, those edible flowers ,..they reached to everywhere & they have big roots too! Never again! 🙂
    I will keep you posted about the allotment but I can’t post about it yet, because the renters, the people who have the land, chose us before the others,..;It is only 10 minutes on bike, from where I live! xxx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sophie,
      So glad you got the allotment, nice size lot and only 10 minutes bike ride from your home, that’s so convenient. Looking forward to your garden progress. Have you decided what you are going to plant?

  33. Karen says:

    Great post, Norma. Each year I tell myself that I’m going to plant garlic but have yet to follow through as this seems to be one of my busiest times of the year. My loss as I use a lot of garlic in my cooking.

  34. Pingback: Harvest Monday, July 6, 2015 – Bolted Radicchio + Container Little Finger Carrots | Garden to Wok

  35. Pingback: Harvest Monday, May 9, 2016 – Transplanting Peas & Carrots + Garden Update + 1st Tree Peony Bloom | Garden to Wok

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