Hardneck vs Softneck Garlic: Choosing the Right One
Whilst we're all familiar with garlic in its culinary form. Many first time growers will not realise garlic is separated into these two categories based on each variety’s tendency to develop flower stalks (scape), its hardiness, and its clove formation pattern.
Hardneck garlic varieties are named for them growing a long flowering stem.
- These will grow bigger but fewer cloves.
- They are much easier to peel
- Much more hardy than softneck varieties.
- Have stronger, more complex flavours
- Hardneck varieties do not store as well as softneck varieties, starting to deteriorate within four to six months of harvest.
They will not produce a flowering stalk but a few soft leaves, making it much easier to braid them after harvest.
- Softneck varieties are what you might find in the supermarket as they can be planted mechanically. (Hardneck varieties must be planted by hand and the right way up and also have to have their scapes snipped off.)
- They store much longer then hardneck varieties
- Milder flavour
- Better for warmer areas but can still be overwintered easily in the UK with a little frost protection in colder areas.
Our softneck recommendation: Thermidrome Garlic
Whichever type you choose, planting them is exactly the same.