NOT A GREAT YEAR FOR GARLIC, BUT….
By Mike Davis
My garlic crop this year was a little disappointing, but my favorite heirloom variety, which we've named “Spontaneo,” was, as usual, my most productive. The Spontaneo name stems from the Northern Italian family responsible for keeping the old variety growing after it was brought to the
by a friend of the great uncle of one of my friends, now living in Western Ohio, who grows several hundred plants of it each
year. Its reputation as a premier
variety for northern climates is growing rapidly. In my soil, bulbs average over 2.5 inches in
diameter most years, just a bit less this year. Its strong root system resists heaving from
freeze-thaw cycles, it’s sweet and versatile, and its strong wrapper makes it a
good keeper as hardnecks go. It
consistently grows five cloves per bulb; I have to cut them in half, sometimes
into thirds, to fit them into my garlic press.
This year’s crop is spoken for, but if next year’s crop allows, I’ll
send a bulb or two to each of the first ten people who request one around Labor
Day in 2014. Here’s a photo showing the
largest of each of my four varieties this year.
to right: Music (a porcelain from |