Planted 150 garlic bulbils today. Fortunately I ordered three nice varieties; unfortunately they will be a couple years to maturity.
I decided to try out 3 different garlic groups: Rocambole, Porcelain, and Purple Stripe. Each group has its strengths and all are better suited to my cold New Mexico mountain than the softneck garlic I grew in Texas. Softneck is what you find in the box stores since it stores longer and is the one that is plaited in gorgeous and smelly hangings. Allium all have gorgeous and smelly flowers in late spring when not much else is blooming. Once I get mine started, I will transplant some to my flower beds in the front, perhaps adjacent to my German Bearded Iris that might bloom for the first time this year.
Ontario Purple Trillium is a Rocambole and is fiery hot and spicy. It matures early and will be the one I might like for Mongolian grill, to pair with hot chili peppers in salsas, and definitely for garlic oil and dried and ground garlic that will last for years. It will also go in hot and spicy pickles.
Shvelisi Chesnok Red is a Purple Stripe garlic that originates from Russia and is a sweet baking garlic, considered the best. It has loose easy to pull white cloves outside, and brilliant red cloves inside. This will be great for side dishes, and I want to use the tiny red cloves at the last minute in stir fries, to hold their color and flavor. It stores less than six months.
German White is a Porcelain garlic with large, easy to peel cloves and medium taste. I will slice thin pieces and insert into roasting meats. It will be good in lacto-fermented vegetables and dill pickles. It stores up to 8 months.
I suspect 150 garlic plants is a lot for cooking for one person and they multiply! Garlic is a serious medicinal plant, however, and has many uses. Then again my family may grow. Each year my garden grows a little more.
In Mexico the ladies taught me to cut a garlic clove in half and rub it on my fingernails to make them strong and long. It does work perfectly if you can stand the smell… and remember not to rub your eyes.
Rocambole, Purple Stripe, and Porcelain, a great start for garlics and critical for great cooking.