Author Topic: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?  (Read 4625 times)

kippers garden

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Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« on: September 25, 2010, 10:55:47 »
Last autumn i planted a softneck garlic called 'Germidour' and it's really good and i was hoping to store it until Spring?  This year i went to Wilkinsons and bought their garlic.  It didn't say anything about it so  i emailed Wilkinsons to ask.  Though they didn't tell me the variety, they did tell me it's a hardneck variety.

Does anyone know what difference this will make to the garlic...will it store better/worse, is it better to grow in autumn (though we had a really hard winter last year and my Germidour was still fab.

Any advice would be grateful
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tim

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2010, 10:59:50 »
Soft keeps well - hard does not.

Supplier says soft sometimes keeps till June - we finished ours this year 2 weeks ago - & only just showing a green shoot!!

= Tim

rog_pete

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2010, 11:26:42 »
http://www.garlic-central.com/varieties.html

all your answers from a quick google search
Rog n Pete

galina

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2010, 11:36:10 »
Hardneck garlic

Hardneck garlic grows a flowering stem.  This develops bulbils, several tiny garlic 'bulbs' and no seeds.  The number of these bulbils varies from 9 to well over hundred.  These bulbils can be used to produce more garlic.  In most cases that takes two years.  At the end of the first year a 'round' is produced, a single round garlic bulb, that has not yet divided into cloves.   Occasionally when cultivation is not long enough, no flowering stem is produced.  The flowering stem on some varieties makes a loop, even a double loop before it straightens out.  Hardneck does much better planted in autumn and going through a cold winter.  It does poorly planted in spring.   The name hardneck is because the neck - the top of the dried garlic bulb - is not bendable because the dried remnants of the flowering stem (called a scape) make it hard.  Hardnecks are stronger flowered, often have fewer, but larger cloves and don't keep as long as softnecks.  It is often recommended to cut off these flower scapes, to help the plant increase bulb yield. Hardnecks are the only option in really cold winter countries.  In the UK we can grow both hardnecks and softnecks.

Softneck Garlic:
These are the better option for planting in spring, because they don't need so much winter cold to produce well.   However autumn planting works very well.  Softnecks don't produce flower scapes, but they can produce 'sidebolts', ie garlic bulbils, which are stuck in a short stem right at the top of the plant and often push out sideways, hence sidebolts.  Sidebolting is not very frequent, most softneck garlics don't flower.  At the end of the season when they have dried out, their necks are soft and pliable, because there is no hard flower scape remnant.  They can be made into a garlic plait. Softnecks often have more cloves, taste slightly milder and store much longer than hardnecks.  Areas wiith milder winters only grow softneck garlics.  Softnecks store here until the next garlic is harvested, unless we eat them earlier.

HTH

kippers garden

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2010, 13:44:34 »
Thank you so much for your replies, you all really know your stuff!  It's much clearer now to me
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kippers garden

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2010, 06:44:07 »
Just one more question...is there any reason why I cant re-plant some of the cloves i have grown?  Or can i just split the bulb and re-plant.  If i can, do i pick the biggest bulbs to use?
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Ellen K

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2010, 07:37:29 »
Good Morning:  there is someone on here (TG I think) who has done just that - replanted the biggest cloves every year to get a natural selection process going on and his garlic havest has improved over the years.

And Wyevale have Germidour if you want to trial it against new seed.

1066

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2010, 08:14:53 »
Yes you can kippers garden - and yes to the biggest cloves. I do use most of the smaller ones, but I plant them a bit closer than I would normally, and they tend to get used 1st.
And now I'm trying to remember how closely I plant - I think 6 to 8 inches, but I really can't remember right now!!  ::)

kippers garden

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2010, 11:00:17 »
Thanks...that will save me some money this year
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saddad

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2010, 18:20:25 »
New you have had some sensible comments...

One has a hard neck.... I've been wanting to say that all week!  ;D

grawrc

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2010, 19:03:00 »
"They" say that garlic adapts to the ground it is grown in and improves over time. It is therefore desirable that you should save some of the larger cloves to plant the following season.

Vinlander

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2010, 23:21:01 »
Good Morning:  there is someone on here (TG I think) who has done just that - replanted the biggest cloves every year to get a natural selection process going on and his garlic havest has improved over the years.

And Wyevale have Germidour if you want to trial it against new seed.


AArgh - I'm not a botanist but in general* all the cloves in a bulb share identical genes and natural selection is neither likely* nor necessary to explain the fact that the biggest bulbs and cloves are more likely to grow from the biggest cloves of the previous generation.

Certainly I've always been most frustrated by how surprisingly difficult it is to 'bring on' a new type of garlic (or shallot) from anything except the largest cloves - exactly the ones you might prefer to use when you're short of time in the kitchen.

*Of course mutations and/or sports within a bulb are possible, but unbelievably rare - without them you can't have any kind of genetic selection - certainly not natural selection - that would be evolutionary heresy!
In gardening you always get too much or bugger all.

grawrc

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2010, 12:46:39 »

AArgh - I'm not a botanist but in general* all the cloves in a bulb share identical genes and natural selection is neither likely* nor necessary to explain the fact that the biggest bulbs and cloves are more likely to grow from the biggest cloves of the previous generation.
Sorry to go a bit off topic but I would love to have a clear, informed answer to this. It's the same with shallots (or rather it's the opposite) - we are advised to plant smaller bulbs for a better crop. This year I was none too pleased to get larger and fewer sets yet they have produced my best shallot crop ever both in size and quantity. So should we ignore advice to plant smaller shallots and larger garlic cloves?? :-\
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 13:33:35 by grawrc »

toxorebel

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2010, 13:27:53 »

AArgh - I'm not a botanist but in general* all the cloves in a bulb share identical genes and natural selection is neither likely* nor necessary to explain the fact that the biggest bulbs and cloves are more likely to grow from the biggest cloves of the previous generation.
Sorry to go a bit off topic but I would love to have a clear, informed answer to this. It's the same with shallots (or rather it's the opposite) - we are advised to plant smaller bulbs for a better crop. This year I was none to pleased to get larger and fewer sets yet they have produced my best shallot crop ever both in size and quantity. So should we ignore advise to plant smaller shallots and larger garlic cloves?? :-\

I don't know the answer - but as with many things related to growing stuff there are so many factors involved, i.e. soil condition, weather, quality of seeds/sets that it's really hard to realistically compare crops from year to year.  Your shallot sets may just have been really good quality, or they might have simply loved the bizarre weather we've had this year!

Robert_Brenchley

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2010, 19:44:57 »
I've always found that bigger cloves or bulbs produced bigger bulbs the following year. Any variety of garlic seems to vary a lot, both from place to place, and in peoples' individual perception of identical bulbs.

Mr Smith

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 18:48:00 »
Regarding the variety of garlic in Wilkinson's at the moment the variety is called 'Casablanca', I had a very nice e-mail from Marie at Wilkinson's customer service, :)

Jeannine

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2010, 21:18:12 »
The Oriental garlic expert on out community gardens..I say expert because she seems to be very definately acknowledged province wide as such..says, she plants the biggest cloves and uses the smallest one first.. she grows a bed of small cloves each some years as a tester. She has grown her type for 3 decades and was originally from a clove brought from overseas, she shares it readily around our community gardens as it has adpted very well to the area..maybe this answers a question ot two. I have seen the plants and they were huge, unlike any other I have seen.Beyond this I have no real knowledge of garlice beyond a very tiny bit, but looking at her plants and hearing from the neighbours I am convinced. She has promised me cloves for planting for this next season.

XX Jeannine
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 21:19:49 by Jeannine »
When God blesses you with a multitude of seeds double  the blessing by sharing your  seeds with other folks.

galina

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2010, 21:45:19 »
Vinlander wrote:

AArgh - I'm not a botanist but in general* all the cloves in a bulb share identical genes and natural selection is neither likely* nor necessary to explain the fact that the biggest bulbs and cloves are more likely to grow from the biggest cloves of the previous generation.[end of quote]



There is another aspect to the rule to use the largest cloves from the largest bulbs, and that is virus load.  Garlic is cloned , multiplied vegetatively, and therefore likely to pick up viruses and virus induced diseases.  The largest bulbs either have fewer viruses or cope better with those picked up.

Vinlander

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2010, 00:07:04 »
It's the same with shallots (or rather it's the opposite) - we are advised to plant smaller bulbs for a better crop. This year I was none too pleased to get larger and fewer sets yet they have produced my best shallot crop ever both in size and quantity. So should we ignore advice to plant smaller shallots and larger garlic cloves?? :-\

You must have a good selection of shallot to get a few large sets in a small bulb - I've tried 3 different types but whenever I plant small offsets I get small bulbs divided into even tinier offsets - up to a dozen. In fact anything less than ideal growing conditions and/or season means they end up the same.

I've had more success with shallot seed - the bulbs aren't bigger overall but at least they are singles - which are a hell of a lot easier to peel and chop than a dozen pips.

A lot harder to weed though, unless you grow them up in potting compost and transplant them like leeks - but with a lot more fiddly care...

Since a mature shallot can produce seed alongside a usable bulb I'm hoping to remove the need to buy them in every year.

Cheers.
In gardening you always get too much or bugger all.

chriscross1966

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2010, 13:15:11 »

A lot harder to weed though, unless you grow them up in potting compost and transplant them like leeks - but with a lot more fiddly care...

Since a mature shallot can produce seed alongside a usable bulb I'm hoping to remove the need to buy them in every year.

Cheers.


Try sowing about 4-5 seeds in a module and planting that out. I use that technique on lots of alliums (biggies go in single planted, springs and picklers maybe 8-10 seeds per but the technique is the same)... I find the growing clumps easy enough to weed around, with shallots I guess I look at a sowing 4 seeds per in a 24-drop module in early february with a bit of heat and plant out early April after hardening off.... seemed to have a lot of shallots this year for the effort involved.... I use Prisma which is an F1 so no good for really trying to save seed from, currently don't have time/space to try and breed my own line of shallots.... I jsut pick up a couple of packs of seed in the Wyevales sales....

chrisc

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Re: Hardneck and softneck garlic...whats the difference?
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2010, 13:15:11 »