Fall Garlic


It’s a tired old garden saw but it’s true: big garlic cloves grow big garlic bulbs. And, at least where garlic is concerned, bigger is definitely better. In the kitchen small bulbs are a pain. They take longer to peel. They’re hard to handle. They slow you down. And they often taste “hotter” than bigger bulbs of the same variety. At the market, it’s almost  impossible to sell small bulbs. People are used to seeing garlic of a certain size and while they gobble up anything larger, they flat refuse to go small. In the field all the growers I know try to manage bulb size by only planting the largest cloves. That’s certainly what we do. The problem is that seed garlic comes as whole bulbs. And many bulbs, especially the softneck varieties (like the Silverskin sold in grocery stores), are a melange of different sized cloves. There are little ones and there are big ones.  There are runts and there are giants. Plant a runt, get a runt. Plant a giant, get a decent size bulb.

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