Silverskin Garlic, Nootka Rose

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SILVERSKIN GARLIC, Nootka Rose – Allium sativum var. sativum

FULL SUN Native to south-central Asia, garlic was probably domesticated from a single variety, Allium longicuspis, thousands of years ago. Today the plant is grown on every continent except Antarctica. Nootka Rose is an old garlic variety from the San Juan Islands off the Washington Coast. Cloves are streaked red on a mahogany background. Delicious flavor.

Garlic is best when planted in the fall, but can be planted in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked. If planting in the fall, plant 30 days before the ground freezes and mulch with straw or alfalfa hay if possible. Garlic must have some exposure to cold for several weeks or it will not bulb. Amend the soil with potash and phosphate before planting. Plant the cloves 1-2 in. deep and 4-6 in. apart in rows separated by 12-18 in.

Harvest in mid-summer when 2/3 of the stalk has turned brown or yellow. Dig the bulbs from the soil with stalks attached. Cure in a dry, shaded area with lots of air circulation for 4-6 weeks. Stalks can then be removed from the bulbs.

Type Spacing Planting Depth Days to Germination Maturity
Softneck 4-6 in. 1-2 in. 14-21+ 180-270

Silverskin Garlic, Nootka Rose

Garlic, which is a member of the same group of plants as the onion, has been cultivated for millennia. As a cultivated plant, it is so old that it is difficult to credit a country of origin for this vegetable. All modern garlic belongs to one of two subspecies: hardneck (ophioscorodon) or softneck (sativum). Hardneck subspecies try to produce flower stalks with small aerial cloves called bulbils. Hardnecks will not produce large bulbs underground unless the flower stalks are removed. There are three varieties of hardneck garlic: Purple Striped, Porcelain and Rocambole. Softnecks have lost the ability, for the most part, to produce a flower stalk. However, under certain climatic situations, the bulbs may try to produce a flower stalk known as bolting. There are three varieties of softneck garlic: Artichoke, Silverskin and Creole.

Silverskins, softnecks, because of their superb storage capabilities, are the most familiar garlic varieties. They have the highest yields and do well in a variety of climates. There are usually 12-20 cloves per bulb.

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