top of page

Site & Garlic Guide Search

35 items found for ""

  • Glossary | Gourmet Garlic

    GARLIC GLOSSARY While we have tried to keep our website and garlic growing guide simple to use, however our glossary might help with some explanations Annual - A plant which completes its lifecycle in one year Alliin - An amino acid present in fresh garlic which when disturbed allinase converts into allicin Allicin - The sulphur containing amino acid which once disturbed converts to cystine creating the garlic smell and taste Alliinase - A catalyst enzyme which causes the chemical change of allicin to allicin Artichoke - One of the ten global garlic groups, and one of two softneck garlics Asiatic - One of the ten global garlic groups, and one of three semi-bolting garlics Basal Plate - The part of the plant which the roots grow out of which is actually the garlic's true stem containing root buds Beak - The top of the scape or flower stalk where is narrows down to end point. The beak can be long or short depending on the garlic group Biennial - A plant which requires two years to complete its lifecycle, garlic technically is a biennial but we harvest it as an annual Bolt - The arrival of the garlic's flower stalk which extends upwards from the leaves. Softneck garlic do not generally bolt, semi-bolting in cool/cold winters usually bolt, while strongly bolting garlic groups always bolt Bract - A modified leaf such as a garlic spathe Bud - The leafy shoot as it begins to grow. There are also root buds which are in the basal plate Bulb - The swollen and round shaped unground stem which generally contain a layer or several layers of cloves Bulb Formation - A period late in the season where the plant transfers it's energy from leaf to bulb growth and when the bulb begins to swell Bulb Wrapper - The thin papery outer layer of the bulb skin Bulbil - The small secondary bulbs normally located in the umbel or stem of the plant Bulblets - Small bulbs or clove like structures that grow beside the parent bulb Clone - In reference to garlic it is a genetic replica of the plant. Bulbs, cloves and bulbils are clones, while true seed is not Clove - One of several divisions inside a bulb that is made up of many individual lobes. Most gardeners plant the clove into the soil Clove Layers - In hardneck garlic typcially cloves are stacked radially around a bulb, while a softneck has 2-3 clove layers where cloves get smaller in the innermost layers Clove Skin - The hard yet thin outer layer of the clove (it is actually a separate leaf unconnected with the clove Cracking - Also known as 'popping', is when garlic cloves are separated from the bulb on the day or the following before planting the clove Cre ole - One of the ten global garlic groups, and one of three semi-bolting garlics Cultivar - A c ultivated variety. Technically the different garlic groups are cultivars not varieties Curing - The process of hanging and drying out garlic after harvesting for several weeks prepare the bulb for longterm storage Cysteine - The amino acid that is responsible for the pungency of garlic smell and taste. Normally it is stable and odourless, however once disturbed it gives off the garlic fragrance Day-Length Sensitivity - All garlic is sensitive to the changing day lengths and when moving garlic across latitudes can affect the growth before the plant recovers from climatisation Dieback - The process of the leaves yellowing to a brown shade normally at near the onset of a bulb maturing before harvest . Dieback can also be caused from disease, pests, nutrient deficiency or weather Double Cloves/Shoots - A clove which has more than one vegetative buds which when planted forms double or multiple shoots Pseudostem/False Stem - The plant's stalk. The true stem is actually the basal plate Climate Zones - Grouping of similar regional weather pattern. In NZ there are three main climate zones for garlic being mild, cool and cold winter areas. There are thousands of local micro-climates Clove Skin - The hard yet thin outer layer of the clove (it is actually a separate leaf unconnected with the clove Cold Climate/Winter - In reference to NZ garlic this is an area in the mid to lower North Island and South Island which is at higher elevations receives greater than a cool winter normally consisting of severe frosts for prolonged periods Cool Climate/Winter - In reference to NZ garlic this is an area in the mid to lower North Island and South Island which is at lower elevations receives neither a mild or cold winter F1 - The term for hybrids or cultivars of plants obtained by modern breeding methods False Stem - Also known as the psedostem of the stalk of the garlic plant as botanically the feature is actually elongated leaf bases wrapped around tightly Flowerhead - Also called the umbel or topset consisting of bulbils and flowers Garlic - One of 800 Allium species, but only one of seven that are cultivated. The word originates from Anglo-Saxon, 'Gar' meaning spear and 'leac' being leek Garlic Groups - A c ultivated variety. Technically the different garlic groups are cultivars not varieties Garlic Rust - A fungal disease which forms round white then orange rusty spots on a plant. Glazed Purple Stripe - One of the ten global garlic groups, and one of three strongly-bolting garlics Grade - The size category of the bulb. Grading is normally undertaken commercially, however gardeners should grade to pick the largest cloves from largest bulbs planting the following year Green Garlic - Freshly harvested garlic that has not been dryed/cured Hardneck - Also known as a red garlic or topset, is a garlic that produces a scape and umbel Leaf Blade - The thin flat part of the leaf Leaf Sheath - The base of the leaf which wraps around the stalk or false stem Leaf Tip - The end of each leaf Marbled Purple Stripe - One of the ten global garlic groups, and one of three strongly-bolting garlics Maturity - The period to which the plant has finished growing and the bulb is ready for harvesting being at full size without deterioration Mild Climate/Winter - In reference to NZ garlic this is an area in the northern part of the North Island which receives more warmer winters Neck - The top of the bulb and the base of the stalk Neck Bulbils - Bulbils which form along the stalk or garlic's false stem sometimes found in artichoke garlic types Nitrogen - Is a naturally occurring chemical element, and is one of the most important nutrients for a garlic's plant leaf growth. Natural sources of nitrogen for your garlic bed include blood and bone, coffee grounds, nitrogen fixing cover crops (peas, beans or other legumes), fish emulsion, grass clippings, leaves, and animal manure Non-bolting - One of the two soft neck garlic groups (silverskin and artichoke ) that generally does not send up a scape Ophio Garlic - A Latin term meaning 'serpent', an old term used for the eight semi or strongly bolting garlic that typically sends up a scape flower stalk Psedostem - The false stem of the stalk of the garlic plant as botanically the feature is actually elongated leaf bases wrapped around tightly Popping - Also known as 'cracking', is when garlic cloves are separated from the bulb on the day or the following before planting the clove Potassium - Is a naturally occurring chemical element, and is one of the most important nutrients for a garlic's bulb growth. Natural sources of potassium are wood ash, banana peels and compost made from food scraps and seaweed Porcelain - One of the ten global garlic groups, and one of three strongly-bolting garlics Quarantine - A bed which is used for the planting of new cloves which is isolated from other garlic where bulbs have potential to import disease or pest risk. Quarantine normally lasts 1-2 years Rocambole - One of the ten global garlic groups, and one of three strongly-bolting garlics Roots - The organs of the plant which are underground and form out of basal plate Rotation - Refers to crop rotation for annual crops to reduce the risk of disease and replenish nutrients. Garlic should be not planted in the same bed location ideally for at least three years Rounds - The term for when a clove produces a single bulb with no individual cloves. This normally occurs for most first generation bulbils, early harvested bulbs or poorly performing bulbs Rust - Garlic Rust (Puccina porri ) is a persistent pathogenic fungi affecting plants during the bulbing period Sativum - A Latin term meaning 'cultivated', an old term often referring to softneck garlics Seed - Technically the seed of garlic is 'true seed' formed in the flowerhead. All other plantable stock (bulbs, cloves and bulbils) are actually clones and not seed. It is common-place to hear bulbs being called seed garlic or garlic seed ​Scape - Also known as a flower stalk it rises out of the bulb on hardneck garlics to produce the flowerhead. Scapes can be picked early to increase bulb size and can be used for culinary dishes Semi-bolting - One of the three hardneck garlic groups (turban , creole and asiatic ) that generally send up a scape unless in a warmer winter zone Silverskin - One of the ten global garlic groups, and one of two softneck garlics Softneck - Also known as 'white garlic' i s a garlic that does not produces a scape and umbel (silverskin and artichoke ) and are easier to plait for storing Spathe - The covering and enclosing the flower cluster and bulbils which extends to the beak Species - Garlic is just one species (sativum of the allium genus). The ten garlic groups are cultivars of the species Split Bulb/Skin - When a bulb has been harvested too late and the cloves are pushing away from the centre of the bulb breaking open the bulb wrapper Strain - The lowest division of plant classification, in reference to garlic is is the small variations of cultivars/garlic groups that can be used to label a particular garlic. Often commercial growers will brand a garlic which has certain characteristics as a result of the areas mirco-climate, soils or local factors which influence a garlic group. The creole group or cultivar has a popular strain called Ajo Roja Standard Pur ple Stripe - One of the ten global garlic groups, and one of three strongly-bolting garlics Strongly-bolting - One of the five hardneck garlic groups (porcelain, rocambole and the three purple stripe groups) that sends up a scape Topset - Also known as a hardneck, is a garlic that produces a scape and umbel True Seed - Technically the tiny black seed formed in the flowerhead. All other plantable stock (bulbs, cloves and bulbils) are actually clones and not seed. It is common-place to hear bulbs being called seed garlic or garlic seed True Stem - The flat base of the bulb being the basal plate, not above the bulb which are leaves or the false stem Turban - One of the ten global garlic groups, and one of three semi-bolting garlics Umbel -The flowerhead at the top of the scape which includes the bulbils, flowers, spathe and beak Vegetative Reproduction - Any plant grown asexually and reproduced vegetatively such as garlic bulbs, cloves and bulbils. Garlic 'true seed' comes from the flowerhead from sexual reproduction Vernalisation - Either natural or artificial cooling for several weeks in order to initiate garlic's bulb development Wild Garlic - Naturally uncultivated garlic

  • Asiatic | Gourmet Garlic

    Asiatic Garlic Group Early Season| Med Storing | 5-10 cloves The Oriential: enjoys the warm, humid climate of the north Asiatic garlic is harvested early, normally just after the turban group. It is a semi-hardneck garlic growing best in warmer climates with mild winters. This garlic group produces several cloves per bulb and has a white colour with a purple striped bulb wrapper. It grows best in a mild winter climate ​ . As a semi-bolting hardneck garlic type it generally sends up a flower scape with a relatively solid stem which is not braidable. This garlic might not produce scapes when grown in warmer climates if not vernalised . The garlic's taste ranges in heat from mild to hot, and is considered very complex and flavoursome. Characteristics Clove & Bulb Appearance The bulb is normally a flat tened globe shape , it generally has a purple stripe d wrapper (skin) and contains between 5-10 cloves. The bulbs have a single layer of cloves. Generally all cloves of a standard sized bulb are suitable for planting . The clove skin can be pale or very vibrant and can be tight and hard to peel. The cloves are wedge-shaped with short clove tips. They have a moderate storage duration of around 6-7 months after harvest. Bulbils T his hardneck garlic generally sends out a scape (flower stalk) particularly in colder climates. They typically produce only a few bulbils (4-10) which are extra large and dark purple coloured. They are also known to sometimes have large bulbils embedded in their stems known as ne s t sets. Leaves & Scapes Asiatics have wide leaves which are tall and grow upright . The leaf colour is medium green. Scapes tend to droop and not coil, while the umbel has a narrow, pale yellow-green appearance. The spathe typically has an elongated dimple on lower part.

  • Rocambole | Gourmet Garlic

    Rocambole Garlic Group Late Season| Short Storing | 7-14 cloves The Chef: Culinary perfection and renowned as the tastiest with a sweet nutty flavour Rocambole like Porcelain garlics grows best in cold climates with very cold winters. This garlic group produces several tan coloured cloves per bulb and typically has a purple blush on its bulb wrapper. For a strongly bolting hardneck garlic, it only has a short storage life. It grows best in a cold winter climate ​. This garlic is a strongly-bolting hardneck type meaning it sends up a flower scape with a solid stem which is not braidable. This garlic is considered to be the finest and most flavoursome. It has a deep, sweet and nutty flavour which is creamy and buttery and rich in oils resulting in it having on of the best garlic tastes. It is also excellent raw (not sulphurous). Characteristics Clove & Bulb Appearance The bulb is normally a round shape, generally has a white with a purple blush wrapper (skin), and contains between 7-14 cloves. The bulbs have a single layer of cloves. Generally all cloves of a standard size bulb are of a size suitable for planting. The wedge-shaped cloves' skin is a dull tan colour with purple blush and are very easy peeling. Clove skins have a tendency to split and double cloves are common. The ir easy peeling quality and excellent flavour makes this garlic ideal in the kitchen, but it is commercially uneconomic due to its short storage life of around 5-6 months after harvest. Bulbils T his hardneck garlic sends out a scape (flower stalk) particularly in colder climates. They typically produce a small amount of extra large bulbils (10-25) with a purple to dark purple blush and are of a similar size to asiatic bulbils. As a result, growing from a bulbil normally takes just two years to produce a normal sized garlic. L eaves & Scapes Roca mbole have narrow upright green leaves . The scape shape is unusual in that they often produce 1-3 loops with a wide green umbel, with the spathe turning white when mature. The juvenile garlic leaf is plump and robust.

  • Shop | Gourmet Garlic

    Shop Due to a crop failure we will not be selling garlic this year (2024). Please consider subscribing for future crops, and use NZ's best garlic growing guide . Gourmet Sampler Our unique to NZ, full bulb range every global garlic group (10 types) each group's distinctive character a gift for garlic-loving gardeners ​ try each for your micro-climate SOLD OUT $75 + freight Mild Climate Pack Half of the garlic groups: all mild winter group (5 types) distinctive character & flavours best for mild winter areas ​ SOLD OUT $40 + freight Cool Climate Pack Half of the garlic groups: all cool winter bulbs (5 types) distinctive character & flavours best for cool winter areas ​ SOLD OUT $40 + freight Cold Climate Pack Half of the garlic groups: all cold winter bulbs (5 types) distinctive character & flavours best for cold winter areas SOLD OUT $40 + freight Marbled Purple Pack Single Type: 5 x Marbled Purple Stripe garlic for cool/cold climates - see map mixed grades SOLD OUT $30 + freight Bulbil Packs Bulbil Packs (one type/pack) Choose a type of garlic bulbils you would like. The bulbil count varies depending on the garlic variety's typical yield (picture as guide ). ​ Order one pack or order several. You choose and let us know what type when ordering. NZ's only supplier of garlic bulbils. economic garlic growing prospect increase stock health & bulb vigour bulbils take different times to grow SOLD OUT $20/pack + freight Sorry, we do not sell individual cloves. Cloves once cracked from the bulb, should be planted on the day or the following day. Once separated from the bulb, hibernation ceases and the clove roots begin to swell in readiness to expand into damp soil. If they are not planted, clove moisture loss will accelerate to the detriment of clove vigour once planted. Subscribe

  • Creole | Gourmet Garlic

    Creole Garlic Group Mid Season | Long Storing | 5-10 cloves The Flamboyant: this small one is hot, dresses in vibrant rosy clove skins, and is a real crowd-pleaser Creole is a very popular mid-season semi-hardneck garlic. It grows best in warmer climates with mild winters. This garlic group produces several cloves per bulb with strongly coloured rose to crimson clove skins. It grows best in a mild winter climate ​ . The Creole is a semi-bolting hardneck type meaning it generally sends up a flower scape with a relatively solid stem which is not braidable. This garlic might not produce scapes when grown in warmer climates if not vernalised . The garlic has a very hot, complex and spicy garlic taste which is considered to be a sweet, rich and exceptional flavour. Characteristics Clove & Bulb Appearance The bulb is normally round and generally has a white to cream bulb wrapper (skin) containing between 5-10 cloves. The bulbs are typically small er than most garlic varieties and have a single layer of cloves. Generally all cloves of a standard-sized bulb are of a size suitable for planting. The clove skin (not to be confused with the bulb skin) has a distinctive bright rose, burgundy to crimson colour. The cloves are typically wedge shaped with a sharp inner edge and will store for 12+ months in ideal conditions - one of the longest of any garlic type. Bulbils T his hardneck garlic generally sends out a scap e (flower stalk) particularly in colder climates. They typically produce 30-40 medium purple bulbils . Leaves & Scapes Creoles have a r eally wide leaf which is very short and tend to fold over halfway up. The leaf colour is pale green to yellow. Scapes tend to form a downward 'U' shape, with a slim yellow-g reen umbel .

  • Garlic Rust | Gourmet Garlic

    GARLIC RUST The fungi that creates garlic rust is prolific around the country. It's the 'spring sorrow' of any garlic grower. It's a frustrating time to see one's healthy garlic leaves begin to get white round flecks then turn into rusty orange spores that spread. There are 7,000 species of rust, but garlic rust ( Puccinia porri ) is a real th reat to garlic crops. This pathogenic fungi is prevalent, and seems to have infested every corner of our country. This fungal disease generally spreads from spores in the wind (it can travel long distances), animals, people and their machinery. Puccinia allii also infects other garden vegetables too such as leeks, onions, spring onions and chives, so it's best not to plant these in the same soil each year. Rust spores are microscopic. Rust spores from the soil can reach the leaves from disturbance of the soil, rainfall splashing and other transfer methods. If possible, is best to water the soil via a dripline and not overhead. Rust can be transported from the leaves and bulb into the following years crop. Consider a pre-treatment of the clove before planting. The presence of rust is highly variable from year to year and between locations. Garlic rust thrives when soil nitrogen levels are high, close planting, high humidity (wet leaves for 4+ hours), poor drainage, stressed plants or when plants are in their bulbing stage, and in temperature ranging from 12-24 °C. It seems that growers at higher altitudes (>500m) or in very cold climates are less affected by garlic rust. We have found this to the the case for our plot located well above sea level (300m+) in a dry mountain environment which gets regular wind and air movement between the beds. The first sign of rust are small white spots which occur on the leaves. At this stage you can pick off the leaves and dispose of them (not in the compost). Do not pick too many leaves as each leaf contributes to 10% of bulb weight, and the last few are a protective cover for the bulb. The garlic rust stages progress as the white spots turn into a rusty orange appearance as the rust reproduces. The final garlic rust stage is destructive. This is where the leaf is covered in many orange or advanced black spots. Minor rust will not affect bulb size, moderate rust will, while severe rust will result in tiny or no bulbs. It is awfully disappointing to the grower as the stages progress. While there are inorganic treatments (systemic fungicides - normally two treatments in the early stages), there is no organic treatment to kill rust. Organic treatments using sulphur, sodium and potassium bi-carbonate based sprays on contact with the rust pustules will only sterilise the surface and reduce the spread to surround leaves and soil. However the internal pathogen in the leaf will remain. We tend to use potassium bi-carbonate as it's known to act quicker and is a more powerful agent to sterilise leaves. The organic method to reduce the impact and spread is by mixing a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or potassium bicarbonate per litre of water (plus a teaspoon of vegetable oil to make it stick and a drop of dish detergent to penetrate the leaf). When sprayed onto the leaf it makes the surface highly alkaline, anti-fungal and as a result slows the spread of rust growth for a week before reapplication is necessary. Do not spray any acidic formulas (like vinegar) as this will feed the rust. If it is raining alot it can be a very frustrating time to reapplying regularly this treatment. Another option is using hydrogen peroxide with water following the manufacturers instructions and spray on leaves every few weeks. Some growers elect to plant their cloves earlier to hopefully harvest earlier before garlic rust takes hold. Another consideration is to grow an early harvesting group such as turban or asiatic garlic types for the same reasons. This has mixed results with growers using this technique, others believe the strongly bolting garlics that are harvested later are a more robust in fighting rust . We have found planting early has not helped our crop, and the best resistant to date has been our later harvesting types. Micro-climates and seasonal weather variability certainly alters the presence of this persistent fungi on garlic leaves. Orange spores from leaves than reinfect soils can live there for 1-2 years before the soil biota will break it down. So for this reason it is best to have a three year rotation on garlic beds particularly if you experience rust. Black rust spores (acute stage) can live in the soils for 5-10 years, so it is best to remove the emergent black rust spores leaves early.

  • Preparing | Gourmet Garlic

    GARLIC GROWING GUIDE The ten steps of growing garlic Preparing Before planting it is necessary to select your site, prepare the soil, consider pre-cooling bulbs (more on this below) and cracking your cloves from the bulb. Soil Soil Preparation Soil preparation is probably the single most important aspect of growing great garlic. It is often overlooked. An important point is that there is a big difference between dirt and soil. ' Dirt' is potential soil, while 'soil' is rich in nutrients, alive with biological diversity and deep in organic matter. Site Sel ection Garlic likes plenty of sunshine, so find a site that receives plenty of full s unlight. We have run several trials over the years and have found that shady parts of our beds reduce bulb size by 20-30%. It is important that over the winter months and early spring that the young plants get plenty of morning light. This will help the plant dry out quickly which reduces the chances of getting leaf diseases. Garlic does not like strong wind, so plant in a sheltered area. Ideally, soil preparation should begin 1-2 years before planting. If you can't wait to build soil consider adding a good quality compost to your garden beds. The bed should not have had Allium species (garlic, shallots, chives, leek, onions, spring onions or chives) growing in it for the past couple of years. We operate on a three-year rotation - growing only once every three years in the same soil. This will reduce the risk of soil disease and nutrient depletion . Root, leaf and fruit plants require different nutrients and create different soil biological diversity . If you are replanting your bed following the growing of a garlic crop it is best to next grow a leaf crop (eg. spinach, lettuce, broccolli), followed by a fruit crop the year later (eg. tomatoes, beans, peas) before replanting garlic. While it might be impractical, ideally Allium species should not be grown in the same bed for three years. Keep in mind that good garden soil has a ratio of 25% air, 25% soil solution (water and nutrients) and 50% soil particles (a mix of clay/sand/silt). Add too much water or have too much of one type of soil particle and your garden produce will be less productive. Soil Health Garlic is a long-period root crop. Unlike many seasonal crops taking three months to grow, garlic is in the soil for 7-9 months. So the soil must be healthy and in an optimal state before planting and during the seasons for leaf development and bulbing stages. If you have brought in new planting stock consider placing it in quarantine bed for a year or two to isolate from other garlic where bulbs have potential to import disease or pests. Soil should be deep (ideally > 40cm) for roots to penetrate well into the ground. Soil should also be friable looking crumbly, not caked nor a fine powder. It takes years to build and maintain your soils with rich compost, however, this can be quickly remedied using purchased good quality organic compost. Try to avoid using plastic bagged compost or manures as some growers find they get poor germination results. Being a root crop, having optimal soil conditions sets the bulb up to be healthier and stronger from the outset. Before planting it is best to loosen the soil to break up clumps and reduce compaction with a fork and aerate the soil. This will help with water, oxygen and nutrients penetrating deep into the pores of the soils. It is important not to over turn your soil as this will mix up the natural layers (horizons) of the soil profile and ultimately upset the delicate soil biota. The 'L' or the living layer is the top horizon of soil and the most biologically active with worms, slugs and snails. It sits on the 'O' or organic layer which is mostly decomposed organic matter. The 'A' layer or active soil which contains decomposed matter and mineral particles is below this. Care needs to be taken of healthy garden soil. Healthy soil is teeming with biological life which is hard at work breaking down larger organic matter, fixing and cycling nitrogen, and even working directly with the garlic roots. The soil biota consists of megafauna (worms, slugs, snails >2mm in size), mesofauna (0.1-2mm such as mites), microfauna (<0.1mm such as nematodes, roundworms and protozoa such as flagellates that live in fine water pores), and microorganisms which make up the most abundant and diverse of the soil communities such as bacteria, yeast, fungi, and algae. Take care of the soil and the garden will provide for you. Moisture Garlic prefers free-draining soils, not too wet but moist . Raised beds only 30cm high can make a massive difference in the success of your crop particularly if you have a wet season. Soil borne fungal, bacterial and viral diseases can cripple your plants if they are in a water-logged soil. If you live in a wet area and if your garlic is not in raised beds then consider raising the garlic beds slightly higher than the surrounding soil. At Gourmet Garlic we mound our soil up by 10cm and between beds have a free draining mulch layers as pathways. If you are in an extremely wet area consider raising each row by 30cm above surround soils. If you have clay soils which retain water then dry and become solid in spring then extra effort is needed to break up the clay and mix it with organic matter. As for sandy soil which holds little moisture and nutrients, it's worth also undertaking a soil building programme of organic matter with compos t ing. Soil Nutrients While garlic can survive in nutrient deficient soils, for healthy and large bulbs, garlic needs a nutrient rich soil with a relatively neutral pH (around 6.5 -7.0pH). You can buy a cheap pH and soil moisture tester from most hardware stores or garden centres. Add elemental sulphur (it will not readily leach) if the soil is too alkaline or lime if the soils is too acidic. It is important to have ideal soil nutrient conditions in the soil before planting as garlic is a heavy feeder. Garlic grows roots almost immediately after planting and is in the soil longer than any other vegetable. I nitially, garlic needs nitrogen-rich soil so consider sources of nitrogen to mix into your soil in preparing the bed. Some growers use a cover crop of nitrogen fixers, while home gardeners might add their own compost of grass clipping, seaweed, worm juice, aged manures or other available organic fertiliser. There are a few organic fertilisers available in hardware stores and garden centres too to assist with increasing your soil's essential nutrients. These semi-commercial garlic growers use no artificial nitrogen inputs with great results. They prefer natural additives like guano, bonemeal, and sheep pellets. Aged manures can be good to add to soils before planting, providing not too much is applied. Ensure that the manure is not too nitrogen rich. Nitrogen-rich chicken manure for example might need a stand down time or be mixed into the soil well before planting (at least two months) to ensure the garlic roots are not burned on contact. Note that many manures will contain seeds and will introduce unwanted weeds. We use organic fertilisers to cure imbalances. Generally, soil organic matter and micro-organisms are far better at curing imbalances although taking time to break down and release their blend of nutrients via natural processes. Consider applying blood and bone, matured animal manure, potash, gypsum and other organic material. Nitrogen is important for leaf growth which is needed early on in growth, while phosphorous is important for root development in the later stages of garlic maturity to get good bulb sizes. Vernalisation (pre-cooling) Vernalisation (Pre-cooling) Garlic needs cool winter temperatures of 5-10°C for 1-2 months for the bulb's development. In most parts of the country this is a normal winter temperature. In the warmer northern climates of NZ with their milder winters natural vernalisation might not be achieved. In this case growers may choose to artificially vernalise their bulbs before planting by placing them in the warmest part of the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks before planting. Most garlic cloves are ready to plant in autumn. You might discover some of your cloves in the bulb are beginning to sprout. Normally, if you can see exterior shooting, then the plant is past the ideal planting time. Ideally the yellow-green sprout inside the clove should be about halfway up internally within the clove. If you are unsure you can cut a clove lengthways and see its development and then add it to a meal. Cracking Cracking/Popping Before planting cloves it is necessary to separate them from the bulb. Cracking bulbs should be undertaken on the day of or the day before planting as cloves can dry out once bulb wrappers have been removed, which might help diseases, encourage the swelling of roots and begin sprout growth. So crack on the day! Only the bulb wrapper (skin) needs to be removed, not the clove skin. It is important to separate all cloves from the bulb. The divisions in the basal plate can sometimes be very difficult to detect. We find the softneck silverskins and artichoke types the most challenging to crack. What appears to be single cloves can be several closely joined. You can often see a fine crack in the basal plate of the clove which is the dividing line between cloves. The small and often misshapen cloves in softnecks will grow regular shape bulbs but they will be smaller. Save the tiny ones for eating. In cracking, look for the large bulbs with large cloves which will put the most energy into the early stage of growth . Growers have found that large cloves from large bulbs provide the most success at harvest with good, healthy-sized bulbs. Cloves should be firm. Ensure that you check each clove for any disease such as mould, rotting or other imperfections. If there is any doubt, throw them out (the entire bulb not just the individual infected clove as the disease can be spread). Sometimes, particularly for the cracking hardneck bulbs, the clove skin may tear. These can still be planted providing there is no bruising or they have not been cut by fingernails. Take care not to damage cloves that have been cracked/popped before planting. There is an art in cracking. Do not crack bulbs from the base as this can damage root buds in the basal plate making the clove less vigorous. One of the best ways to crack involves three steps: 1) Run your thumbnail around the false stem above the clove tips to break the bulb wrapper 2) Grab the false stem and twist it vigorously 3) Apply pressure down and out to break and remove the bulb wrapper Ensure cloves are put in a breathable container or bag with good air circulation until it is time to plant. It is important to avoid them sweating, heating up and getting mould. Store for planting away from heat, out of direct sunlight and at room temperature. Pre-treatment Pre-treatment Some growers sterilize their cloves before planting. This is because the clove may have come in contact with a leaf disease from bulb skins or have had mites infecting the clove. This will result in the best start for strong growth for the garlic clove in the germination stage. While at Gourmet Garlic we do not pre-treat cloves, we would do if we were having problems with diseased plants. Growers may choose to sterilise the clove to reduce fungal problems. There are a few options. If the clove has not shooting then some growers soak cloves for 2-3 minutes in a hospital grade chorine bleach (Sodium hypochlorite) before rinsing in water. If cloves are shooting then add 1 part bleach to 3 parts water and use the same technique. Alternatively some growers use a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda or potassium carbonate per litre of water to dip cloves in before planting. Some users also use neem oil. These are considered less effective than the bleach treatment. Some growers use a 5% alcohol (vodka) and water mix to sterilise cloves from infection and pests before planting. In addition some garlic growers elect to give the cloves an added benefit by soaking them in a seaweed solution (1 teaspoon of solution per litre of water) for less than 12 hours to enhance root growth.

  • Marbled Purple Stripe | Gourmet Garlic

    Marbled Purple Stripe Group Late Season| Med ium Storing | 4 -9 cloves The Baker: This easy - peeler is known for its tastiness when roasted Marbled Purple Stripe garlic grows best in cold climates with cold winters. It is known for it s consistently large cloves. This garlic group produces several tan and purple coloured cloves on a purple marbled hue cream bulb wrapper. It grows best in a cool to cold winter climate ​. The garlic is a strongly-bolting hardneck type meaning it sends up a flower scape with a solid stem which is not braidable. This garlic is considered great for roasting with its sweet, hot flavour. It is more sulphurous than Standard Purple Stripe garlic. Characteristics Clove & Bulb Appearance The bulb of this garlic type normally has a round , squat shape and is generally a cream colour with a purple dappled or marbled wrapper (skin) appearance. The bulbs have a single layer of 4-9 cloves. Generally, all cloves of a standard-sized bulb are of a size suitable for planting. The clove size is normally large and has a wedge like appearance . The clove skin is a dull tan colour with purple blush and is easy peeling. The ir easy-peeling nature makes them ideal in the kitchen and have a hot and sweet taste . They have a medium storage life of around 6-7 months after harvest. Bulbils T his hardneck garlic sends out a scape (flower stalk) particularly in colder climates. They typically produce a moderate amount (20-60) of medium purple to dark purple co loured bulbils . If trying to experiment to grow true garlic seed (not a clone as from cloves or bulbils) then m arbled purple stripe is the garlic most likely to succeed in producing the elusive tiny black seeds. Leaves & Scapes Marbled Purple Stripe garlic has a wide floppy pale green leaf . Scapes normally forms as a 3/4 loop with a wide green-blue umbel with a short purple blush which appears on the base of the immature spathe.

  • Silverskin | Gourmet Garlic

    Silverskin Garlic Group Late Seaso n | Long S torage | 10-30 cloves The Keeper: A long storer that loves being braided, produces plentiful cloves, and is easy on the taste buds Silverskin is a popular softneck , late-season (normally the last to mature) garlic. It can be grown in a good range of climates and is considered to be the longest storing garlic (along with the creole type). It grows best in a mild to cool winter climate ​ . This garlic group produces the most cloves per bulb of any garlic and is the easiest to plait due to it's long, thin, and sturdy leaves that are highly pliable. Silverskin is often the favoured commercial crop because of the high number of cloves per bulb, having no s cape to remove and having a long storage life. The garlic is a non-bolting type meaning it does not send up a flower stalk known as a scape unless placed under stress. The stalk can be weak and may lie over near harvesting time. The bulbs have multiple layers of cloves. Clove skins are tight and thin which make peeling more challenging. Silverskin's when eaten raw typically have a very garlicky hot, spicy and sometimes aggressively sulfurous taste lacking complexity. The sulfurous taste can be minimised when cooking by ensuring it is sauteed to a straw or deep tan colour, while roasted is a strong, earthy and deep flavour. Characteristics Clove & Bulb Appearance The silverskin bulb is normally a flattened globe shape, it generally has a white or off white bulb wrapper (skin) and contains between 10-30 cloves - the most of any garlic group. The bulbs are generally smaller than other soft neck artichoke group. Silverskins normally have multiple layers of cloves. Often there are at least ten plantable cloves in a bulb, with the rest quite small and not as suitable for planting stock. The clove skin is often a glossy white or a light pink. The inner cloves are tall, concave in the centre, slender and sma ll. The outer cloves are large, wide, flat and tallish and have rounded corners with a graceful curvature like a teardrop or petal shape. The large, wide, scalloped cloves tend to cup the next clove layer in the bulb. Bulbs typically store in ideal conditions for 12+ months, one of the longest storing of any garlic type. Bulbils T his softneck garlic generally does not send out a scape (flower stalk) unless it is stressed. If it does scape, it often looks like an upside down 'U' shape and produces bulbils . The bulbils are large and pink to light purple in colour. Leaves & Scapes Unlike many other garlics the silverskin leaf grows nearly vertical . The leaf is very thin compared to other garlic groups and they shoot to the sky rather than flop. The leaf colour is a deep blue-green. This softneck garlic does not send out a scape (flower stalk) unless it is stressed , particularly by chilly spring weather.

  • What is Gourmet Garlic?

    WHAT IS GOURMET GARLIC? At Gourmet Garlic we celebrate the diversity of the different garlic groups. Each of the ten global garlic groups is unique - much like the varieties of other fruit and vegetables. The garlic's variety in preferred climates, the time to harvest and storage periods appeal to us. Some are easier to peel, and all have different flavour profiles and different nutritional properties. We love offering the full gourmet suite of garlic groups for our customers to try. Our garlic is home-grown, and as such we treat it like part of the family. Corny but true! We hand rear them, watching over each one in the colder months, giving them support and a feed at the right time to nurture them into full-sized mature bulbs. It's not easy to grow all global garlic groups in one location. Some garlic group bulbs prefer mild winters others like cool or cold winters. We try our best to grow the best garlic despite the various needs of each type of garlic. ​ Commercially it would be more economic to grow softneck garlic in a warmer climate. This is because areas with milder winters get more cloves per bulb and softnecks produce 10+ plantible cloves per bulb. We stock the full range, where some garlics like porcelain produce on average four cloves per bulb so we have to keep 25% of our stock for replanting. So there are some extra cost of planting in a colder environment with less economic garlic types. It's gourmet because we: ​ Offer all global garlic groups Only plant exceptional stock (large, firm & healthy) Provide generous spacing for healthy stock Grow bulbs naturally using organic principals (no artificial inputs) Harvest by hand to minimise damage and to quality check each bulb Cure plants whole (not cut) allowing the leaf energise bulbs Grade manually not by machine for more quality control Package using compostable boxes or bags including padding Track postage of all products safely to your home garden Only the best bulbs leave our home to start a new life with you ​

bottom of page