Organic California Early Softneck Garlic Seeds

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Nothing tastes better than garlic from your own garden! Fresh and strong flavor is easy to achieve with our certified organic, disease-free garlic seeds!


Product Details

Weight 0.4 lbs
Weight

About 4 ounces (1-2 garlic heads)

Planting Season

Cool

Soil Temp

40° F+

Planting Depth

1-2"

Area to Sow

12' row

Days to Germ.

14-21+

Days to Maturity

290

Best Planting Method

Direct

Thin to

Final spacing

Final Spacing

≥6" apart

Succession

NA

Approx. Seed Count

2 bulbs

Product Information

California Early garlic seeds are certified organic, disease-free, and productive in Southern California and beyond. This popular garlic variety is dependable and well-adapted to areas with mild winters like those in Zones 9 and 10.

The two types of garlic you can grow, hardneck and softneck, are named for their stems. Hardneck varieties grow a single ring of cloves around a stem. Their center stalks become rigid after reaching maturity. These types of garlic are known to produce larger heads with fewer bulbs, but with more complex flavors!  We suggest growing both a soft and a hardneck garlic so you can see the difference but if you only have space to grow one, here are some considerations.

Hardneck Garlic

Softneck

Creates fewer cloves per bulb but they are larger Creates more cloves per bulb but they are smaller
Forms delicious garlic scapes that can be enjoyed Does not form scapes
Has a rigid center stalk (hardneck) Has a soft center stock (softneck)
If left in moist grown too long, the bulb will not form completely, making harvest difficult (see notes on harvest and curing) Can withstand some moisture prior to harvesting (see notes on harvest and curing)

Note: Each unit of garlic is 4-5 oz (1-2 bulbs depending on size). There are multiple cloves (garlic seeds) per bulb. Shop hardneck garlic. Shop softneck garlic.

Planting by Zones

Chilling Garlic

If you live in a southern state that does not receive adequate chill hours, we recommend that you refrigerate your garlic seeds (cloves) for 40 days prior to planting. Continued cool temperatures will encourage sprouting. By placing your heads of garlic in the refrigerator for 40 days, you’ll be sure they’ve received adequate chill hours. You may even notice them sprouting in the fridge before removing them to plant. It is not recommended to move your garlic back and forth from a cool to warm location, as this can cause the bulbs to dry out.

If your area gets a significant chill, putting your garlic in the refrigerator may not be necessary.

Zones 9-10

  • Plant garlic in the fall. For areas of Zones 9 and 10 that do not get adequate chill hours (regular cool winter temperatures), we recommended that you refrigerate your bulbs for 40 days prior to planting.

Zones 2-8

  • Plant from the first frost until November. In areas with particularly cold winters, you may have to plant in the spring.

Planting Garlic

  • Garlic seeds should be planted in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.
  • Seeds (cloves) that have been split from the bulb should be planted within 1-2 weeks.
  • Separate individual cloves from the bulb. Direct sow in soil, about 4-6″ apart with the pointed end up (blunt end down) at a planting depth of 1-2″ into the ground. Rows should be 1-2″ apart to allow room for plant growth.

Growing Garlic 

  • Plant in full sun. It is not recommended to plant garlic in the same location as the previous year.
  • Garlic is adaptable to various moderately fertile soil types.
  • Garlic grows well in raised beds and containers. Good drainage is necessary to avoid rotting or disease.

Harvesting Garlic 

  • Garlic is ready in approximately 290 days. Leaves turning brown and falling over are indications that the plant is ready for harvest. Carefully dig up the bulbs to harvest. It’s a good idea to dig up one or two plants to determine readiness before harvesting an entire crop! Garlic heads should be plump with cloves, while the outer skin should be thick, dry, and papery.
  • Garlic requires a drying method called curing for proper storage. To cure hardneck garlic:
    • Gently remove dirt (do not wash). Leave bulbs to dry in the sun for a few hours immediately following their harvest.
    • Spread out in a well-ventilated area, out of the direct sun, for another 2-3 weeks until fully dry. Can be hung or placed on a drying rack/screen.
    • Remove stem and leaves about 1-2″ from the bulb.
    • Keep in a cool, dry, well-ventilated space. A mesh bag works well for storage. Cured hardneck varieties have a shorter shelf-life than softneck varieties.
  • Softneck garlic varieties, like California Early and Inchelium Red, are suitable for braiding. This traditional storage method is functional for curing and storage. Carefully braid the stems before they are completely dry.
  • Garlic is excellent fresh, cooked, canned, pickled, infused into vinegar, dehydrated, frozen, and more. The applications of garlic are limited only to your imagination!
  • Hardneck garlic skins peel easily, making kitchen work a breeze.

Growing Garlic in Containers

  • For growing in a container, make sure your container is at least 20″ deep. Keep in mind containers will dry out faster because they have more surface area and less soil to hold onto moisture. Mulch heavily on the top layer of soil in the pot to keep the soil from drying out or heating up too much.

Southern California Pro-tips

  • In areas of Zones 9 and 10, plant garlic seeds in the fall after adequate chilling in the refrigerator for 40 days.
  • Mulch heavily around your garlic plants to ensure the soil does not dry out or heat up too much.

Companion Flowers/Crops

  • Since garlic is a long-term crop, plant in an area of your garden where you can enjoy tons of flowers around it, we love planting nasturtiumalyssumborage, and cosmos in our garlic beds.

Additional Learning Resources

Want to learn more about growing garlic in San Diego and Southern California? Check out our buddy over at Epic Gardening.

 

Product Details

Weight 0.4 lbs
Weight

About 4 ounces (1-2 garlic heads)

Planting Season

Cool

Soil Temp

40° F+

Planting Depth

1-2"

Area to Sow

12' row

Days to Germ.

14-21+

Days to Maturity

290

Best Planting Method

Direct

Thin to

Final spacing

Final Spacing

≥6" apart

Succession

NA

Approx. Seed Count

2 bulbs

1 review for Organic California Early Softneck Garlic Seeds

  1. JOSEPH A VAN WINKLE

    lots of good information

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