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How to grow Organic Heirloom Garlic | Garlic Sale | Good Seed Company | Robin Kelson
27th August 2016 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 00:24:34

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Robin Kelson Garlic Update

Hey Jackie!

Hey Robin! How’s it going?

 I saw your sunflower pictures.

Did I put those up? Those are my granddaughter’s… how did I do that?

They are on the Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Page.

I just started typing my lesson plans up, did I tell you I went back to teaching in Browning? 2nd grade!! I think 2nd grade’s gonna be a good fit …  Monday’s the first day of school! And I just broke 200,000 downloads this week!  When I broke 100,000 I went to Paris!

I wanted to ask you about Puerto Rico, so I just was listening to the replay of your  episode  and remembered that you lived in Puerto Rico and the head of my podcasting group John Lee Dumas just moved to Puerto Rico and wants to build a garden down there, I was joking with him about coming down to build it and he was like yeah! So think about it, want to go?! IDK when, when’t the best time to go to Puerto Rico and what you would grow.

Technically the hurricane season starts in the fall … everything’s wet…. The wet season is December time frame… heading into the late winter. There are a ton of people down there doing great stuff!

Do you still have family and connections down there?

I have extended family, I have separate connections from Gardening, Good Seed, and ACT… !

You can see their yard, I was kidding with him about doing another Podmastery if they did it in Puerto Rico I could build you a garden and he was like Yes! … I have no idea where it is… See what you think in the back of your mind. Their backyard is mostly swimming pool.. there’s not much yard… maybe just grow some lettuce, IDK what you grow lettuce down there maybe fruit?

You can grow lots of things, maybe not lettuce cause it’s too hot, but you can grow bananas and peppers, everything grows well down there.. you just bat your eye and everything’s growing there all the time!

IDK listeners if you’re really interested in any of this but if you know someone in Puerto Rico who would make a guest… so I made did break 200k downloads this week and I did go back to teaching and am super excited!

So we are going to play an episode today about garlic and then I got a request for a replay of Kathi O’leary who talks about garlic and Farmer’s Markets and


then then I will be talking with Pam about the AERO Annual Meeting and Expo conference tomorrow  … so if you want to come to or are coming that or hear those episodes I’ll be replying AERO  people in September… but here is Robin…

Good Seed Co Gourmet Heriloom Seed Garlic

So I have 6 varieties of garlic…

Organic heirloom garlic for sale

5 are hardneck, one is softneck – those are typically the ones you bake and braid. Hardnecks tend to have bigger cloves.

People who eat it for health reasons tend to like the softneck like because it’s not strong. I have 6 like varieties all of which

  • do really well in cold climates,
  • they store really well…
  • at least 9 months
  • they are all very high in something called allicum, which is the medicinal property in garlic
  • plus they all pass the this is good garlic test!

What you do is plant the clove as you know and that will give you the bulb in the spring, and in July you harvest it!

People always ask me, the clove is the one little piece and the bulb is what you buy in the store,a and you break the bubble apart and put each clove in the ground? I never know which you put up? Does it matter?

  • put it pointy side up… and the rounded side down
  • push it down 2-4”
  • cover with a couple of inches of mulch
  • water in the spring if it needs it
  • cut off scapes curly-cue

if you have a hard neck it makes the curly-cue circle, the like stem in the spring, the tip will make a little curlycue, you cut that off so it doesn’t go to seed, and then you harvest in July… it couldn’t be easier!

Now why do you not want it to go to seed, growing’ those seed pods called something and then trent you can eat those too? 


well you could?

Scapes? Aren’t they called garlic scapes?

That you can eat… the tip, you get a bigger version of that, on onions and garlic, if you save that the plant is putting energy up to the seeds instead of down into the bulb.

We just got some garlic from Theodora, because we are going to plant garlic for the first time! I just put a video up of Theodora that you can only see in the Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Community

Organic Gardening Podcast Group

and remember we’d love if you’d join  Organic Gardener Podcast Facebook Community!

Well we sell,  6  varieties of garlic, all of them are  adapted to growing in our climate!

2 garlic varieties that are grown by Purple Frog Gardens:

Montana Giant

Montana Giant Garlic

One is called Montana GiantMontana Giant that was developed in the Flathead Valley Purple Frog have been grown over 20 years…. they also sell another one called growing Georgia White Porcelain,

and also 2 Bear Farm also out of Whitefish, has one called Music – Porcelainthey only grow one variety and it’s one called Music

they all have the attribute

  • easy to peal skins
  • dense fat cloves
  • juicy and full of flavor
  • hard neck variety store well
  • large cloves
  • many layers of the paper thin wrapping

All of that helps to serve to garlic to stay hydrated through the winter because if you keep over winter in kitchen, it becomes dust or just disappears… so if you keep in cool dry place, out of direct  light. and start with a hardneck with the paper that is tight around the clove, it will keep up to nine months! We had garlic I used this spring that I used in a couple of recipes that stored over winter pretty much 11 months!

And garlic has been more expensive in the stores lately!

ye! and when you grow your own garlic you know garlic when it came from, you know the conditions…

  • super easy to grow
  • super easy to harvest

… All of these, nice thing about garlic is it will adapt to local environment, so if you save our garlic, then the next spring you save, so if you save 4-5 bulbs of your favorite largest prettiest looking garlic, do that every garlic, it will adapt to your local conditions and continue to get bigger and better looking bulbs…

one things … cool thing about garlic..

When you say, people could plant it anywhere, Maine, or other places, even in Florida… it would eventually adapt? Is it particularly for the Rocky Mountains only?

Garlic loves cold winters esp… year garlic love cold winters… so you plant it in the fall, if you are in a lower attitude for the south you can go into November, lower states plant into December, remember our ground freezes in October so you want to plant before the ground freezes, that’s it that’s all you want to do!


It will get settled in

  • plant 2 inches deep
  • put a layer mulch on top ot if…
  • make sure your soil is most

will grow some roots, and then will sit there

As soon as the ground starts to warm up it will start to send up shoots. but it likes to be nestled in over winter. You get a head start, you could plant in the spring in northern climates but you get a smaller bulb, this way you get a nice large bulb but you could plant it for the south… just plant later….

So we are having a sale,

Good Seed Co Garlic Sale

through the month of August… we ship through Sept… we harvest in July but it’s important to let garlic cure…. It’s important you give it 

  • in a lot of space
  • give it a lot of air and space
  • reduce moisture content

which will give it space to reduce the moisture content in a steady state… it will not dehydrate any more it will store better… general routine is to cure it for 6 weeks,  so you know the moisture content is stable. So we’ll send you a note saying your garlic will ship, and then another that will say your garlic will ship next week, and then we ship it along with instructions on how to plant it so you get your garlic with everything you need to grow it!

Good Seed Co Garlic Sampler KitGarlic Sampler Pack

If you don’t know what variety you want, if you have to pick, we do have a sampler

has 3 varieties of hardneck and the soft neck… so you can just order a sampler and play with it!

So when you say you get a bulb in the mail, you’ll still get way more plants then you plant !

You get way more seed and cloves then you plant the first time…

we sell it by the pound, for the hardnecks

Hardneck Garlic

… so you would get 40-50 cloves, so  you could plants……. and you get more the next year…

I was listening to our replay of our interview and I was so frustrated going why didn’t you cut in and say something about you get so many more seeds, like we were saying you can borrow five seeds and return 5 seeds, when you plant a tomato you are gonna get 50 seeds per tomato or maybe 500! … and you’re gonna get like 50 tomatoes on one plant! I was so new, and hadn’t really thought about it… like one you’re will give you enough tomato seeds for an entire lifetime…

Garlic is the same way…

a pound of seed garlic will give you enough to plant


Softneck “artichoke” Garlic

softneck will give you like 12-20 smaller cloves so taht would give you like 80 plants…! 

What’s the softneck?

There’s the stiff necks and then the softneck.

So that refers to the stem of the garlic that comes out of the ground, so the bulb softneck are the ones that can be braided and they tend to be smaller cloves more of them arranged around the core like an artichoke so sometimes they are called artichoke garlic…Because they are arranged in an array, there tends to be more of them…

Does one of them have a milder taste, I know mike doesn’t like Garlic breath.


Softnecks have a milder flavor, generally speaking.

this one