Growing Your Own Garlic

This week’s edition of the Portland Phoenix has an article about growing garlic and the plant diseases that afflict the crop in Maine.

As a garlic connoisseur, you should learn your varieties. Commercial growers favor softneck garlic (Silverskins and Artichokes), which stores better, lends itself to braids, and yields more concentrated — albeit smaller and harder to peel — cloves. Home gardeners and small farmers often plant hardneck (Porcelain, Rocambole, and Purple Stripe) varieties for their marketable scapes and large, meaty cloves. Nate Drummond of Six River Farm in Bowdoinham grows mostly Music and German Extra Hardy garlic, juicy, white-skinned Porcelain breeds.