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I placed my order for garlic today.  In the past I purchased garlic from the store and there really wasn’t much selection … if I recall correctly Early Italian and Late Italian were/are the standard varieties sold around here.  I decided to buy this year from Seed Savers who has an excellent catalog full of unique seeds of all types.  You can request a free catalog at their website and even check out their garlic selection and print out a Garlic Planting Guide.  The garlic you order comes with a detailed planting guide and you can decide what date you want your garlic sent to you.  They offer a Garlic Sampler you can purchase with 10 different varieties – 6 hardneck and 3 softneck and 1 Elephant garlic.  It looks like a great deal but I decided to order less and get a handle on growing garlic before I purchase a whole shipload.  So I decided on 2 hardneck – Chrysalis Purple and Shvelisi (Chesnok Red) and 2 softneck – Chet’s Italian Red and Inchelium Red to ship September 22-24.  The May/June issue of GRIT magazine has an article “GARLIC – A Plant to Love” and they recommend their favorites.  Two I chose to plant are listed Chesnok Red and Chet’s Italian Red, so that’s reassuring.  In this article they offer a quick distinction between hardneck and softneck varieties.  It states that if you live in a more Southern area, where winter frosts are nonexistent or mild, consider softnecks.  If you live in a cold climate, where winters are severe, try a hardneck.  The book I have “Growing Great Garlic” goes into much more detail on different varieties.  For the coming season I figured I would keep the odds even and try 2 of each type.  I will be planting these down south where the winters are much more mild.

On another note … My Dad turns 70 and look at the basket of garden goodies I gathered to give him!  He will be so happy … healthy food to keep him healthy!   Happy 70th Birthday Dad!

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