Our new seed office is ripe with the wonderful smell of garlic! Allium planting season is here and we’re busy shipping garlic and perennial onions. All our garlic shipments come with a copy of our garlic and perennial onions growing guide, but if you’re looking to get more extensive know-how along with your shipment, consider picking up a copy of Growing Great Garlic by Ron Engeland. His conversational style makes this book accessible to the layperson while his wealth of experience makes it useful to even the experienced gardener. Despite having been written over 20 years ago, Growing Great Garlic remains the standard gardening guide for anyone interested in the organic cultivation of garlic.
The recent explosion of knowledge and interest in heritage vegetable varieties finally seems to be making its way to the onion’s much loved but poorly understood cousin, garlic. Garlic has found a place for itself in culinary traditions around the world as a seasoning, a foodstuff in its own right and even a confection. If the produce section at the local supermarket is anything to go by, garlic is a forgettable, small and either gray or gray. Its flavor is identifiable, but consistent. It seems any head is as good as the next.
In this 226-page garlic growing guide, Ron Engeland sets out to introduce the small farmer and home gardener to the many faces of this amazing plant. The author introduces the main types (Rocambole, Continental, Artichoke and Silverskin) as well as his strategies for cultivation and harvest. He even helps diagnose garlic diseases, pests and pathogens (from nematodes and thrips to botrytis and yellow dwarf virus). When your garlic is ready, Engeland walks you through processing and storage, to ensure that your harvest lasts long into the winter months.
Give Engeland a chance and he will show you that organic garlic can be an exciting crop of diverse shapes, colors and flavors.