& October is
the best time to plant garlic and shallots, to ensure
a bountiful harvest next summer. Swansons offers two basic
types of garlic: hardneck and softneck. Softneck garlic
is the easiest to grow (the one you see in supermarkets).
This type produces an abundance of cloves and is a good
keeper. Choose from 'Inchelium Red', 'Nootka Rose', 'Silver
Rose', a silverskin garlic, which is rose-colored and easy
to braid; 'Early Italian Purple', which produces a large
bulb with white skin and purple stripes, and 'Italian Late',
a popular and easy-to-braid variety that produces fat round
varieties when growing, create a distinctive coil at the
top of the stalk. They develop fewer but larger cloves than
softneck varieties, and the flavor will be much stronger.
However, hardneck garlic usually does not have the protective
outer "skin" like
softneck types, which can make for a shorter shelf life.
We offer 'Spanish Roja', a purple-streaked heirloom with
a nice hot flavor; and 'German Red,' which is light purple
with brownish cloves that are large and easy to peel and
a very robust flavor.
best grown with full sun, in well-draining soil that is
rich in organic matter. Plant each clove separately, pointed
end up, about 1 – 2 inches deep and 2 – 3
inches apart. Fertilize in the spring with an organic vegetable
food, and keep well tended – garlic grows poorly with
weed competition. Removing the flower when it appears will
help put more energy back into clove production. Harvest
when the leafy tops start to die back (usually in July).
Hang to dry, remove the tops or braid them together, and
store them in a cool dry place until ready to use.
Maritime Northwest Planting Guide
you are new to growing plants from seed or starts in Seattle, consider
picking up a copy of The Maritime Northwest Garden Guide by
local garden guru Carl Elliott, now in its third edition. It features
month-by-month planting calendar for year round gardening.
Additionally, in an effort to be good community stewards, Swanson’s Nursery donates
any end-of-season unsold seed to various non-profits around the Puget
Sound area. In past years, hundreds of packets of seeds have been donated
to the King
County P-Patch program, Seattle
Link (who grow produce for the homeless), and the Seattle