Swansons Nursery - Since 1924

9701 15th Ave NW
Seattle WA 98117
(206) 782-2543

Hours and Directions:
Open 9am - 6pm Daily

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If you are not satisfied,
then we are not happy.
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Planting Garlic

September & 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 cloves.

GarlicHardneck 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.

Garlic is 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.

The Maritime Northwest Planting Guide

The Maritime Northwest Garden Guide is available at Swansons!

If 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 Tilth, Lettuce Link (who grow produce for the homeless), and the Seattle Arboretum Foundation.

Swansons Nursery - 206.782.2543, 9701 15th Northwest, Seattle, Open Daily 9am to 6pm Newsletter
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