Should You Plant Hardneck or Softneck Garlic?

Not all garlic is suitable for all climates; you must know the differences between hardneck vs. softneck garlic.

The main differences between hardneck and softneck garlic are between the climates where they grow best, and how well they keep in long term storage for use throughout the year.

Climates & Growing Zones

Hardneck garlic varieties grow best when planted in Northern regions with cold temperatures and harsh winters.

Softneck garlic thrives in areas with mild winters, so if you live in USDA zones 8-12, this is the type of garlic for you. I live in 8b in the PNW, and I am able to grow both varieties successfully.

Softneck garlic produces a larger bulb with more individually wrapped garlic cloves inside of the bulb.

Garlic Bulbs & Cloves

Hardneck garlic has fewer cloves, but each one is larger. Hardneck garlic cloves have a thin layer of skin, so they are easier to peel than softneck garlic cloves.

Softneck garlic has better storage abilities because of the dense heads and tightly wrapped cloves.

Shelf Life Or Storage Potential

Hardneck garlic requires proper curing, but they only last 3 to 5 months in storage after harvesting.

If you want garlic scapes, they are only produced by hardneck garlic varieties.

Harvesting Garlic Scapes

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