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All garlics are divided into two subspecies: the hardneck garlics, which form flower stalks (also called scapes); and the softnecks, which do not form flower stalks.


Here are the differences that you might want to consider in choosing which varieties to grow:

• Hardnecks have fewer, larger cloves, which encircle the center stalk, and they are easy to peel, making them popular with professional chefs.

• Softnecks have more and smaller cloves with papery skin that is somewhat harder to peel.  

• Hardnecks do not store as long as softnecks. In general, you can expect 4-6 months of storage of hardneck varieties and up to 8 months storage of softnecks, when stored appropriately in dry, dark, conditions.

• In extreme northern regions, hardnecks may do better. In areas that don't freeze in winter, softnecks may do better. However, we must note that the garlic we sell is grown in Idaho and Arizona, two climate extremes, and both types do fine in both areas.


For more information about garlic, read this blog post. For more details on how to plant and grow garlic, read our Growing Guide.