Which Garlic is Best for You? Hardneck or Softneck Garlic?


When it comes to growing garlic there are 2 main types, the hardneck and the softneck. Each type has its benefits and characteristics and planting both may be a good option for you. 

The Hardneck garlic cloves grow around a central woody stalk giving it the hardneck name and typically this type produces fewer but larger cloves that are easier to peel than the softneck types. The Hardneck produces a tall central stem known as the scape. The scape itself can be harvested before it fully matures and be used in a variety of cooking applications. The cloves from a hardneck type tend to have a more robust flavor profile making them great to use in cooking. The hardneck cloves do have a shorter storage time than the softneck types but will still store for several months. Hardneck Garlic does well in cold climates as it requires a longer period of cold exposure to thrive. They can be planted in the Fall and harvested the following Spring or Summer. 

Unlike hardneck types, Softneck Garlic does not produce scapes that can be eaten, but they have several other benefits. Softneck garlic typically has smaller, but more numerous cloves. The flavor of softneck garlic is generally more mild than hardneck varieties. When it comes to storage, softneck garlic is ideal for brading the stems for function and decoration. Softneck garlic also has a longer storage life than hardneck garlic and can often be stored for up to a year under the right conditions. Softneck garlic is also adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions making it a popular choice for growers. 

Both the Hardneck and Softneck types of garlic are great choices for growers wanting to plant an easy-to-grow plant that will last for months after harvesting.