12 Tasty Heirloom Garlic Varieties to Plant This Fall

Fall is the time to plant garlic! Here are 12 delicious heirloom garlic varieties to try in your garden…

Garlic comes in two main types – commonly known as hard neck and soft neck. Hard neck varieties send up a flower stalk (scape) in the middle, around which the cloves are arranged. Hardneck garlic tends to have larger cloves and a stronger flavor than most soft neck types – although flavor varies widely depending on the variety and growing conditions.

Soft neck garlic grows well in colder climates, has a milder flavor in general, and has more numerous, smaller cloves. It also keeps longer, which is why most of the commercially grown garlic you will find in supermarkets is usually a soft neck variety.

Garlic should be planted in the fall for a summer harvest (although in warm climates, you can plant it as late as March), and my rule of thumb is to plant around the time of the first frost. This works well for most gardeners and farmers, as typically most summer crops will be done by then, freeing up space for planting plenty of delicious garlic for next year!

There are many different varieties of garlic within both the hard neck and soft neck families, each of which has its own unique flavor, appearance, and other characteristics. Try growing a few of these delicious heirloom types, and see which varieties do best for you – garlic is generally very easy to grow!

Here are a few tasty garlic varieties to try planting in your garden this fall:

12 Great Garlic Varieties

Hardneck garlic (Allium sativum ssp. ophioscorodon) boasts a complex flavor.., but the bulbs store for only 4 to 6 months, while the milder softnecks (A. sativum ssp. sativum) can last 10 months to a year in storage. The following heirloom picks include both subspecies.


    • Bogatyr – Big cloves with a piquant kick
    • Chesnok Red – Great for roasting, relatively mild taste, stores for 6 months
    • Chinese Pink – High clove count, mellow flavor, good for eating raw
    • Creole Red – Winner of many taste tests, rich and earthy flavor, large cloves
    • German White – Very robust flavor, good for roasting
    • Music – Large, medium-hot cloves, long-lasting flavor, very high yield
    • Purple Glazer – An excellent roasting choice, no aftertaste
    • Spanish Roja – Easy peeling, with a peppery heat
    • Tibetan – The hottest garlic, matures early but doesn’t store well


    • Chet’s Italian Red – The colder the winter, the hotter it gets
    • New York White – Mild flavor, stores well, also called Polish White
    • Transylvanian – Super spicy, long storing, does well in cold climates
Read more about growing garlic at ModernFarmer.com


Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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