Elephant Hardneck Garlic


Availability: Out of Stock

Ships approximately September 27, 2019.

As the name implies, the 4'–5' tall plants produce gigantic, softball-sized bulbs, containing 1–6, monstrous, tan cloves that are superb when roasted. Elephant garlic is more closely related to leeks, thus, the cloves have a mild, leek-like flavor. It also produces an edible scape. Prepare with vegetables or garlic-mashed potatoes for a hint of garlic/leek flavor.

Due to state restrictions, we cannot ship garlic to Idaho, Hawaii and the following counties in Washington—Adams, Benton, Franklin, Grant and Klickitat (including cities such as Othello, Pasco, Moses Lake, Kennewick and Richland). Please do not order garlic if you live in one of these locations.

$6.50 1 Bulb
Out of Stock

Botanical Name: Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum

Family: Alliaceae (formerly Liliaceae) Allium or Onion family, includes onions, garlic, chives, shallots, and leeks.

Native: Southern Europe to western Asia

Type: Elephant

Exposure: Full sun to part shade.

When to Sow Outside: Garlic is planted in fall for harvest 7 to 9 months later (midsummer). In areas with cold winters, sow individual cloves from mid-September to mid-November. Garlic is frost-hardy, but ideally should be planted 4 to 6 weeks before the first hard freeze to give the bulbs time to establish roots. In areas with mild winters, garlic can be planted until January.

When to Start Inside: Not recommended if you want to grow bulbs. If you don't get your garlic in the ground, the cloves can be planted indoors any time of year for the green tops that make tasty garlic-flavored raw greens or stir-fry ingredients.

Seed Depth: Cover cloves with 2 inches of soil

Seed Spacing: 8"–10"

Row Spacing: 12"–18"

Thinning: Not necessary

Special Instructions: After planting, apply 2"–4" of mulch (e.g., straw, untreated grass clippings, shredded leaves) to maintain moisture, insulate the cloves through the winter, and help prevent frost from heaving cloves to the surface. Loosen mulch in spring to allow shoots to push through thick or compacted mulch. In very cold climates, remove mulch after the last hard freeze to allow soil to warm. Reapply mulch after shoots emerge.

Remove weeds regularly to reduce competition for water and nutrients. In spring, hardneck garlic will produce a tall stem with a curlicue at the top and a swollen flower bud at the end. This flower stalk, called a scape, should be removed to keep the plant's energy focused on bulb growth and to keep bulbs tight. Scapes can be eaten and have a mild garlic flavor.

Special Care: Plant cloves with the root end down and the pointed side up. For more information, see Garlic: Planting and Growing Guide but note the wider spacing on this large variety.

Harvesting: Elephant garlic bulbs are ready to harvest when the tops are approximately 40% yellow or brown, or start to fall over. This is typically in late July and August. If the season is wet or plants are overwatered they may not show signs of browning. In this case, dig a bulb to see if it has 4 layers of skins or less which means it is ready to harvest. Do not leave bulbs in the ground too long or the skins will decay, reducing storage life. To harvest, lift the bulbs gently with a digging fork, (flat tines) or a shovel, digging widely to avoid cutting into them. Gently brush off any loose soil and remove any damaged cloves along with the attached roots and shoots. Lay the whole plant in a warm, airy location out of direct sun and protected from rain. For more information, see Garlic: Harvesting, Curing and Storage