Garlic, Early Italian Purple (6 bulbs)
White bulbs are liberally blotched and striped in purple, and they can get very large. Well-grown bulbs typically contain 15-20 medium-sized, mild-flavored cloves, which are wrapped in purple-striped skins. This very early soft-neck or artichoke type is ideal for spring planting. It is famously associated with the Gilroy Garlic Festival as this is the variety traditionally grown on farms surrounding the “Garlic Capital of the World.”
Spring-planting Garlic—In many climates there is a very short but workable spring planting window for garlic. This crop makes most of its growth in cooler weather; hot soil initiates the bulb formation process, even in very small plants. The challenge is to get the plants growing as early as possible, so that they will be as large as possible when the soil temperature reaches that point. In addition to following the usual recommendations for soil treatment, spring-planted garlic should be sown absolutely as early in late winter or spring as the soil can be worked — as soon as frost is out of the ground and the soil is dry enough to be tilled. Garlic is very frost hardy. Storing the garlic in the fridge for a couple of weeks prior to planting can also help, as the cold treatment gets the cloves rooting as quickly as possible. (It's OK to plant cloves that actually show some root emergence, although planting such sprouted cloves does require extra care.) Applying a thick organic mulch once the cloves have sprouted can also help, as this cools the soil a bit and allows the plants more growing time. Be sure to give spring-planted garlic the richest possible soil as every day counts when growing in spring!