Garlic, Lorz (6 bulbs)
This robustly flavored soft-neck type is fairly early—a bonus when considering spring planting. Brought from Italy in the early 1900s, Lorz boasts large, rather flat bulbs, strong, hot flavor, good keeping quality, and mostly makes nice large cloves with very few of the small “slivers” often found in a soft-neck type. It also takes warm temperatures better than the usual hard-neck types.
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!