How to choose seed garlic
Using commercial seed garlic avoids a weak garlic result, it is more likely to be disease & fungi free, and produce bigger, healthier and better quality garlic. Buying seed garlic allows you to choose more than 1 variety for growing, which surely will add to the adventure.
Having said that, the best way to go about growing any plant is to first make sure that you are able to mimic the growing conditions that this particular variety of plant thrives in indigenously before pulling your wallet out. Ask the seeds seller for his advice!
If you are choosing your seed in person keep in mind that the cloves should be firm and hard with the skin intact, adhering tightly to the clove with no sign of mold, disease shrinkage or withering.
- pick heavy, tight and dry bulbs
- examine every clove if possible to eliminate contamination with disease
- look for any signs of mold on the central stem, paper skin and the base of the cloves
- check your cloves for bruising and nicks
- select the best cloves as they will produce the best garlic plants.
Where to buy seed garlic
If you want to grow garlic start by buying good quality seed garlic. It will surprise you how many different varieties of garlic can be grown, so it is best to ask the garlic seed seller about the details.
Seed garlic is very different from the garlic you eat and if you use garlic seed for planting you will get the best result. However you could just grow garlic out of the nicest clove of a head you bought at the supermarket I would not recommend doing that.
Ideally buy your planting stock from the grower located in the same latitude. The closer you are to the source of your seeds the less time your garlic will need to adapt and to perform well. There are many online sellers of garlic seed. I believe that buying directly from garlic farms is the safest way to go, as they guarantee a quality, healthy seed that also was stored with love and care.
Here are a few links to garlic farms in UK, USA & Canada