Currently, all garlic planted for commercial growing operations comes from cloves, also called seed, seed garlic or seed stock. Garlic is divided into two different categories: hardneck or topset (ophioscorodon) and softneck or artichoke (sativum). Most garlic grown in Oregon is softneck and is produced as seed garlic for planting in California, Nevada and other states. Most is grown for the dehydration industry, with excess seed stock sold as fresh garlic.
Two types of silverskin garlic are commonly grown in Oregon for seed stock, California Early and California Late. 1,600 to 2,000 pounds of California Early and between 1,400 to 1,700 pounds of California Late cloves are planted per acre in the early fall. Seed garlic grown in cooler climates like Central Oregon is more vigorous when planted in California than seed stock grown there. Production of garlic from true seed has been researched, but true seed is not used in commercial growing operations.
Garlic is ready to harvest by mid-July, when the tops begin to dry and bend toward the ground. Harvest includes topping and digging the garlic. It is placed in curing shelters or kept in the field for final curing. After curing, the garlic is transported to the dehydration facility in 30,000 to 40,000 pound truckloads.
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- Garlic is believed to ward off heart disease, cancer, the flu and colds. It also helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduces the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
- Ancient Greek and Roman brides carried a bouquet of garlic and herbs.
- Garlic’s strong flavor is due to a chemical reaction that occurs when its cells are broken. Crush garlic for the most intense flavor.
- If your roses are being attacked by aphids, mix crushed garlic with water and spray the leaves and blooms with the mixture.
- Mediterranean field workers would rub their lips and noses with garlic to help prevent sunburn.
- Hippocrates used garlic with opium to treat infections and as a painkiller during early surgical amputations.