Three new garlic (Allium sativum) clones from Sibiria

On a recent trip to Irkutsk in Sibiria I met a lot of wonderfull people. As they noticed my “garlic fewer”, they aquired three sibirian garlic clones for me.

Top is a hardneck garlic grown by Tamara and Sasha in their datcha. They told me it’s a very strong garlic. They have grown it for many years, but don’t remember exatly how many. They set it 10cm deep in october – as I also do with my garlic – it was great fun to Sasha. He strongly pointed out, that I must revitalize the garlic by using topsets every 4-5th. year. In this way you get the largest garlics, Sasha says.

Bottom left is a softneck garlic grown by Ludmilla and Leonid in their datcha for eight years. The orignally got it from Marija, Ludmillas mother, who grew it for what seems to have been allways, until she had to sell her datcha, as she was getting elderly. They tell it’s a small garlic to set in april. They even gave me a sowingtime calendar and showed me how to read the right days for garlicplanting in april. Their harvest is late, in august. Ludmilla and Leonid find it a gourmet garlic, mild and with a lot of body in the taste. For the taste they prefer this clone, even if the harvest is somewhat smaller. I remember this garlic from my first visit in Marijas home back in 1993. I thought it to be tiny and didn’t get any chance to ask for it. As I some years ago heard she had sold her datcha, I thought the garlic was lost.
Even though it should not be set until april, I will set a few cloves before christmas, both as a security and an experiment.

Bottom right is a hardneck garlic bought at the market in Irkutsk near the theatre school. The sweet elderly woman took pride in a foreigner taking interest in her garlic. It is a strong colored and strong tasting garlic. She told it is to be set in october. She has grown it for many years, don’t remember how many. I checked the roots, to be sure it wasn’t a chinese import, as many of the other garlics in the market. The chinese do grow excellent garlic, but I was on the look out for clones out of sibirian gardens.

Garden people around the world are great at trying new, saving the good and sharing the best 🙂
A loot of deep felt thanks to the good people in Sibiria.