About Chesnok Red Garlic:

Chesnok Red

Hardneck – Purple Stripe

Chesnok Red is an attractive hard-neck varietal from the purple stripe family featuring a stunning cranberry color and large, easy to crack heads.

This strain is also known as ‘Shvelisi’ the name of a town in the Southern Republic of Georgia where it originates. It was either brought by immigrants or the USDA convoy that traversed the Caucasus mountains visiting villages; looking for garlic varieties after the fall of the soviet union.

Genetic analysis has revealed that the purple stripe family of hard neck garlic is likely the original cultivar that all other garlic varieties arose from.

Purple stripe garlic features tight clove wrappings that help increase it’s storage time, lasting for 7- 9 months in the right storage conditions. (No temperatures lower than 45F or higher than 60F)

It has a sweet and mild flavor that holds while cooking and has regularly won its awards for baking, placing it in high culinary regard. Some say its sweet flavor imparts itself best to garlic ice cream over all other varieties!

Growing Chesnok Red Garlic:

October – November Plant cloves in the ground 3 – 5 weeks before the first frost, you can plant in the spring but run the risk of heads being smaller.

November – December: Spread mulch, compost, or a mix of both over your crop to help insulate the ground and feed your crop. We use alfalfa meal and rice hay in early spring. Weed watch begins after the last frost, apply more mulch or weed following your farm’s cultural practices. Its also wise to use some organic foliar fertilizer that contains nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and sulfur every 2 to 3 weeks.

Late May – Early June: Harvest garlic scapes from hard-neck varieties when they first appear or start to curl.

June – July: Harvest your garlic as it matures, different types will mature at different times and harvest should be based on the ratio of dead to alive leaves.

July – August: Cure garlic for long term storage and remove any damaged or anemic bulbs, save these for use in your kitchen. Select the best to replant for the following season.

October – November: Start the process over again!

Planting Chesnok Red Garlic:

Crack the heads of garlic open, separating the inner cloves and leaving their thin papery covering intact.

Plant only the largest, undamaged cloves, some cloves might get a nick or two in them from the head cracking process. Save the smaller and damaged cloves for a delicious batch of Toum, its like garlic mayonnaise, yum!

When planting cloves in the soil, place the pointy end up, 3-4 inches deep and 6 inches apart

Harvesting Chesnok Red Garlic:

Crack the heads of garlic open, separating the inner cloves and leaving their thin papery covering intact.

When at least 50-75% of your crop has ½ green and brown leaves, stop watering and let the soil dry out.

Spot checks can be done to ensure the doneness of your garlic: lightly and carefully dig around a random bulb, or bulbs, and check its size without digging it up.

Using a hay fork, you can go and loosen the soil 8 to 12 inches away from bulbs, carefully as to not damage the bulbs, and loosen the soil to make it easier to get the garlic up.

Do not remove the excess dirt with water, dirt can be removed later when it’s dried with a soft brush. Be careful to not remove the layers of paper on the outside of the garlic

Storing Chesnok Red Garlic:

Make sure that you have not removed the leaves or roots or your harvested garlic, these contain extra moisture and will help with flavor compounds while your garlic is curing.

Hang bulbs in a well ventilated, dry area out of direct sunlight and room temperature, making sure the temperature does not drop below 45 degrees.

If you want to braid the garlic, make sure the stems have dried, but are still flexible.

Garlic hanging time is variable depending on the weather in your area, you’ll know it’s done when the roots and leaves are completely dry and easily breakable.

This can take anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks. Artichoke type garlic can last for up to 12 months if cured and stored properly!

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