About Sicilian Artichoke Garlic:

Sicilian Artichoke

Softneck – Artichoke

Sicilian Artichoke Garlic varietal produces exceptionally well, stores for long periods of time with ease, and has a fierce fiery flavor that smokes the store-bought look-alikes! 

Artichoke garlic has a mild to spicy flavor, that like its color can change with growing conditions. The head colors range from pearly white to purple streaked, although not as showy as purple stripe hard-necks, artichokes have the advantage of being brandable!  Sicilian artichoke most likely originated in Europe, where it was cultivated from Silk Road traded seed. History and folklore surrounding garlic in this area of the world span from the dawn of literature to present day time, with one of the earliest mentionings of garlic in Homer’s Iliad (700 B.C.)

The draught prescribed fair Hecamede prepares, Arsinous’ daughter, graced with golden hairs: (Whom to his aged arms, a royal slave, Greece, as the prize of Nestor’s wisdom gave:) A table first with azure feet she placed; Whose ample orb a brazen charger graced; Honey new pressed, the sacred flour of wheat, And wholesome garlic, crowned the savory treat… 

– Book XI. Argument. The Third Battle, and the Acts of Agamemnon (42)

There was even once a tradition in Sicily to place garlic in a birthing bed for a successful delivery! If you still have some Sicilian left after harvesting and planting, why not try the delicious Amogghio recipe, a classic Sicilian topping for summer BBQs!

Growing Sicilian Artichoke 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 Sicilian Artichoke 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 Sicilian Artichoke 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 Sicilian Artichoke 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!

Scroll to Top