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Choosing Your Varieties    How Much Should You Buy?

Shopping Tips

We offer many varieties of garlic for sale with shipment late in the summer/early in autumn each year (order early...in June or July or early August...to ensure we don't run out of your favorite kinds!).  Order online for your convenience & get free shipping via our main site, click here

  • Harvest begins in July
  • We do allow some pre-orders each year, but will limit them to ensure we harvest enough of each variety. Even with conservative estimating, we can run short on garlic if weather causes a problem.
  • Shipping typically begins in August or September, after the garlic cures/dries.
  • Please unpack your garlic the same day it arrives so it can "breathe."
  • If you experience any problems with the shopping cart please email me to order pdfarms@live.com

All garlic seed for sale includes free shipping & is grown on our small micro farm in Elgin Oregon - Greifs Gourmet Garlic!

Customers placing orders via the shopping cart should receive an e-mail at the time the order is shipped.
Upon receipt, please open your garlic immediately and store in a cool, dry place until planting.
Timing of shipping varies with harvest dates, drying times, and other factors.

Insurance or Signature Confirmation Deliveries are Possible, but Not Currently Included in the Shipping Fee.

If you want insurance to cover your package, contact us. This is not included in the shipping fee. We can easily bill you for the amount necessary to cover insurance.

"What Kind of Garlic Should I Buy?"

This is a common question we hear from our friends and customers. There are many varieties, and amazingly, they really do differ! Some are mild, some are very flavorful, some are hot and spicy. A few varieties seem to be our favorites for roasting, and a few are great minced/crushed and eaten raw and fresh on salads. Hardnecks, softnecks...it can be confusing!

New to our site this year is a "Garlic Variety Picker" page that we developed to help you choose which varieties are best for you. Click here to use the tool.

"How Much Garlic Should I Buy?"

Because we have access to fresh garlic and its superior flavor, we have increased our garlic use exponentially in recent years! We think this happens with our customers as well.

The real garlic flavor of fresh, home-grown garlic is so much better than what comes from store-bought powdered garlic or the old garlic purchased in stores' produce sections and from bottles...fresh garlic flavor and aroma are addicting as well as healthy! We use garlic (roasted, minced fresh, minced frozen, minced dried, powdered from last year's crop, etc.) almost every day. It goes in homemade bread, casseroles, dips, in almost all main dishes, and more.

A sound suggestion would be "don't short yourself."

  • For example, if you used 2 cloves per day on average, that would mean you need to raise over 700 cloves per year, or around 70-90 garlic bulbs. Depending upon the variety and the size, you should order 5 to 11 pounds of garlic to plant.
  • If you sell at Farmer's Markets, be prepared. These large, fresh, flavorful bulbs from your garlic patch will sell better than hotcakes!

And don't forget to grow a little extra to share with family and friends... :-)

For Larger Planting Areas

Under construction 9/2/2010

(Length of Rows)  x  (2 to 4 seeds per foot)  x  (Number of Rows)  /  (# of Seeds Per Pound)  =  Pounds Needed
Note that the # of Seeds Per Pound will always be an estimate due to variances in bulb sizes, bulbs per pound, and seeds per bulb...and therefore, seeds per pound.

BREAKING DOWN THE NUMBERS

1. Number of Seeds per Row:  Multiply the length of your row by 2, as you will probably plant one seed every 5 to 6 inches. However, some sources suggest 3 to 5 inches for spacing, so adjust this number as per your preferred spacing. If you space your garlic every 3 inches, you should use the number "4" in the equation, for example.

2. Number of Rows: Some people plant a single row, with a 2 or 3 foot gap between each row (to allow for mulch or tilling for weed control). Others plant two rows a few inches apart, and then a 2 or 3 foot gap. Still others will plant in more of a "bed" type situation, with 6 or 8 rows close together, and then a 2 or 3 foot gap between. Decide what will work best for your situation, and determine the number of rows you will have.

3. Total Number of Seeds Needed:  Determine how many seeds you will need for the length or your rows, and multiply by the number of rows you will fit into your area. For example, a 100' row would have 200 or more seeds if they were spaced 5 to 6" apart. If you have 100'-long rows, and have 10 rows, then you would need 100 x 2 x 10 = 2000 seeds (length of row times seeds per foot times number of rows).

4. Calculate the Number of Pounds Needed:  After calculating your seed needs in terms of numbers comes the tricky part, because the differing varieties have different numbers of cloves in each pound of seed. For example, some garlics have 4 seeds per bulb, while others have 20 or more seeds per bulb. Also, one variety might average 8 bulbs in a pound of large-sized garlic, while another might average 6 bulbs per pound, and another might require 12 bulbs to make a pound. Medium-sized garlic might have around 18 bulbs per pound. Once you decide on a variety, you can calculate seeds based upon those varieties' average clove numbers per bulb and average bulbs per pound.

EXAMPLES

Using Music and Lorz as examples, and assuming a 6" spacing:

Estimating Music: 

  • Approximately 5 cloves per bulb, ~8 bulbs per pound equals 40 cloves per pound (cloves x bulbs per pound).
  • (your total number of cloves needed) divided by 40 equals how many pounds of Music you would need.
  • A 100' row would require approximately 5 pounds of Music if planted 6" apart.
  • Math: 100 x 2 seeds per foot = 200 seeds needed.   200 %  40 seeds per pound = 5 pounds of seed.

Estimating Lorz Italian:

  • ~10 to 18 cloves per bulb, but using 10 to estimate (planting the larger cloves helps result in a larger-bulbed harvest), ~8 bulbs per pound equals 80 cloves per pound.
  • (your total number of cloves needed) divided by 80 equals how many pounds of Lorz Italian you would need.
  • A 100' row would require approximately 2.5 pounds of Lorz if planted 6" apart.
  • Math: 100 feet x 2 seeds per foot = 200 seeds needed.  200 % 80 seeds per pound = 2.5 pounds.

Planting a 4" spacing (3 seeds per foot) within the row would result in different seed needs:

Estimating Music: 

  • Approximately 5 cloves per bulb, ~8 bulbs per pound equals 40 cloves per pound (cloves x bulbs per pound).
  • (your total number of cloves needed) divided by 40 equals how many pounds of Music you would need.
  • A 100' row would require approximately 7.5 pounds of Music if planted 4" apart.
  • Math: 100 x 3 seeds per foot = 300 seeds needed.   300 % 40 seeds per pound = 7.5 pounds of seed.

Estimating Lorz Italian:

  •  ~10 to 18 cloves per bulb, but using 10 to estimate (planting the larger cloves helps result in a larger-bulbed harvest), ~8 bulbs per pound equals 80 cloves per pound.
  • (your total number of cloves needed) divided by 80 equals how many pounds of Lorz Italian you would need.
  • A 100' row would require approximately 4 pounds of Lorz if planted 4" apart. 
  • Math: 100 feet x 3 seeds per foot = 300 seeds needed.  300 % 80 seeds per pound = 4 pounds.

Estimate of Seeds/Pound
Based upon an average from variety descriptions.

Which Size Should You Buy?

Garlic varieties can vary quite a bit in size. For example, Elephant Garlic bulbs can reach sizes between baseball and softball dimensions in your garden. See individual descriptions on our Garlic Varieties page for more about how the varieties differ in size.

For example, let's look at one variety, such as German Red. Each year, German Red (and all varieties) has some huge bulbs, some medium bulbs, and a few small bulbs.

The largest of bulbs are obviously our "top grade,"
but the medium-sized bulbs are still awesome garlic!


A comparison of bulb size and weight, using German Red as an example.
On the left is one pound of German Red, average-sized bulbs.
On the right is one pound of German Red, large-sized bulbs.

  • The largest bulbs in each variety are recommended for planting if you want your garden's harvest to consist of really large bulbs with large cloves. The larger bulbs are generally over 2" in diameter, although some are 3" (depending upon variety). An example of large-sized bulbs is the grouping on the right in the photo above.
     
  • Average-sized bulbs (generally up to 2" in diameter) are economical for those wanting more cloves (because our garlic is sold by weight, and not by the number of the bulbs or cloves). If you want to plant in your garden with the harvest consisting of average-sized to large-sized bulbs, the smaller-sized bulbs may be better for you.  An example of smaller (average-sized) bulbs is the grouping on the left in the photo above.
     
  • Small-sized bulbs are the ones we eat here at home, as well as the average sizes. We do not typically offer the small bulbs for sale.

Our varieties are generally available in two sizes each year (the shopping cart allows you to select a size): Large and Medium.

Click here to bookmark Greifs Gourmet Garlic, which will place us in your Favorites list!

Thanks!

Phil Greif

A 7% tax will be added to orders shipping to a location within Iowa. Iowa residents' tax is included in the published price for each item if the shopping cart fails to apply the tax. If that is the case, we will be obligated to pay the tax ourselves.

Shipping limited to the 48 contiguous states only.

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71990 Gordon Creek Road Elgin, OR 97827
pdfarms@live.com

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