The garlic has over wintered well. As usual the ophios seem hardier than the soft necks right now. I have to admit that I prefer to grow ophios, but I grow soft necks because they are supposed to store longer. Well now I find that my braids of soft necks from last year have almost all gone dry. I still have a few ophios that are staying crisp. Perhaps it is all due to curing and storage and not the fact that ophios do better in cold climates, but I am thinking of switching to all ophios.
In part this love of the hard necks is inspired by the fact that when I went to the mailbox today there was the Filaree Farm 2006 catalog. There on page 7 looking up at me with a flirtatious “come hither” look in his eye was MONTANA GIANT advertised with “consistently extra large bulbs.” Then in the next column was YOUGHIOGHENY PURPLE which is so rare it has a one pound purchase limit. I have always been aced out of these because I order too late in the season. Who is really thinking about what they can order for NEXT year when THIS year’s crop is still struggling to establish itself?
But I think after years of doing this, I have come to some conclusions.
#1 Only plant as many Rocamboles as you can eat or give away by Christmas.
#2 Concentrate on Porcelains like MUSIC PINK because of their longer storage.
#3 IF you plant soft necks, make them Silverskins for their cold climate adaptability and longer shelf life.
My seed order has gone in and here are the new varieties
Montana Giant (rocambole)
Zemo ( porcelain)
Silver White (silverskin)