Growing Garlic in Southern California: Our Garlic Reviews

Quantity, Size, and Quality Grades

Our review of each garlic is based on quantity, size, and quality. Each criterion was given an A, B, C, or D grade according to the following:

Quantity: The amount of bulbs produced.

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Size: At least ping-pong ball size or larger.


Quality: The shape of the bulbs, wrapping, fully formed cloves, amount of cloves.


Garlic Type: Quantity: Size: Quality: Will we plant again?
Blanco Piacenza-SN A A A Yes
California Early- SN B A A Yes
Nootka Rose- SN D D D No
Cuban Purple- C A B C Yes
LaBrea Purple- C A B D Yes
Rose de Lautrec- C A B C Yes
Spanish Benitee- C A B C Yes
Italian Purple- HN C C C Maybe
Maiskij- HN D D B No
Shilla- HN D C B No

SN- softneck, C- Creole, HN- hardneck

Click here for information on the garlic varieties and subspecies we grew here in Southern California, Zone 10.

The Taste Test

(Our favorite part!)


Garlic Type: Our Thoughts:
Blanco Piacenza-SN Nice heat, pleasant flavor that lasts long, smooth aftertaste
California Early- SN Mild, mellow, flavorful
Nootka Rose- SN Hot, bity, nice smooth finish
Cuban Purple- C Hot, pungent
LaBrea Purple- C Hints of sweetness, mild, creamy
Rose de Lautrec- C Nice mild flavor, medium heat
Spanish Benitee- C Hot, with a bite
Italian Purple- HN Strong at first bite, mild aftertaste
Maiskij- HN Hottest of all, good sinus cleanse
Shilla- HN Strong, pungent

Raw Softnecks

Raw Creoles

Raw Hardnecks


Garlic Type: Our Thoughts:
Blanco Piacenza-SN Mild, smooth flavor, good!
California Early- SN Garlicky, nice
Nootka Rose- SN Creamy, hint of artichoke flavor
Cuban Purple- C Smooth, mild
LaBrea Purple- C Not much flavor, grassy
Rose de Lautrec- C Smooth, mild
Spanish Benitee- C Nice, flavorful
Italian Purple- HN Better for roasting, smooth
Maiskij- HN Strong hotness, sweet undertone
Shilla- HN Not much flavor, bland, hint of melon flavor

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