Beloved for its taste, as well as for its health benefits, it is easy to understand why garlic is such a popular choice among home gardeners. Not only is this easy-to-grow crop delicious, but garlic is an excellent way for growers on a budget to save money at the grocery store. While the taste of garlic grown at home may vary among different varieties, the plethora of options allows success for even the most persnickety of growers. Some cultivars may be very flavor-forward, but others, like Chet’s Italian red, offer a mellow and balanced taste.
What is Chet’s Italian Red?
Chet’s Italian red garlic was first found growing on an abandoned farm in Washington State. Chet Stevenson selected the garlic for growth in his own garden. Chet’s Italian red garlic plants are prized for their consistent subtle taste when grown in the right conditions, most commonly those experienced by growers in the Pacific Northwest portion of the United States.
Though Chet’s Italian red garlic uses are numerous, the mild winter temperatures in this region produces garlic of exceptional quality for fresh eating. In addition to fresh garlic, Chet’s Italian red is a popular choice in the kitchen.
Growing Chet’s Italian Red Garlic
Growing Chet’s Italian red garlic is similar to growing other garlic varieties. In fact, garlic will thrive in a wide variety of growing conditions, as long as a light, well-draining soil is provided. Garlic is an excellent choice for growers who are planting in small spaces and in containers.
Like other garlics, this variety should be planted in the fall, usually around three weeks before the first hard freeze occurs. This will ensure that the bulb has sufficient time to begin to form a root system before the ground starts to freeze in the winter. Since these plants will remain in the garden throughout the winter, it is important to make certain that the chosen garlic variety is hardy to your growing zone.
Garlic is most reliably purchased for planting from reputable seed sources. Purchasing garlic for planting from a garden center or online seed source is a good way to ensure that plants are disease free and have not been treated with any chemicals that may inhibit growth.
Beyond planting, the garlic will require little care and attention from the grower. Once the ground freezes in the winter, make certain to cover the planting with a layer of mulch. This will help the garlic maintain adequate moisture, as well as suppress any weeds that may sprout throughout this time.
Garlic will begin in mature early in the next summer growing season. As the tops of the plants begin to die back, the garlic will be ready to harvest.