Polish Hardneck Variety: Growing Polish Hardneck Garlic In The Garden

Two Heads Of Garlic
polish hardneck
(Image credit: bergamont)

The Polish hardneck variety is a type of porcelain garlic that is large, beautiful, and well formed. It is an heirloom variety that may have originated in Poland. It was brought to the United States by Rick Bangert, an Idaho garlic grower. If you are considering planting this variety of garlic, we’ll give you information about the these hardneck garlic bulbs and tips on growing Polish hardneck garlic.

What is Polish Hardneck Garlic?

If you are familiar with Northern White garlic, you know how large and lovely the bulbs are. Polish hardneck garlic bulbs are just as ample and attractive.

The Polish hardneck variety of garlic has a rich, musky flavor with a deep heat that has staying power. In short, Polish hardneck garlic bulbs are strong, long-storing garlic plants with heat. They harvest in summer and stay fresh until the following spring.

Growing Polish Hardneck Garlic

If you decide to start growing Polish hardneck garlic, plant it in the fall. Get it into the ground some 30 days before the first frost. Like other types of garlic, the Polish hardneck is best mulched with straw or alfalfa hay.

This garlic variety has to be exposed to cold for a couple of weeks in order to produce bulbs. Before planting the Polish hardneck variety, blend some potash and phosphate into the soil, then put the cloves about 2 inches (5 cm.) deep and twice that distance apart. Put them 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.) apart in rows that are at least a foot (31 cm.) apart.

Polish Hardneck Uses

Once most of the stalk browns or yellows, you can start to harvest your crop. Dig out the bulbs and stalks from the soil, then cure them in a shaded, dry area with excellent air circulation.

After about a month, the bulbs can be removed and used in cooking. You’ll usually find four to six large cloves per bulb.

Remember, this is a powerful, complex garlic. It is said that Polish hardneck garlic bulbs don’t knock before entering. Polish hardneck uses should include any dish that needs a deep, rich, subtle heat.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.