- Dec 3, 2017
We have a old lady here who has been growing Elephant Garlic most of her life from the same plants,her daughter gave us some about 20 yr ago. It is some good stuff,not that we still have any.I found this:
I first bought it in 1982 or 1983 from Jung's Seed Co. It was the first and last time that I saw it. It was simply listed as "Topset Garlic", or something similar, and sold only as bulbils. Upon getting them home and reading the planting instructions, they were to be planted 4 to 5 inches deep. Whoops, that can't be right! I contacted Jung's to point out the error and it was due to failure to convert metric to English. It was supposed to be 4cm to 5cm! Therefore, anyone who bought a packet, and planted according to instructions, got nothing in return.
Now forward 20+ years and I've been growing it ever since. Thus far, nobody can find out what it originally was named or if it were merely a local landrace from somewhere. Information on where Jung's obtained it went up in smoke several years ago. Thus it's sort of a mystery as well.
It's a hardneck variety, possibly a German porcelain type, and with rather large bulbils. An old Bavarian friend told me that they used to use those large bulbils in cooking and making stock. Those bulbils will produce normal divided bulbs in a single season, and that's how we planted them for many years. Some years, we got a lot of small bulbs and other years had larger ones and always from bulbils. In recent years, we began planting back cloves instead and got really big bulbs. (Go back and read other threads about growing and harvest results for it.)
Overall, it's unlike any other garlic that I've grown. It may be close to Schumacher which is another old heirloom from around this area. Both have similar growth habits except that Schumacher has more red on the clove skins. I've yet to see if Schumacher will do when grown from bulbils but they are about the same size.
I've completed planting the Martin's today and have at least 50 cloves and 100 bulbils left yet. In my Exchanges offer, I failed to mention that the 10 cloves come with 20 bulbils. Anyone who has received it now are being trusted to do a mass grow out of at least 30 specimens. 30 plants, allowed to produce bulbils, can be enough to support a major business in a few years!
I did a search on this here, but didn't find anything about the history of it. I'm new here and will be trying it, so I'm curious about the story behind it. TIA Suewww.houzz.com