Music garlic

Music garlic is a popular hardneck garlic variety. A cultivar of porcelain-type garlic, this cultivar is known for having a hot, raw flavor that mellows nicely when roasted. Originally from Italy, this variety was imported to North America by Canadian farmer Al Music in the 1980s. Music garlic plants are known for being cold-hardy reliable producers with large, strongly-flavored cloves.

Music garlic bulb

Music garlic baiscs

Music garlic (Allium sativum ssp. ophioscorodon ‘Music’) is a porcelain-type hardneck garlic cultivar. This variety is known for its white peel, medium-strong hot flavor, large cloves, and cold-hardy growing characteristics. Al Music, a Canadian garlic grower, introduced Music garlic.

Music garlic is most commonly planted in the fall (typically September or October) and is harvested in mid-summer (typically June or July). If cured well, bulbs of Music garlic can be stored into spring.

Hardneck music garlic bulbs for planting

Planting music garlic

Planting Music garlic in your garden is a rewarding experience that provides a flavorful and hardy harvest. This cultivar of porcelain garlic (a hardneck type) produces large cloves with an intense flavor.


The best time to plant music garlic is in the fall, about four to six weeks before your area’s first hard frost. This allows the cloves enough time to establish roots before winter sets in.

Selecting seed garlic bulbs

The first step to planting music garlic is selecting high-quality seed garlic bulbs. Look for bulbs from reputable suppliers or local farmer’s markets, ensuring they are firm and free of mold or damage.

Each bulb of ‘Music’ garlic typically has 4-7 cloves. The cloves are larger than those of other popular garlic varieties, including German White and Spanish Roja.

Preparing the soil

Music garlic thrives in well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Before planting, work compost or aged manure into your garden bed to improve fertility and drainage. Additionally, consider testing your soil’s pH level. Garlic prefers slightly acidic to neutral conditions (6-7).

Planting cloves

  1. Start by marking out rows approximately 12 inches apart.
  2. In each row, dig holes about three inches deep and six inches apart.
  3. Carefully separate the individual cloves from the bulb without removing their papery skins.
  4. Place one clove per hole with its pointed end facing up.
  5. Cover each clove with soil so its top is about two inches below the surface.
  6. Water the area thoroughly.
  7. Apply a layer of mulch (like straw or shredded leaves) to help insulate the soil and prevent weed growth.

Planting Music garlic is an easy and rewarding way to add flavor to your meals. With the right knowledge, you can easily grow a successful crop of music garlic that will last for years. Once planted, proper care is essential to ensure a successful harvest of delicious music garlic.

Music variety garlic growing in planter box

Caring for Music garlic plants

Maintaining proper care throughout the growing season is essential for producing an abundant harvest of music garlic.

  • Watering: Keep soil consistently moist but avoid overwatering, which can lead to rotting bulbs; aim for approximately one inch of water per week, either through rainfall or supplemental irrigation.
  • Weeding: Regularly remove any weeds that emerge near your garlic plants as they compete with them for nutrients and space; this also helps prevent diseases caused by poor air circulation among the foliage.

In springtime when green shoots begin emerging from the ground, you may notice curly stalks called “scapes” forming on your hardneck varieties like music garlic. Removing these scapes in the first couple weeks after they appear by cutting them off at their base encourages larger bulb development while providing you with a tasty treat perfect for sauteing or making pesto.

Cutting off scape
Scapes off of music garlic
Cooked music garlic scapes

Harvesting Music garlic

Learn when and how to harvest music garlic for maximum flavor and nutrition.

Recognizing when to harvest Music garlic

Knowing when to harvest your Music garlic is essential for getting the best taste and quality from your bulbs. Typically, hardneck garlic varieties like music garlic are ready for harvesting in midsummer, depending on your climate zone. Here are some signs that it’s time to harvest:

  • The lower couple of leaves have turned yellow or brown.
  • About half of the total leaves remain green.
  • The cloves feel firm when gently squeezed through their outer wrapper.
When to harvest your music garlic bulbs in the summer

Properly digging up Music garlic bulbs

To avoid damaging your precious music garlic bulbs during harvest, follow these steps:

  1. Gently loosen the soil around each plant with a garden fork or trowel, taking care not to pierce any bulbs.
  2. Carefully lift each bulb out of the ground by grasping its stem near the base and pulling upward with a gentle twisting motion.
  3. If you encounter resistance while lifting a bulb, use your digging tool to help free it from any compacted soil without cutting into it accidentally.
  4. Lay harvested bulbs on a flat surface in an area protected from direct sunlight until they’re ready for curing (see section C below).
Music garlic

Curing bulbs of garlic

Curing is an essential step in harvesting, as it helps preserve your music garlic bulbs and enhances their flavor. Follow these steps for successful curing:

  1. Gather your harvested bulbs and gently brush off any loose soil without removing the outer wrapper.
  2. Tie the stems of several bulbs together into small bundles or braid them if they’re long enough.
  3. Hang the bundles or braids in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight for about three weeks. The ideal temp for curing is between 15°C and 21°C.
  4. Once cured, trim off any remaining roots from each bulb with scissors or pruning shears, leaving about a quarter-inch (0.6 cm) stub.

Harvesting music garlic is a rewarding experience and requires patience. With the proper storage techniques, you can ensure that your harvested music garlic will remain fresh for an extended period of time.

Storing Music garlic

Proper storage of your harvested music garlic is essential to preserve its taste and texture. This variety stores quite well and will keep into spring if cured and stored correctly.

In terms of storage method options, this type of garlic is most commonly stored in paper or mesh bags. If using paper bags, don’t close them tightly or punch a few holes for ventilation. Store the bags in a dark cupboard or pantry at room temperature (around 60°F).

Tips for long-lasting Music garlic storage

To ensure that your music garlic remains fresh and flavorful throughout its storage period, follow these helpful tips:

  1. Avoid moisture: Keep your hardneck garlic away from moisture as it may cause mold growth or sprouting; maintain a humidity level between 60-70% in the storage area.
  2. Maintain proper temperature: Store at room temperature (around 60°F) to prevent premature sprouting or rotting of the cloves.
  3. Air circulation: Ensure good air circulation around your stored garlic bulbs by not overcrowding them in their containers or hanging spaces.
  4. Routine check-ups: Regularly inspect your stored music garlic for any signs of spoilage such as mold, softness, or off odors; remove affected bulbs immediately to prevent contamination of others.

Freshly harvested and properly stored music garlic is an excellent addition to various dishes with its robust flavor profile. By following these storage methods and tips, you’ll be able to enjoy this hardy variety all year round.

Cooking with Music garlic

With its large cloves and robust flavor, this porcelain garlic can elevate any meal from ordinary to extraordinary. This section will explore some delicious recipes featuring Music garlic as the star ingredient.

Roasted Music garlic

Roasting music garlic brings out its natural sweetness while mellowing the pungent flavors that are characteristic of raw music garlic bulbs. To roast music garlic:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cut off the top quarter-inch of each bulb to expose the individual cloves.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over each exposed clove and wrap in aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until cloves are soft and golden brown.

You can enjoy roasted music garlic on its own or use it as a spread on crusty bread, mix into mashed potatoes, or toss with pasta for a simple yet flavorful dish. For more inspiration on how to use roasted music garlic in your cooking adventures, check out these roasted garlic recipes.

Music garlic pesto

Pesto is traditionally made with basil leaves; however, this music garlic pesto recipe takes advantage of those large cloves’ bold taste by using them as one of the main ingredients. To make music garlic pesto:

  1. Combine roasted music garlic cloves, fresh basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, pine nuts or walnuts, and olive oil in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until smooth and well combined.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This versatile sauce can be used as a spread on sandwiches or mixed into pasta dishes for an extra burst of flavor. It also makes a delicious dip for veggies or crusty bread.

Music garlic-infused olive oil

Olive oil infused with garlic is ideal for dressing salads, dipping bread in, or sautéing veggies. Making your own at home is simple:

  1. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat, adding peeled whole garlic cloves to infuse the oil with flavor for an hour until golden brown.
  2. Add peeled whole music garlic cloves (the number of cloves depends on how strong you want the infusion).
  3. Cook slowly for about an hour until the garlic is golden brown but not burnt – this will infuse the oil with that rich music garlic flavor without overpowering it.

Once cooled down completely, strain out any remaining solids before transferring infused oil to an air-tight container. Store it away from direct sunlight and use within two weeks to ensure maximum freshness and potency of flavors.

With these recipes under your belt, incorporating more hardy porcelain varieties like Music garlic into your cooking repertoire has never been easier. The unique characteristics of this particular type are sure to impress both family members and guests alike while adding depth and richness to any dish they’re used in.

Buying music garlic bulbs for planting
Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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