Music garlic is an excellent choice for both experienced gardeners and beginners alike. This blog post will explore the ins and outs of successfully planting, growing, harvesting, storing, and cooking with ‘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.
Discover the optimal conditions for planting Music garlic bulbs to ensure healthy growth throughout the season. Also, find out the most effective ways to store your freshly harvested Music garlic so it remains fresh and full of flavor for months.
Introduction to Music garlic
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 store into spring.
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 garlic bulbs. Look for bulbs from reputable suppliers or local farmers markets, ensuring they are firm and free of mold or damage.
Introducing the chart-topping 'Music' garlic, the ultimate yield performer that outshines the competition. Enjoy its easy-to-peel, big cloves, boasting a medium-hot, true garlic flavor. Prepare to be amazed by its long storage shelf life and remarkable cold tolerance, making it a reliable choice for any climate. Get ready to experience the symphony of flavor and productivity with 'Music' garlic in your garden.
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).
- Start by marking out rows approximately 12 inches apart.
- In each row, dig holes about three inches deep and six inches apart.
- Carefully separate the individual cloves from the bulb without removing their papery skins.
- Place one clove per hole with its pointed end facing up.
- Cover each clove with soil so its top is about two inches below the surface.
- Water the area thoroughly.
- 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.
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.
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.
Properly digging up Music garlic bulbs
To avoid damaging your precious music garlic bulbs during harvest, follow these steps:
- Gently loosen the soil around each plant with a garden fork or trowel, taking care not to pierce any bulbs.
- Carefully lift each bulb out of the ground by grasping its stem near the base and pulling upward with a gentle twisting motion.
- 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.
- Lay harvested bulbs on a flat surface in an area protected from direct sunlight until they’re ready for curing (see section C below).
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:
- Gather your harvested bulbs and gently brush off any loose soil without removing the outer wrapper.
- Tie the stems of several bulbs together into small bundles or braid them if they’re long enough.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Maintain proper temperature: Store at room temperature (around 60°F) to prevent premature sprouting or rotting of the cloves.
- Air circulation: Ensure good air circulation around your stored garlic bulbs by not overcrowding them in their containers or hanging spaces.
- 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:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Cut off the top quarter-inch of each bulb to expose the individual cloves.
- Drizzle olive oil over each exposed clove and wrap in aluminum foil.
- 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:
- Combine roasted music garlic cloves, fresh basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, pine nuts or walnuts, and olive oil in a food processor.
- Pulse until smooth and well combined.
- 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:
- 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.
- Add peeled whole music garlic cloves (the number of cloves depends on how strong you want the infusion).
- 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.
FAQs about Music garlic
What is Music garlic, and what makes it special?
Music garlic is a type of hardneck garlic that is known for its large cloves and robust flavor. It is also sometimes referred to as hardy garlic or porcelain garlic. This variety of garlic is named after Al Music, an Ontario farmer who introduced it to North America. Music garlic is characterized by its purple-striped outer wrappers and large cloves with easy-to-peel skins.
One of the things that makes Music garlic special is its taste. It has a bold yet balanced garlicky flavor that isn’t excessively hot or sharp when eaten raw or cooked into recipes such as stir-fries, sauces, roasts, soups, confits, and more.
Is Music Garlic Strong?
Yes, Music garlic has a strong flavor compared to other varieties, but it is not overpowering or overly spicy. Its well-balanced taste makes it suitable for various dishes requiring fresh or cooked garlic while maintaining its distinctiveness without being too harsh on the palate.
Where Can You Buy Music Garlic?
Music garlic can be found at many farmers’ markets and specialty food stores. It is also available for purchase online from various seed companies and garlic farms. When buying Music garlic bulbs, look for ones that are firm and have tight wrappers. Avoid bulbs that are soft or have moldy spots.