German Extra Hardy Garlic (Hardneck)


Today we will be evaluating our experience growing German Extra Hardy garlic (hardneck). This garlic, according to seed distributors, produces large garlic heads, and can also tolerate the cold of winter. We selected this garlic variety for its ability to tolerate the low temperatures of USDA zone 6. This is the first time we plant garlic and we wanted to start with a seed that requires little maintenance.

This seed was obtained from Johnny's Seeds and is originally from Germany. This variety can tolerate low temperatures, excellent to withstand temperature fluctuations in late winter and early spring. Our garden is located in USDA zone 6 and we managed to grow garlic without any problems. This variety is known as hardneck, which needs to go through a cold process before sprouting, and is the reason why it must be planted in November, during or after the first frost. This garlic has an intense flavor and can be kept fresh for months after being harvested.

German Hardneck Garlic

Growing Details

Garlic cloves were planted around the middle of November last year. They were never irrigated, and mother nature took control. The plants started to sprout during the first week of March. At the end of the first week of March, some of the plants were already approximately 2 inches tall, and others scarcely sprung up. The cloves of garlic were planted under full sun, accompanied by Egyptian onions and bunching onions. The soil is mostly clay but amended with compost and other unique, organic material to make the clay drain better.

By the beginning of June, all the plants had already developed scrapes. The scrapes were removed to prevent the plant from using the energy to flower, but to continue the growth of the garlic.

German Hardneck Garlic

Pests and Diseases

Fortunately during the 2019 season we did not find any disease or pest affecting this variety of garlic.


Garlic was harvested in mid-June and will go through a curing period that will last about one month. Then, the garlic can be preserved for up to a year. To understand if the garlic is ready to be harvested, you must first know the type of garlic. There is one type of garlic known as softneck, and another type known as hardneck. To reap the softneck, you must wait for the stem of the plant to bend. The plant looks like it is falling. To harvest hardneck garlic, you must wait until the primary and secondary leaves begin to turn brown. It is recommended to remove a little soil around the garlic to know if the thickness of the garlic is the desired before removing the plant. Never wait too late to remove the garlic from the ground. If you wait too late, the garlic cloves will begin to separate, and they will not be very good at preserving. Harvest the garlic when the soil is dry enough. Use a tool to dig around the garlic. Never pull the plant without digging. Do not cut the garlic immediately from the plant unless you are going to use the garlic at the moment.

German Hardneck Garlic

Lessons Learned

The seeds must be planted during the month of November in USDA zone 6, sowing them in late winter or early spring does not give enough time for the garlic head to develop. A quantity of approximately 15 garlic heads per family member is recommended for one year.

Fast Facts

Date Seed Planted Outside:Nov. 15th, 2018
Date Seed Sprouted Outside:Mar. 7th, 2019
Date Secondary Leaves Appeared:Mar. 15th, 2019
Date of Perceived Maturity:Jun. 7th, 2019
Date Harvested:Jun. 15th, 2019
Date Curation Period Started:Jun. 21st, 2019
Date Ready for Consumption:Jul. 21st, 2019