Garlic Inchelium Red, botanically known as Allium Sativum, is a mid-season Artichoke-type softneck garlic variety. Although its true origins are generally unknown, it was first discovered on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington. This garlic variety is hailed for its large bulbs with numerous cloves, which emit a pleasing rich flavor and medium pungency, making it a national taste-test winner in the softneck garlic division.
Inchelium red is one of the more popular garlic varieties to grow as it combines large bulb size with good storage life. Plus, it’s easy to grow in a range of climate zones. Some noteworthy characteristics of this garlic variety include:
Unlike most allium sativum varieties that mature earlier in the season, Inchelium red garlic is one of the last artichokes to be ready. It takes up to 210 days to mature. This garlic typically grows to 12-18 inches tall with a spread to 6-9″ wide. On maturity, this garlic crop yields large bulbs with 12-18 cloves per bulb. The bulbs are typically 2.5″ to 3″ in diameter.
The bulbs are covered in several layers of thick ivory wrappers with reddish-purple tinting that protects the bulb, enhancing its storage life. In the right conditions, this garlic can store for up to 6 to 9 months. The inner cloves are wrapped in individual creamy, easy-to-peel maroon wrappers. Inchelium red garlic variety does well in US hardiness zones 3-9.
Benefits of This Mild-flavored Garlic
Inchelium red garlic is known for its delicious flavor and robust odor. This garlic boasts of a rich, robust flavor that does not overpower the paler. This mild-flavored garlic can be used in both raw or cooked applications. Inchelium garlic does exceptionally great baked. Baking Inchelium Red garlic enhances its flavor and adds a subtle sweetness.
Besides its culinary benefits, Inchelium red garlic helps prevent heart diseases, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cancer. It also aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels. It is also used to fight and prevent common colds.
How to Plant Garlic Inchelium Red
Nothing tastes better than organic garlic from your own garden. Yielding fresh and strong flavor is easy to achieve especially if you invest in certified organic garlic seeds. Certified organic garlic seeds are easy to grow. Each clove yields a healthy garlic crop with a wonderful flavor. As a natural pest and fungus deterrent, this garlic makes a fantastic companion to various plants, including flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, and herbs.
When to Plant Your Organic Garlic
Inchellium red is often planted in the fall, between September and November. Fall planting is highly recommended to allow the garlic plant to form healthy roots before the ground freezes. It also aids in the production of larger bulbs during harvest.
If fall planting is not an option, you can plant garlic in the spring. Note, however, that the cloves will not be as large, but you’ll still get to enjoy the great garlic flavor of Inchellium Red.
Choosing and Preparing the Planting Site
Inchelium Red garlic does well in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full soil. Select a patch on your garden that receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
Fertilize the Soil
Prepare the soil by removing weeds and mixing in healthy additions of compost and fertilizer. Adding fertilizer to your soil helps increase bulb size and allows the plant to grow healthier. Next, work in a couple of tablespoons of bone meal, fish meal, or fertilizer into the soil.
- Select the largest bulbs and break them apart into individual cloves, ensuring the papery husk on each clove.
- Directly plant cloves in the soil about 1-2 inches deep with the pointed end facing up. Space the cloves 4-6 inches apart. The rows should be 1-2 apart to allow room for plant growth.
- After planting, apply 2-4″ of mulch such as grass clippings, straw, or shredded leaves. Mulch helps to maintain moisture in the soil. It also insulates the cloves throughout winter to prevent frost from pushing your growing cloves to the surface.
How to Grow Large Organic Garlic Bulbs
Garlic Inchelium red, like all other softneck varieties, is a heavy feeder. As such, it requires adequate levels of nitrogen throughout the growing season. A blood meal is a good source of nitrogen. Remove weeds regularly to reduce competition for water and nutrients. Water your plants every 3-5 days during bulbing. Since Inchelium red is not a hardneck garlic variety, it does not sprout scapes.
Pest and Diseases
Inchellium red garlic has very few problems with pests in the garden. In fact, it is a natural pest repellent. It also has very few problems with diseases that plague other vegetable crops. That said, this garlic variety can suffer from nematodes, bulb mites, thrips, onion maggot, and white rot.
Harvesting and Curing
The harvest of fall-planted garlic should start the following season in the summer after their leaves start turning yellow-brown—harvest when the foliage begins to yellow and fall over. To harvest, carefully dig up the bulbs using a garden fork, taking care not to damage the bulbs. Then, lift the plants carefully from the ground and brush off surplus soil.
Once harvested, let them cure by hanging or spreading them out in a dry, shady, well-ventilated spot. Curing should take two to four weeks. The garlic bulbs should be totally dry and ready for storage at the end of the two weeks. Store your garlic in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight.
Inchelium Red Garlic FAQs
How Long Does It Take Inchelium Red Garlic to Grow to Maturity?
Grown under the right conditions, Inchelium red typically takes 9 months to grow to maturity. This garlic variety grows best when exposed to 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
Is Inchelium Red a Hardneck or Softneck Garlic Variety?
Inchelium red is a softneck garlic variety, meaning it does not produce scapes. However, being a softneck, Inchelium red yields many cloves per bulb.
Why Do You Braid Inchelium Red Garlic?
Braiding your Inchelium garlic bulbs is a great way to improve the shelf life of your h=garlic bulbs while in storage. Plus, it is a more aesthetically pleasing option for storing than throwing them in a mesh bag or basket.
What Does Inchelium Red Garlic Taste Like?
Inchelium Red garlic brings a unique blend of mildness and sweetness to your palate that is unmatched by other garlicky varieties. Its crunchy, juicy cloves are packed with flavor when enjoyed raw, or provide an even sweeter taste when cooked or roasted. Treat yourself to the delightfully mellow, earthy flavors this delicious garlic has to offer!
Does Inchelium Red Garlic Produce Scapes?
Inchelium Red, a softneck garlic variety, does not produce the flower stalks—or “scapes”—that hardneck varieties are known for. However, it will yield an abundance of cloves instead; these can be consumed raw or cooked into various dishes and provide a more delicate garlicky taste than their hard-necked counterparts. So if you’re looking to add some unique flavor to your meal but don’t have access to scapes from harder necks – do not fear! Cloves from Inchelium Reds are here!