I bought garlic seed from five sources last year after getting excited reading about all the different varieties. I went a little crazy and I think I’ll cut it down to just 3-4 types this year, growing a half row of each.
Salvere Farm http://www.salverefarm.com/
Great quality garlic that was perfectly cured and came up nearly 100%. I was trying several types of rocambole garlic here in Virginia 7A, including Carpathian, Russian Red and Hungarian Purple. I’m pretty sure this isn’t the ideal environment for these types of garlic and while they all came up not all of them really thrived, but the Hungarian Purple in particular did really well for me. This has been a very odd year for weather, particularly the rain, but except for a cooler spring it may not have been that different at the time the garlic was still in the ground. Anyway, I’ll plant some of the Hungarian Purple again, but the others I’ll just eat and enjoy. They only had the large size for the Carpathian, so I bought the much cheaper ($10/lb) medium for the other 2 and they were actually just fine since the cloves in them were fairly large. I’m not sure I could plan on medium always being a good choice, but it worked for these. This seems like a great source.
Filaree Garlic Farm http://www.filareefarm.com/
I was ordering late and they were the only ones I could find that had Metechi left, which I had wanted to try. Only about half came up and the production was really erratic, mostly on the small side. I’m not faulting the vendor, since it could have been weather, my soil or just how the variety does in our heat/humidity. I think I’d still like to try these again, but I think I’ll taste them first and make sure it is really different enough to make the effort.
Dirt Goddess Garlic Farm http://www.dirtgoddessseeds.com/Organic_Garlic_s/1957.htm
I bought 3 varieties from this vendor and when they arrived there were a bit moist and had some mold/mildew forming on the bulbs. I made the mistake of waiting to plant and they continued to deteriorate. Of what I thought was still worth planting (less than 25% of the order), only about 50% came up. Besides being poorly cured or just getting wet somewhere in packing, the smaller size were really small. In fairness, they list it as “culinary” and aren’t suggesting it is seed size, but it is priced the same as Salvere’s smaller size that was just fine for seed. But based on the condition of what I received I wouldn’t recommend them unless they have something you want and can’t find anywhere else.
High Mowing Seeds https://www.highmowingseeds.com/
I really like this vendor overall and the garlic was no exception. I bought Zemo from them and they performed great. This also appears to be a great variety for our area, much like the German White I’ve been growing for years after buying a few bulbs from a farmers market vendor.
Father-in-law (sorry no link, lol)
My father-in-law has gardened most of his life and he’s been keeping a strain of garlic going that he found already growing in the garden of their home (in WV) when they purchased it 40 years ago. So basically it was somebody’s heirloom that is basically now an unknown. I tried it this year and it was definitely different than the other types I grew, but performed great and produced very nice heads. The bulbis it makes are very large if you leave the scapes on and it has a leafier/denser growth habit. I only mention it here to suggest asking around when people look for garlics since there are a lot of people who have grown a type in your area that has proven itself for generations.