Mother of Pearl Garlic

Dee
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Location: Northern BC, Canada - Zone 3

Mother of Pearl Garlic

#1

Post: # 53925Unread post Dee
Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:16 pm

I received some garlic bulbils today, and one variety was new to me: Mother of Pearl. Once I looked it up, I was a bit surprised it was sent, as it's a softneck variety and I live in zone 2. Always up for a challenge, though!

Can anyone tell me more about this variety? I'm not finding a lot online.

Thanks!

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Bower
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Re: Mother of Pearl Garlic

#2

Post: # 53983Unread post Bower
Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:31 am

I've never heard of it before, but this page says it's the earliest Silverskin you can get.
https://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com/silverskin.html
I have had some struggles trying to grow the artichoke softnecks here, but have never tried any silverskins. Give it a go, you might be pleasantly surprised. I have one creole that I've been growing out and it's doing really well, against all expectations. So I think we can find adaptable varieties even where not expected.
Let us know how it goes! :)
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

Dee
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:37 am
Location: Northern BC, Canada - Zone 3

Re: Mother of Pearl Garlic

#3

Post: # 53999Unread post Dee
Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:55 pm

Thanks, @Bower ! I will definitely give it a try. It wouldn't be the first time something surprised me by doing well unexpectedly! What kind of creole garlic are you growing there? Which hardneck varieties are your favourites?

Hoping to report a year from now that the Mother of Pearl did beautifully!

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Bower
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Re: Mother of Pearl Garlic

#4

Post: # 54003Unread post Bower
Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:58 pm

@Dee I have a creole called Lautrec, which I'm growing out from bulbils that Svalli sent me. It's not enormous but keeping pace with the other late one, a Purple Stripe. They do take longer to grow up, because of having more and smaller cloves.
In the hardnecks, I've been growing porcelains the longest, and they're very well adapted to our short season. Music which came from a local source, Argentina which came to us via Nova Scotia, and Bonavista from town of that name, are the ones that have been reliable for me. I admit that some other porcelains of various sources haven't done well here at all, but not sure why.
I'm really loving the marbled purple stripes which I got from Svalli. They're doing great, and they had less damage than the porcelains due to the irregular rainfall and other weather wierdness this year (hot and cold!). I have one other marbled purple stripe, that is Kostyn's Red Russian, which came to me as bulbils in a swap, but you know it is from BC originally. It's a bit later to scape than the others, and not as tolerant of extreme conditions.
Also have a couple of Glazed Purple Stripes from Svalli which are fantastic - so healthy and early. They are similar to the Purple Stripes in shape - lots of cloves - but the Purple Stripes are late, and that means they don't size up nicely for me if we have a bad year. Great keepers though.
What other type of garlic are you growing?
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

Dee
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:37 am
Location: Northern BC, Canada - Zone 3

Re: Mother of Pearl Garlic

#5

Post: # 54025Unread post Dee
Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:28 am

@Bower My go-to, (almost) always reliable varieties are Red Russian (Marbled Purple Stripe) and Northern Quebec (Porcelain). If I had to choose between the two, it would be Red Russian. It is a very popular variety for northern gardeners, with good reason. It tolerates our winters, stores very well and can get very large.

In 2016, I ordered bulbils from Seeds of Diversity and have been growing them out since. (They offer bulbils for sale for a limited time every Fall to Canadian.) The last three summers were diffcult growing years, with this past summer being the worst, so some of them are still quite small! Those varieties are Central Siberian (Marbled Purple Stripe, I believe), Siberian (MPS - these ones didn't make it), Baba Franchuk's (Rocambole), Kiev (Rocambole), Brown Tempest (Glazed Purple Stripe). I love the rocamboles - so flavourful and easy to peel - though they can be hit-or-miss to grow up here.

This year, I was away from home from March to early September, so didn't see for myself how the garlic did. My SO told me it had been a rough summer in northern BC and that what he harvested for garlic was very small and underdeveloped. I wasn't sure how bad it was, so decided to order another 5 bulbil varieties to start this Fall from Seeds of Diversity (they arrived two days ago). It's a surprise to see what they send - you tell them your growing zone and varieties you'd like to have (if you want to) and they send you some. Some of their heritage varieties are quite rare, so it feels like a real success when they grow well. This year, I received Pyong Vang Korean (Glazed Purple Stripe), Mother of Pearl (Silverskin/softneck), Red Rezan (Glazed Purple Stripe), Persian Star (Purple Stripe), and Russian Giant (Marbled Purple Stripe). Hope I got their classifications correct! I'd been kind of hoping to receive another rocambole, but then, I forgot to request one!

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Bower
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Re: Mother of Pearl Garlic

#6

Post: # 54026Unread post Bower
Sat Sep 18, 2021 8:59 am

That's very interesting and sounds like you're having great fun with the diversity trials! :)
Re: rocamboles, I gave up on Spanish Roja after several bad years in a row. They just couldn't take it. Let me know if you find one that adapts really well to the shorter season.
Re: Siberian. Coincidentally, this one didn't survive here either.
The only other one we have in common is Persian Star. Very hardy but late scaping, so they don't get too big in a bad year. It took me 5 or 6 years to get full sized bulbs from bulbils, because of the number of cloves keeping clove size rather small. But one of our wierd weather years caused them to make fewer cloves, and the year after I had full size. :)
Wish you luck, and do let us know how you fare with those new varieties!
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

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NMRuss
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Re: Mother of Pearl Garlic

#7

Post: # 54674Unread post NMRuss
Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:06 pm

Got one for you.., spanish roja. Dug up in the galisteo river basin in the 70s by my father miles downstream from the little spanish settlement of Galisteo New Mexico settled in the early 1500s. Yes the 1500s. I assume the garlic was flooded out of their dryland gardens near tthe banks of the river and brought downsstream by the massive summer monsoons which plagued the area in the 16th century. it ran out the pueblo indians that lived there (pueblo blanco, san christobal) along with the Comanche raids and they settled far downstream near the Chalchiouitl turquoise mines. I rescued the remaining bulbs from the old garden here and started cultivating them here in my own less flood prone garden. Ignored for years it has continued to multiply with no water although small when transplanted in September will grow to a full 2 to 2 1/2 in. Across. A very strong, hot, powerful hardneck with 8 cloves per bulb.

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Bower
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Re: Mother of Pearl Garlic

#8

Post: # 54694Unread post Bower
Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:37 pm

@NMRuss I had a lot of joy from the Spanish Roja. Digging them at the farm, the aroma was so strong that visitors on the road 70 ft away could smell it. Hanging them to cure in the warm porch, the smell was delightful. They really are special to eat too but for me the smell was the best part. :) They did great here in warm years. My friends are still growing it and I think it did very well this year.
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

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