Last year Rich accused my garlic of looking like “sparrows knees“. Slightly harsh, but they were on the small scale after succumbing early to rust. So this time round I covered all bases and grew three soft neck varieties – thermidrome, germidour and cristo – and gave them identical attention. Here’s the verdict…
Round 1. Growing
Thermidrome: Thick, straight and true. Looked like show garlic from the off.
Germidour: The first to emerge, cutting a dash not much less impressive than the thermidrome.
Cristo: Thinner than its two stalky chums.
Round 1 winner: Thermidrome
Round 2. Disease
Thermidrome: Its mighty girth fought off all prey and it looked handsome up until harvest.
Germidour: Struck by rust but, fortunately, close to harvest time. First out by two weeks.
Cristo: Barely touched by the rusty stuff.
Round 2 winner: Thermidrome & Cristo
Round 3. Size
Thermidrome: A mixed bag. Some threatened elephant garlic for size, others were merely average.
Germidour: Consistently large bulbous beauties.
Cristo: Disappointingly small, though most swelled beyond sparrow-knee status.
Round 3 winner: Germidour
Round 4. Looks
Thermidrome: Generally white with whisps of cream or purple.
Germidour: A glorious purple and white beast that would make a Frenchman weak at the knees.
Cristo: Pure and white.
Round 4 winner: Germidour
Round 5. Garlickyness
Thermidrome: Good all round garlic pungency.
Germidour: A gentler, kinder garlic flavour.
Cristo: A smell and taste so potent it should carry a warning.
Round 5 winner: Cristo
And the winner is…
…by a soft neck the prize goes to germidour
Garlic grown: thermidrome, germidour and cristo, all Taylors bulbs