Red Duke Garlic is a heritage variety with fierce and spicy flavour, it originates from Moravia, Czech Republic and appears to do well in the UK climate. Attracted initially to the colour and the idea that it may do well in our kitchen garden, we liked it so much we included it in our growing plans again for this year. Here’s a run down of our experience of growing this variety:
- Red Duke garlic produces very thick leaves and stems, thicker than any other garlic we’ve grown. With this in mind and to avoid disease from overcrowding, do not plant this variety too close together, 16-18cm apart should be fine.
- The leaves really bulk out and cast a lot of shade resulting in fewer weeds. Result!
- Red Duke is a hardneck variety, expect to see scapes in summer – lovely in a stir fry!
- Good resistance to rust, only a few spots found on leaves just before harvest.
- No sign of fungal/rot problems on the bulbs at harvest, nice clean bulbs.
- Bulbs varied in size producing more large than small, approx 6/7 large cloves per bulb.
- Thick covering of white skin after drying properly, because of this Red Duke stores surprisingly well for a hardneck. We still have useable bulbs from last years crop.
- Lovely strong and spicy flavour.
There’s still time to pop some Red Duke garlic in if you didn’t get around to it during autumn.