Garlic is a member of the allium family, which includes leeks, shallots and onions. There many different varieties of garlic, all of which fall into three general categories: Softneck, Hardneck and Elephant. Softneck garlic is the kind you will generally find in the grocery store. Softneck garlic is easy to grow and have a flexible stalk which can be braided. Hardneck garlics also have a stalk –called a scape- which coils at the top. If left to mature, hardnecks will produce a flower which is actually a number of small bubils, or tiny bulbs, which are edible. Hardnecks dry to a hard stem, hence the name. Hardneck garlic includes Deerfield Purple, Duganski and Spanish Roja. Elephant garlic is the largest garlic. It is also the mildest and sweetest. It is easy to peel and has a long shelf life. Garlic is typically planted in late September and early October. Start with a good, quality bulb. Avoid using garlic purchased in grocery stores as it is often treated with sprout inhibitors, disrupting the growth cycle.