Garlic Review: Comparing Music, Duganski, and German Red

My garlic adventure started two years ago when I planted a few cloves of Duganski garlic that I bought on a whim the store. Isn’t garlic all the same? I thought. Why am I bothering to grow my own?

Then I tried the homegrown Duganski garlic in my favorite garlic roasted green beans and I was hooked. The garlic was so much more flavorful than the generic white garlic at the grocery store! And it also had bigger cloves, which meant less peeling and prep work. Yay! I have been growing my own garlic ever since.

This spring I grabbed two more varieties to try: Music and German Red.  I am excited to share my thoughts with you!

Duganski, Music, and German Red garlic

Garlic Varieties

All three varieties of garlic I planted this year are a type of hardneck garlic.  This means that there is a single row of cloves around a hard, woody stem. 

Hardneck garlic has a single layer of cloves around a hard woody stem.
Hardneck garlic varieties have a single layer of cloves around a hard, woody stem.

I prefer hardneck varieties because they generally have great flavor and larger cloves.  There are few things I dislike more in the kitchen than peeling puny garlic cloves!  Here is a summary of the three types I planted this year:


Music is a porcelain type hardneck garlic and it has silvery white skins covering the cloves.  The heads were larger than the other varieties I planted this year. The cloves are gigantic and each head has only 3-5 cloves. 


Duganski is a purple stripe variety and has very pretty outer skin.  It has 8-9 cloves per head.

German Red

German Red is rocambole type hardneck garlic. The skin covering the cloves is a beautiful deep red color.  It has 5-7 cloves per head.


All three garlic varieties have a great garlic flavor.  When raw they all taste the same to me: super spicy!  When cooked Music seemed the most mild tasting while Duganski and German Red retained a slightly stronger garlic flavor.

My Thoughts

I really like Music because it has such large cloves.  However, I like the flavor of the Duganski and German Red slightly better, and Duganski is still my top choice for my garlic roasted green beans. Since I like variety, I will probably plant all three again next year!

How to Save Garlic for Planting

Make sure you save some of your garlic to plant in your garden next year!  After you dig your garlic let it dry for at least a couple of weeks.  Then cut the stems off a little ways above the bulb.  Since I have three varieties of garlic, I use a Sharpie to label the different varieties right on the bulbs.  Keep your garlic in a dry place until you are ready to plant it, either in the fall or in the spring. I place mine in a small paper lunch bag and keep it in the garage until October, when I plant it out in my garden. More information on planting garlic is coming soon!

Label your garlic to tell them apart.
Cut the stems a little above the bulbs. Use a permanent marker to label the different varieties.

Hope you get to try one of these garlic varieties in your garden next year. Do you have another favorite type of garlic? Let me know in the comments below! Happy Gardening!

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  1. Beverly

    My Spanish Red didn’t do so hot, German White did best Ukranian Red came in 2nd…..I think I left it on my covered porch too long and didn’t cut the dried roots off in time, so some of it started to rot….I am ashamed to say. First year to grow these hardneck varieties, as I have always just used store bought… Elephant Garlic did great – northern middle Tennessee….saw good buy on Marketplace for the Duganski, so might like to revisit garlic growing again. Thanks for the review.

  2. I used to only grow Music as it does very well in Ontario Canada but I have recently discovered some other varieties that do very well here too! Purple Russian is amazing and grows as big and bigger than Music with 6-8 cloves and is a purple marble stripe. Puslinch is a heritage variety named for Puslinch ON. it is also known as Ontario giant and gets large for a rocamble type with 10-12 cloves and holds flavour well with long cooking.

  3. Where can I get the garlic to plant ?

    • Check your local nursery in the fall and spring. If you have a friend or neighbor that grows garlic you can also ask them for a few bulbs to help you get started. Seed companies online are also great places to look as they usually have the best selection. Be sure to plant a little more than you need so you have enough to plant in your garden the following year. Best of luck!

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