Majestic garlic is a hardneck porcelain variety known for its disease resistance and impressively large bulbs. Discovered in Canada, this cultivar has a mild flavor profile with 4-5 large cloves per bulb. It’s especially favored in raw dishes where its subtle taste can be appreciated without overwhelming the palate. This garlic variety stands out in the garden with its tall stature. The bulbs offer a commendable storage life of 7-8 months.
Introduction to Majestic garlic
Majestic garlic is a specialty garlic cultivar that belongs to the porcelain group subtype of hardneck garlics. Known for its robust nature, Majestic has rightfully earned its reputation of being one of the most disease-resistant garlic varieties, making it a reliable choice for cultivators. The tall plants really are majestic as they stand tall in the garden, and the large bulbs sell quickly at markets.
‘Majestic’ was discovered by garlic grower Mr. Paul Pospisil of Beaver Pond Estates in North-Eastern Ontario, Canada (zone 5a). This new cultivar developed as a natural mutation from the rocambole cultivar ‘Reliable.’ Mr. Pospisil is also known for his work as the publisher and editor of The Garlic News, which was a popular Canadian quarterly newsletter for garlic growers.
Featuring an average of 4-5 large cloves per bulb, the Majestic boasts a brilliant white outer wrapper, while the inner clove skins elegantly oscillate between shades of purple and white. Majestic offers a mild garlic flavor, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy garlic but are averse to the pungency often associated with other varieties. This delicate taste makes it especially suited for raw dishes where its gentle essence can shine without overpowering other flavors.
Growers should be watchful of the early browning of its tips. This is a hallmark trait of porcelains when they sense drought-like conditions, and growers should be prepared to water it accordingly. When it comes to harvesting, the sturdy wrappers of the Majestic bulbs allow them a bit more time in the ground, but it’s crucial to regularly check on their well-being and make an informed decision about the right time to uproot them. Post-harvest, these bulbs are known for their longevity, offering a shelf life that spans 7-8 months.
Flavor profile of Majestic garlic
Here is a basic flavor profile of Majestic hardneck porcelain garlic:
- Initial taste: Smooth and pronounced garlic essence, delivering an authentic and rich garlicky experience right from the first bite.
- Mid-palate: A distinctive heat emerges, adding depth and intrigue to its overall flavor profile, ensuring that every bite is layered with intensity.
- Aftertaste: As the heat subsides, Majestic’s flavor mellows, leaving behind a pleasant and lingering aftertaste that serves as a gentle reminder of its robust character.
This garlic is perfect for those who appreciate a garlic variety that takes them on a flavorful journey, from a bold start to a subtle, satisfying finish.
How to grow Majestic garlic at home
Here are the basic steps for growing your own Majestic garlic.
Timing and soil preparation
The Majestic garlic, like many other garlic varieties, thrives when planted in the fall, as it allows the cloves to establish roots before the winter freeze. Choose a well-draining soil location that receives ample sunlight throughout the day. Begin by preparing the soil by removing any weeds or debris and tilling it to a depth of about 12 inches. Enrich the soil by adding a layer of well-decomposed compost or organic matter and mixing it well. This will ensure that the soil is fertile and offers the necessary nutrients for the garlic to grow.
Planting the cloves
When planting the Majestic garlic, select the largest and healthiest cloves from your bulb for the best results. Plant each clove pointy end up, ensuring that they are spaced 4-6 inches apart to give each one enough room to grow into a full bulb. Each clove should be set about 2-3 inches deep into the soil. After planting, cover the cloves with soil and then add a 4-6 inch layer of straw or mulch on top. This mulch layer helps regulate soil temperature, conserve moisture, and deter weed growth.
Care and maintenance
Throughout the growing season, ensure the Majestic garlic receives regular water, but avoid overwatering as this can lead to rot. Porcelains, including Majestic, tend to show browning at the leaf tips if conditions become too dry, so be vigilant and water when necessary. If you notice the emergence of flower stalks or scapes in early summer, remove them to direct the plant’s energy toward bulb development. Regularly check for any signs of pests or diseases, although Majestic garlic is known for its disease resistance.
Harvesting the garlic
By mid-season, when 50-65% of the leaves start browning, it’s time to consider harvesting. But always inspect a few bulbs first to ensure they’ve matured. Once ready, gently lift the garlic bulbs from the ground using a fork or spade, taking care not to damage them. After harvesting, let the bulbs cure in a warm, dry place for a couple of weeks. Once cured, they can be stored and will typically last up to 7-8 months.
By adhering to these guidelines and giving your plants the attention they need, you’ll be well on your way to harvesting robust, flavorful Majestic garlic bulbs.
Origins of Majestic garlic
Majestic garlic was discovered and nurtured by the Pospisil couple of Beaver Pond Estates in Maberly, Ontario, Canada (source: Rasa Creek Farm). They had a research plot on their farm and were keen observers. Unlike most plants, garlic is asexual, meaning it can’t be hybridized via cross-pollination, but instead, new strains emerge through mutation or adaptation to their surroundings.
For years, the Pospisils had only noticed small changes and false mutations. However, this changed in 1998 when a singular plant stood distinct amidst a row of the rocambole cultivar ‘Reliable.’ Tall like a Porcelain but with the leaf and scape structure reminiscent of a Rocambole, this outlier bore a large bulb of nine cloves, a significant deviation from the Porcelain’s typical 3-5 cloves. These cloves appeared like porcelain and bore little resemblance to the rocambole ‘Reliable.’
Paul and Mary Lou embarked on a meticulous journey of planting, observing, and nurturing this anomalous garlic. It had undergone a mutation from rocambole to porcelain within merely two growing seasons and exhibited stronger porcelain traits each year. The offspring plants of the original mutated bulb also displayed an astounding resilience against adverse conditions, yielding bulbs significantly larger than any other Porcelain varieties. In recognition of its grandeur and potential, the cultivar was christened ‘Majestic,’ fondly termed as ‘Paul’s Pride.’