Personality profile: Experiencing this German Red is like sitting in a deep, luxurious Lazy Boy; you don't want it to end. The soft sulfurs and rich aromas make you deeply inhale and swirl the flavors around in your head, just because you can... without suffering undue bite or heat. A revelation for those unfamiliar with what real garlic can be, and a garlic powder lover's dream.
Cloves: Averages 8-12 cloves and, like any Rocambole, you can expect some doubles and triples in there. Skins peel with exceptional ease and are light brown in color.
Bulbils: Anywhere from 5 to 25 largish bulbils. All but the smallest will produce fully cloves, though small, bulbs in the very first year. We find that the cloves of "1 year olds" have much tighter clove wrappers and thus will store longer than mature bulbs.
Growing: We've been growing German Red since 2009 and find it very dependable as a Rocambole. Avoid "wet-feet" and choose a sunny spot to plant; consider a raised bed if you have heavy clay soil. Broad leaves and tightly curling double looped scapes. Wait for the scape to do a tightly curled double loop before removing, or you may want to just leave it on. Removing the scape does help increase bulb size, but not overly so, and growing from bulbil with Rocamboles is particularly rewarding because the large bulbils produce mini bulbs in the first year, with an average of 5 cloves per bulb.
Harvest: Early to mid-season harvest. Since the wrappers of Rocamboles are so loose and thin you need to watch out for deteriorating bulb wrappers in the ground. The more wrappers the better, so harvest as soon as you're comfortable with bulb size (maybe after just one or two leaves are brown).
Storage: The common agreement is that Rocamboles store least long of all the horticultural groups. However, under ideal conditions we've found that they can store up to 8 months. Typically you should probably eat your Rocamboles first, within 4-5 months, to make sure and use them while freshest.
Pedigree: German Red comes to us from Heino and Manuela Peters of Roots and Greens Farm in Grindrod. Heino received his stock from a grower in the Mara Lake region of the North Okanagan in BC.