There are two categories of garlic to consider: Allium sativum, or softneck garlic, and Allium ophioscordon, or hardneck garlic.

Softneck garlic is the easiest and most widely cultivated because the bulbs are large, and the cloves and skin are tight, which prevent moisture loss and allows for longer storage. Through centuries of selection softneck garlic has lost the ability to flower so it doesn’t expend energy on producing seed; instead, the energy goes towards developing bigger bulbs underground. Most garlic purchased in the grocery and grown in Kentuckiana gardens is the softneck variety.