I ordered top sets a couple years ago and they haven’t done very well for me. They take several years to size up and I’m afraid I’ve lost them all in the process. Three or four years ago I grew supermarket garlic (softneck) and its done pretty good. I still get a few medium sized ones from this. My most successful has been the heads I pick up at the Farmers Market and from my CSA.
This year I harvested about 30 heads of garlic. I will plant about 3 or 4 of the biggest ones: 2 or 3 hardnecks and 1 softneck. (Its hard not to eat the biggest and best heads!) Plus I’ll plant a nice CSA head I saved. And I’d like to find another head or two to add to the collection. About 30-40 cloves total. I usually plant in September or October.
I’m really pleased with my garlic this year. Most have very big cloves. Some only two cloves per head – but very big ones. They are a big dirty on the outside, because I didn’t wash them right away, but crisp and very nice inside.