Growing Garlic

Allium sativum : Amaryllidaceae / the onion family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                P P    

(Best months for growing Garlic in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Plant cloves

September: Garlic can overwinter. Cover with a good layer of mulch . In areas where frost persists into March/ April, expect to harvest your garlic in June/July.

October: Garlic can overwinter. Cover with a good layer of mulch . In areas where frost persists into March/ April, expect to harvest your garlic in June/July.

  • Easy to grow. Plant cloves. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 10 - 12 cm apart
  • Harvest in 17-25 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Beets, Carrots, Cucumbers, Dill, Tomatoes, Parsnips
  • Avoid growing close to: Asparagus, Beans, Brassicas, Peas, Potatoes
  • Almost ready to harvest
  • Garlic cloves
  • Young garlic shoots

Garlic is traditionally planted in cold weather and harvested in summer ("plant on the shortest day, harvest on the longest"). Plant the cloves (separated from the bulb), point upwards, deep enough to just cover with soil. A fairly tough and easy-growing plant but in better soil with regular watering you will get a better crop. On poorer soil, and forgetting to water them, you will still get some garlic, only not quite so much, maybe just a single large bulb.

Leave a garlic to go to seed, and you will probably get plenty of self-sown plants the following year.

To keep for later use, dig up and leave to dry out for a day or so after the green shoots die down. To use immediately, pull up a head when you need it, or cut and use the green shoots.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Garlic

Cut the growing shoots or use the entire young garlic plants as 'garlic greens' in stir-fry.

Your comments and tips

20 May 23, Rich (USA - Zone 8a climate)
If you planted your garlic in early November it should be up now in mid-May. I'm in 6B and mine broke ground in March and April. One thing that will slow it down is if you have a lot of light-colored mulch. That reflects the sunlight so the soil stays cold. If that's the case scrape it back and see what happens. Also if mulch is too thick straw the soil may be too soggy for garlic, although garlic does like quite a lot of water. But not sogginess.
14 May 23, Trish (USA - Zone 4b climate)
I planted my garlic in early November in a raised garden bed. It’s now mid May. Temperature has been cool. I am not seeing anything coming up yet. Is it too soon to worry?
20 Apr 23, Carol (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Hi Feb to April is that the only time to grow Garlic in south africa Or is there another time slot Thanks
08 May 23, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Probably yes. If you could grow it other times it would say so. Plants need certain soil temperature to germinate and climate conditions to grow and mature.
27 Mar 23, Tony (Australia - tropical climate)
I live in Townsville and want to see if we can grow garlic. Any suggestions?
03 Apr 23, (Australia - tropical climate)
Good friable soil not too rich. Plant anytime in the next 3 mths.
17 Mar 23, Donna (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Can I plant garlic now (mid March) I have some that has sprouted... or to late this year?
07 May 23, Douglas Peterson (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I have had great success here in Las Vegas and you can grow just about any type you want- but it needs to be planted in mid to late October. I will be harvesting in 3-4 weeks.
16 Apr 23, Michelle (USA - Zone 9b climate)
It needs cold stratification. So it too late for yours in our zone. Next year put some in the frig in October, then plant late December or early January. Need to use Softneck garlic.
21 Mar 23, Anonymous (USA - Zone 9b climate)
It doesn't recommend growing in your climate zone.
Showing 1 - 10 of 858 comments

It's best to plant hardneck garlic in zone 6B from the middle to late October or even early November. The key is you want it to be cold, consistently below 45°, at least every night time. The first freezing encounter triggers garlic to start producing roots and that would determine how healthy and large the plants grow. Keep in mind freezing above ground may not equal freezing below ground. If you plant it in too warm a time, like early October, it may stunt the growth. It may even rot the garlic if it's wet too long. You may be able to accelerate the process by keeping in the refrigerator for a few weeks I'm not even know people who have kept it in the freezer for a few days or longer hopefully triggering root growth. I haven't tried that so I don't know.

- Rich

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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