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 50°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 4 - 5 inches 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
  • Mature cured garlic
  • Almost ready to harvest
  • Garlic cloves
  • Mature cured garlic
  • 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

13 Jun 24, Peter (Australia - temperate climate)
I have already planted my Garlic and I was looking at bags of Garlic Cloves in my local shop. Reading through the instructions it said "Do not mulch Garlic". Wondering what your thoughts are. I mulched mine straight after I planted it. We have had a lot of rain. I am on the Central Coast NSW.
19 Feb 24, Bruno K. (USA - Zone 9a climate)
First time for me planting Garlic. I planted them last October. My question: Many of the green shoots I had have dried, now in Mid Feb. i noticed that new green shoot are coming up is this normal for garlic or did I do something wrong? my next question: I planted Tomato seeds on Feb. 1, 2024 Tycoons, Dixie Red, Celebrity and Juliets, they have 2 sets of true leafs and are about 4" tall, with temp. outside in the low 50's and daytime temp. Mid 60's is that a good time to harden them off? they are only 3 weeks old. Any Advise will help.
23 Dec 23, Sirena (USA - Zone 5b climate)
I’m in zone 5b Chicago South Suburbs. It’s about to be Xmas in 1 day the weather is warm more than normal for this time of year and it’s been raining a lot. Can I still plant garlic?
02 Jan 24, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Check the planting guide for your zone.
06 Dec 23, Pieter (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
I was not able to find anyone selling day neutral varieties such as Southern Glen; sounds as if day lenght makes a huge difference in warmer subtropical climates; does anyone have advice as to which variety will form the best bulbs in the Lowveld's warm winters
08 Nov 23, (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I live in central California, zone 9b. I plants softneck garlic last year and it did very well. I refrigerated it for 3-4 weeks and then planted in November. Doing the same this year.
28 Oct 23, Kelvan.......Margaret River wa (Australia - temperate climate)
I have successfully grown garlic for several years now with huge success however this year most of my crop has secondary sprouting. I seems that the time their ready for picking in around 4 > 6 weeks most will be lost due to all cloves within the bulb sprouting. PLEASE any thoughts as to what's going on.
15 Nov 23, Ric (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Kelvan, I haven't had the sprouting problem but after 30 years of growing garlic I have just harvested the worst crop I have ever had, but having talked to fellow growers, they also have experienced lesser quality garlic and some premature sprouting as well. It is worth noting that we have experienced colder temperatures this springtime and below 15 degrees celsius soil temperature whilst bulbing will induce early sprouting. On numerous occasions I have placed garlic in the refrigerator in February to bring on earlier sprouting. I usually plant over 500 cloves each year and some years over 5000 and give the garlic away to people who can't afford the ridiculous retail prices. Of course also to replace the weak quality, low pungency Chinese garlic. I am a great believer in planetry positioning within the universe, it has a large effect on weather and all forms of life and will certainly effect all growth and evolutionary factors. Perhaps next year will be a better one or we might have to plant later as it appears the planet is cooling.
22 Oct 23, Catherine Morritt (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Is it recommended to separate the cloves from the bulbs right before plating or to do it a day or two before?
13 Nov 23, Christian (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
Just remember to only select the largest cloves and eat all the small ones for yourself. The cloves determine the size of the harvested garlic. If you select only the largest cloves then as the garlic grows and the protective outer cloves develop around the centrally planted seed, they will develop to a size that matches the original clove you plant. Small clove = small yield. Large cloves = much larger yield. Being selective about saving only the very best and largest seeds for many different types of plants is going to serve you well. I think my kids are always slightly disappointed that we always have to 'eat the mistakes' while the very best of what we grow is saved as seed for an even better harvest next year. I guess it is the same principle as animal husbandry.
Showing 1 - 10 of 900 comments

Hello! We are in the Toronto, Canada area. We have some lovely garlic seeds - when do we plant these? And by which moon would it be ideal? Many thanks

- elise de Villiers

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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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