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

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.
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.
14 Oct 23, Linda (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I put in my zone and asked about garlic and this response was below the grid: "Not recommended for growing in USA - Zone 9a regions". Now I know that there is a lot of garlic grown in the USA, so don't know why it said that, in fact I used to live near Gilroy. Other web pages say to plant mid Oct. to Dec. Makes me wonder about the advice on this website. Am I reading it wrong?
29 Oct 23, Christina (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I’m in 9b, central California and I have grown garlic for a few years. I “plant on the shortest day of the year, harvest on the longest day.” It has worked. Originally I just started with some organic grocery store garlic clusters, but now I save them from one year for the next.
23 Sep 23, Sonya (USA - Zone 5b climate)
I would like to choose 2 types of softneck garlic. Any suggestions on which two to choose? I also heard about elephant garlic. If it will grow in 5B... I may just grow that type. ?????? Undecided!
29 Oct 23, Kevin K. (USA - Zone 5b climate)
Sonya, unfortunately soft neck garlic will not survive the winter in our hardiness zone. That means we get to grow hard neck garlic such as purple garlic or porcelain (music) garlic bulbs. Fortunately we still have time if we hurry.
22 Sep 23, Nora Jencks (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Is there any soft neck garlic varieties that I can grow in my zone (10a)
08 Jan 24, mohmedelsayd (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Short answer yes .. I live in near Cairo Egypt same as zone 10b i grow garlic .. it planted in October and harvest in March or April..
30 Sep 23, Serena (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I live in 10b, I've heard Inchelium Red might grow in my area. I'm trying it for the first time this year - don't have any hopes but you'll never know until you try
Showing 1 - 10 of 125 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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