Growing Garlic

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

08 Oct 21, Rich (USA - Zone 6b climate)
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.
07 Oct 21, Myrna (USA - Zone 7b climate)
I have success in planting from October 1 up until Early Dec….harvesting late May through July. Nice large bulbs in Zone 7b, getting close to 8a.
06 Oct 21, mohamed (USA - Zone 6b climate)
can I plant garlic now, first week of Ocrober, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts?
05 Oct 21, Annemarie (USA - Zone 8b climate)
We would like to plant garlic for next summer. We live in the Seattle area.....so we are going to be headed into a lot of rainy weather for the next few months. When should we plant my cloves to get big multi clove bulbs and when would we harvest them? We plan on using large containers....should they be moved into a place with a little weather protection during the heaviest rain? We planted in February last year and got tiny tiny bulbs..... The same question for leeks if you know about those too..... Thanks very much! Annemarie
20 Sep 21, Kim Kautzer (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I'd like to try my hand at growing garlic, but we can get some pretty hot spring days here in inland Southern California. I'm wondering if I might have better luck in our "screenhouse," which has full sun around the east, south, and west sides (regular window screen that doesn't block any sun). The roof is covered with shade cloth. I have successfully grown tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and herbs in large containers in the screenhouse. I'm hoping there'd be enough shade to protect the garlic on those super hot, sun-intense days. Thoughts?
19 Sep 21, Robin Mendelson (USA - Zone 11a climate)
Can you plant garlic indoors in Florida?
05 Sep 21, Cynthia Hamilton (USA - Zone 6b climate)
I want to plant elephant garlic. I should plant it deeper, correct? This article said to just barely cover.
07 Sep 21, (USA - Zone 4a climate)
Plant as they suggest but keep an eye on the watering - don't let them dry out too much.
02 Sep 21, Molly Beverly (USA - Zone 7b climate)
We have grown up to 3 acres of garlic over the past 30 years. Plant in October/November, harvest the end of June. Around mid June the tops will start drying. Pull a bulb and count the wrappers. If there are 5 wrappers it is time to cut off the water. Harvest when the tops are mostly dried. I make braids from the largest bulbs right then. Hang them in the kitchen. Let the garlic cure 2 weeks in the shade before storing in a cool, dark place at room temperature. I grow soft neck garlic with big cloves and it keeps braided, hanging on my kitchen wall until the next harvest. And... always save the biggest bulbs with the biggest cloves for the next planting.
29 Aug 21, Jim Tocci (USA - Zone 7a climate)
My research seems to indicate that soft neck garlic might be more appropriate for my region vs hard neck. We plan to put them in mid-October to early November. Thanks!
Showing 1 - 10 of 50 comments

Ask a question or post a comment or advice about Garlic

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.