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
  • 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

18 Nov 22, Mairlyn (USA - Zone 8a climate)
I read that I should place my garlic in the refrigerator for 7 to 8 weeks before planting. I read this after the fact. How will no refrigeration prior to planting effect my results?
07 Dec 22, Paula (USA - Zone 10a climate)
I have never chilled mine and they do okay. I don't know the type as I have as I started with grocery store bulbs, but I have read that soft neck varieties do better in warm climates.
04 Dec 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Probably make no difference. The thing is to use mature aged bulbs. Fresh new bulbs may not be as good as bulbs that have been out of the ground for a few months.
16 Oct 22, Holly (USA - Zone 5b climate)
Can I plant garlic bulbs in pots (that will remain outside throughout winter) in zone 5b?
20 Oct 22, (USA - Zone 5b climate)
If you can grow it in the ground you can grow it in a pot usually.
14 Oct 22, David Kalet (USA - Zone 10a climate)
I just moved to Naples Florida. I am looking for hard neck and soft neck varieties that would grow here. I am thinking that planting on December 21 and harvesting June 21 maybe a good start. It doesn't get frosty here, but perhaps vernalizing the bulbs in the refrigerator for 40 days may work. Appreciate any thoughts.
18 Nov 22, Ruth A Hersh (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Garlic grows GREAT here in Florida, but only the soft neck varieties, & you must give them 8 weeks artificial winter in a refrigerator prior to planting. Preferably one without ripening fruit as they put off gasses that can hurt your garlic whilst chilling.
06 Nov 22, Dave in California Zone 10A (USA - Zone 10a climate)
David, I also live in Zone 10A but in California (hot and dry, average 10 inches of rain per year), and please IGNORE the Aussie who thinks we do not check our Zone 10A recommendations. I have been container gardening here for a couple years and am still learning, with notable mistakes being not knowing correct planting/harvesting times (I now use this website over anything on a seed package), overcrowding, and overwatering. I have successfully grown garlic in Zone 10A, from store bought garlic cloves that were sprouting tiny green shoots, and they produced but the heads and cloves were only about half the size as the original store-bought, which might be caused by the climate, or more likely from be the mistakes I was making trying to grow new things like crowding, overwatering, and not knowing when to plant or harvest. Anyway, give growing garlic a try and my best advice is to avoid overwatering. I had a lot of cloves rot instead of growing and I think it was because of overwatering. After doing more research I'm trying to grow garlic again by planting some in NOV, and some in DEC, and really monitoring the watering. Even though my garlic was half sized, it still tastes great, so I would rather have half sized garlic I can grow myself than not growing garlic.
20 Oct 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
If you had looked up Garlic for your CLIMATE ZONE 10a you would see that they do not recommend any planting time. You don't have the climate for it, is what that says.
18 Nov 22, Ruth A Hersh (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Garlic grows fine in zone 10 as long as you refrigerate aka false winter it for 8 weeks prior to planting, & it MUST BE Softneck in zones 9 & 10.
Showing 1 - 10 of 95 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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