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?
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.
11 Nov 22, Ken (USA - Zone 10a climate)
I'm in zone 10a. My garlic was planted 3 weeks ago. It is growing in the ground, in planters, and 6 are coming up in an old dish pan. It grows well here.
27 Nov 22, Dave in California Zone 10A (USA - Zone 10a climate)
my Zone 10A garlic, all in rectangular containers 24" length x 7.5" width, x 6.5" height, is sprouting well also, with some shoots up to about two inches. I had several garlic bulbs I intentionally kept in my refrigerator for a couple months, divided them into cloves, peeled them to avoid mold and decay, and kept the separated cloves open to the light at room temperature until they started sprouting. When the majority had tiny green shoots, I selected the best cloves (solid, no spongy or discolored parts) and planted them shallow with the very top of the clove showing as per advice from an internet container gardening site. I am really being careful not to overwater and it looks like all the cloves sprouted green shoots, but after a couple weeks I did have birds pull up maybe eight out of thirty or so of the newly sprouted cloves, so I replanted the missing ones with a more cloves, then added about an inch more soil over the top, and so far the birds have not raided again with the cloves now about two inches deep. Lesson learned: the internet advice for container gardening to plant the cloves with the tip showing is an invitation to be raided by birds. Solution: plant deeper, maybe two inches below the soil surface, even in shallow containers.
Showing 1 - 10 of 93 comments

Lucky for you, you're in the same climate zone as the famous garlic producing town of Gilroy, CA. I understand they plant around late October/November and harvest in June or July. I'm not sure what the result will be for you since you planted yours later and garlic needs a very long season. Try pulling them up in July. If your weather gets very hot before then I'd put some light shade cloth over the garlic to bring the temperature down a few degrees. You may find that your bulbs are smaller than you hoped for, or that it only makes one large clove instead of separate cloves. They should still be good, just not ideal. Then try planting again around Halloween and your garlic should be much bigger next year. Btw, I'm not sure why the chart says garlic shouldn't be planted in 9a. Certainly 9a on the West Coast can and does plant it.

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