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 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

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!
17 Aug 21, william (USA - Zone 8a climate)
I am located in the Marshville, NC area. I have read varying articles about when to plant. I'm on the 7b/8a cusp. Some articles have said that I can plant as early as October or as last as January. More specific advice would be much appreciated.
01 Sep 21, Melinda Schwab (USA - Zone 8a climate)
We always prepare our garlic beds in late September and the first week of October plant our garlic and have had great luck with this. Best of luck with yours this year! Hope this helps. ~Melinda
29 Aug 21, (USA - Zone 7b climate)
It has a bit different times for 7b to 8a - you work out what is the best. Read and google about growing it.
02 Jul 21, Vicki (USA - Zone 7b climate)
What is the best garlic to grow in Virginia Zone 7b?
Showing 1 - 10 of 46 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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