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Growing Garlic

(Allium sativum)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  P P P                

(Best months for planting Garlic in South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical regions)

P = Plant direct in garden where they are to grow.


  • 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 in same bed): Beets, Carrots, Cucumbers, Dill, Tomatoes, Parsnips
  • Avoid growing in same bed: Asparagus, Beans, Brassicas, Peas, Potatoes
  • Almost ready to harvest
  • Garlic cloves
  • Young garlic shoots

Garlic is traditionally planted in cold weather and harvest 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. On 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.

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 stirfry.


Your comments and tips

22 Oct 14, Gert olivier (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
We would like to plant garlic. Area is Bela Bela and we would like to find out where to purchase the seed pods. Our soil is clay, will this work and when should we plant Thanks
12 Oct 14, Hannelie Burger (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I am staying in Sutherland Northern Cape with very harsh snowy winters and thunder rain in summer on top of the Komsberg mountain range. Is it possible to plant garlic now in October and harvest before winter because our growing window is only between October and March. Which cultivar is the best for this conditions.
27 Sep 14, Glen (Australia - temperate climate)
I live on NSW far south coast, moved there quite recently. I planted garlic as usual at mid-winter, and it was fine for a while, then started looking unwell with some dead leaves. Gave a bit of blood and bone about three weeks ago, and now the lot has died. Disappeared. I've just dug it up, and there were a few small bulbs starting to form. The soil came from a supplier and was a soil and mushroom compost mix. Never had a problem before - dows anyone have any ideas as to what's wrong.
29 Sep 14, Chris (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Has it been wetter or warmer than usual? Maybe a fungal problem?
23 Sep 14, Jo (Australia - temperate climate)
My garlic plants have been going well in virgin soil. I had netted the plants because they were being eaten by a wallaby, but air was able to circulate very well and plants looked great. Today I decided to water the garlic and was surprised to see trillions of tiny black insects (look like thrips) crawling all over each plant. I hosed off most of the insects but I want to spray to ensure they will not reinfest my plants again. Would it be ok to use soapy water spray or is it best to use pyrethrum at this stage? The plants will be ready to life Nov-Dec.
16 Sep 14, Munodawafa SD Mutopo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I would like to plant garlic in Zimbabwe at the altitude of over 1500m (the Highveld). The soils are clay-loam with clay content of less than 24%. When should I plant and which variety and what is the time to harvest. Any recommended fertilizer regime?
11 Sep 14, Robert (Australia - tropical climate)
Could I but a few Australian white garlic seed from you please. Kind regards Robert
07 Sep 14, Gail (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I panted garlic late April, lovely green foliage, but I check one last week and the bulbs look like spring onions. When will bulbs form? Do I wait for plants to die off
07 Sep 14, Sunny (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
What is a good crop to plant after I have harvested my garlic? Not all veggies like being planted in soil that has had garlic or onions.
24 Aug 14, Chris (Australia - temperate climate)
I have seen recommendations for planting Garlic up to 8 cm deep. I tried last year with several rows at varying depths.The best were just pushed into the ground and about 1/2 inch of soil on top. Q:- Whats the best fertiliser for garlic and when should it be applied.NPK ratios Pls.
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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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