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Growing Garlic

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  P P P                

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

P = Plant in the garden.

  • 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
    Almost ready to harvest
  • Garlic cloves
    Garlic cloves
  • Young garlic shoots
    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

19 Nov 16, Jagtar (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I would like to grow my own Garlic. what is the right time and is there any difference difference between Chinese and Australian garlic.
21 Nov 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello Jagtar Refer 'Garlic. 12 November. Ralph. I posted note there about Chinese Garlic Regards John
18 Nov 16, Elsanne (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
I do know about the actual March planting, but want to know if I coud still, maybe, plant now.... (November)? I just bought 2kg of purple garlic! It seems that the shop garlic starts sprouting quickly and then just disintegrate before March. We are between Murraysburg and Graaff-Reinet and generally 5°C Cooler thant GRT!
12 Nov 16, Ralph (Australia - tropical climate)
can i plant garlic now?
23 Nov 16, Keith (Australia - temperate climate)
I suspect that planting garlic now (November) would result in the plant growing somewhat then dying back as summer heat increases and moisture is reduced. The plant would then shoot from any resulting new cloves in march and you would end up with 4 or 6 plants growing in a circle about 2 inches in diameter. These could be used as sets next yer however they would be growing from small cloves and this usually results in small or poor plants. I always propagate from the 10 or so best bulbs from each years harvest. There isnt anything really wrong with planting the generic white chinese supermarket variety except that they are generally treated to inhibit/slow germination. There are lots of different varieties of garlic so keep an eye out at markets and nurseries for different varieties to experiment with.
18 Nov 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Like a lot of flowering bulbs garlic is normally planted in autumn or winter. You could give it a try if someone has given you some cloves. It will probably not be harvestable until next year. NEVER use cloves from supermarkets or fruit shops unless you can be sure it is Australian grown as most garlic on sale is grown in China and they have something in their garlic that we don't want in Australian soils.
14 Nov 16, Lambrina (Australia - temperate climate)
I am also wondering this - I know the best time (from researching) is Apr, May, June BUT I am just wondering if it is worth my while planting now and if I will get any results?
27 Nov 16, Mary (Australia - temperate climate)
Lambrina, I think you'd be wasting your garlic to plant them now at end of year. They need about 7 months to grow and you'll be expecting them to finish their season in Winter - it won't be pretty! For temperate, plant by end April and you'll be harvesting Nov/Dec. I am able to use horse/cow manure on my garlic bed about 4 weeks before planting and the garlic loves it. Had my best garlic harvest 2 days ago. good luck. Mary
20 Sep 16, Maria (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi I am passionate of growing my own garlic ,this Year is my third Year of growing garlic, I started with a dozen now I have 300 ,I had Good crop last Year but this year I had a bit concern on my garlic, the cloves are splitting and sprouting and growing back, I dont know what to do ,shall I harvest immature or Live until they are mature which I have to wait for another 8 weeks.your advice would be much appreciated .Thank You .
12 Aug 16, Steve (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi RayShort answer - nope. Though there is a school of thought that phases of the moon does impact planting... plant anything that crops above ground during or just before full moon, the opposite for root crops. Think of the influence the moon has on the oceans (tides) and you're on the right track. Personally it's a little too far for me ( in every sense).
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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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