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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

07 Jul 14, Julie Carville (USA - Zone 7a climate)
I bought mild garlic, but it is hot and wasn't supposed to be. Is this because I didn't water it steadily or enough, the soil, or some other reason that non-not garlic is hot (taste wise) when I harvest it.
28 Jun 14, Ash (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi, I am from Phillip Island and are wondering would there be a problem if I planted garlic 2 weeks after the fall and what type is suggested. Thanks Ash
01 Jul 14, Barb (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Ash, You could try getting some garlic heads from Diggers - they're on Mornington peninsula, so they should have some garlic that is well acclimatised for your area. I usually put the whole garlic head on a saucer of water on the kitchen bench to "wake up" the roots. After a day or so there are usually little roots starting, then I carefully separate the cloves and plant them. Good soil and enough water, and you should be picking garlic in early summer.
20 Jun 14, nico nagel (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I have a plot in vanderbijlpark. Will the garlic still grow if I plant it early in august?
04 Jun 14, Phil Metter (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
I planted garlic that had sprouted visible green shoots at the beginning of winter (April) they have withered. Will they regenerate themselves in the spring /summer? I live in Gauteng.
31 May 14, Tumelo Racoco (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Where can i get the garlic?
31 May 14, Craig (Australia - temperate climate)
If you are buying garlic in the supermarket only choose australian or they will not sprout. the aussie garlic is purple/white the chinese will not sprout as they are treated for pests and insects. They do not grow as large as the foreign products but if you use a liquid vege feed and a bit of seaweed liquid you cant miss out. Be patient, they take a good 6 months just have a small dig and see if they look big enough. usually as the stems die off they are done but they are also great to cook with and it wont hurt if you cut a few.
30 May 14, Osman (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
1. When is the best time to plant garlic to Northern Kenya 2. How long will it take from the planing date to the harvesting date 3. What type of Garlic is the best to plant in Northern Kenya I will appreciate your answers please Thank you
23 May 14, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I have grown garlic a few times but am disappointed with the size of the cloves that I get. Do the plants need to have regular watering (ie keep moist) and do they need to be fertilized regularly. What type of fertilizer is best for garlic. My cloves are about half the size of commercial garlic.
01 Jun 14, Barry (Australia - temperate climate)
No John, This is just a reflection of poor soil. I recommend digging up all of your soil and removing it. Then replace it with quality soil. I had this problem and now my garlic balls are huge.
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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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