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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 beside): Beets, Carrots, Cucumbers, Dill, Tomatoes, Parsnips
  • Avoid growing close to: 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

21 Jun 17, Johan Fernandes (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Witch cultivar (name) is the most popular one to plant? Where can i find cloves? Is Febr - March the wright time to plant? Can i buy cloves from the fresh market?
17 Jun 17, Beverly Hartman (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where in SA can garlic bulbs for planting be bought in bulk?
12 Jun 17, Jan van der Merwe (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Hi I am farming in Montagu western cape. Can someone please advise me whether garlic could be grown in this area and if so can i still plant for the curent season.
08 Jun 17, faye kutt (Australia - temperate climate)
Which end of the garlic do we put in ground. Cheers
08 Jun 17, Giovanni (Australia - temperate climate)
Plant garlic with the pointed end up and the flat 'stub' end down
08 Jun 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The one with a bit of a butt or root looking area. Look at a clump of garlic and you will work it out.
17 Jun 17, Joanne (Australia - temperate climate)
I managed to plant some upside down. They still grew.
07 Jun 17, Tony Baker (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted my elephant garlic on the 21st April, a bit late this year and it is i going great never have a problem with it. I usually plant it on the shortest day of the year and pull it out on the longest day of the year. Good Luck
14 May 17, liz (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
how deep do i plant the garlic bulb - do i start it off first trying to get some roots developing or do i just plant a clove at whatever depth they require - thanks
15 May 17, Ken (Australia - temperate climate)
I normally plant mine point end up about 25-30 mm below the surface. They can take a while to come up just like other bulbs such as daffodils.
Showing 1 - 10 of 474 comments

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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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