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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

01 Apr 14, David Lines (Australia - temperate climate)
I plant 12 cloves of the russian variety every year, this give me enough garlic to do our family for a full year,
27 Mar 14, Bongani Miya (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where do I get seeds for garlic
28 Mar 14, fleur (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
living seeds. look online. or at nurseries in section with bulbs
22 Mar 14, R Craig (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Garlic bought is supermarkets is usually imported from China, and has been irradiated and will not grow, have tried without success. Found nursery near Montecasino in Sandton, owner of which grew garlic at home and sold the excess, he told me about this. Best places to look are nurseries or small greengrocers.
17 Mar 14, ron (Australia - arid climate)
i ahve grown garlic successfully in emerald Qld so the only way that you will realy know if you can grow garlic is to give it a go, happy gardening Rachel
15 Mar 14, Saron (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have 4 fat garlic cloves on my window sill, one of them looks like it's about to shoot, can i plant them now or wait for shoots.
02 Apr 14, merrilyn (Australia - temperate climate)
i was told by an old italian gardener plant garlic out on anzac day and they pretty well all grew
03 Mar 14, Jenny (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
When can i plant garlic in Durban? I have tried to plant it in March but all died? why?
23 Feb 14, Sam (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
When can I plant garlic in Hermanus and should I work plenty of manure in before planting.??
21 Jan 14, Mariet Mulder (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
I'm interested in growing garlic in the Eastern Cape. We get a lot of snow in winter, but summer is not that hot. I've only got one concern there are a lot of moles in the ground and would like to know if it will affect my planting of garlic. please be so kind to advise me on this matter. Thank you
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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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