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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

01 Jan 17, Douw G. Swart (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
hi i have no idea what the climate zone or soil classification for vosburg, northern cape, is. i guess semi-arid is the closest i can get to semi-desert. i would like to grow garlic here. can you please advise. regards, dgs
03 Jan 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
This is a transcript of a article on growing garlic in central Australia (desert). It is on ABC Rural News and may be a help to you. Trials reveal potential for garlic-growing in Northern Territory Posted 7 Oct 2016 MAP: Alice Springs 0870 A trial exploring the capabilities of seven garlic varieties in the red centre is showing some early positive results. Seven varieties of garlic are being trialled at the Northern Territory's Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI), alongside the standard industry garlic variety, Glen Large. The Alice Springs environment will demonstrate how varieties that have never been grown commercially in the Northern Territory respond to extreme cold and extreme heat. Central Australian Horticulture Development Project manager and researcher Stuart Smith said despite challenges such as poor water quality, the results so far had been positive. "We're hoping, because we're just south of the Tropic of Capricorn, we're just a bit a little subtropical, that we're in the right area," he said. "We've got the right heat profile, right day length and we're able to grow some good bulbs. "If it'll grow here, it'll grow anywhere. "Central Australia is a bit isolated from the rest of Australia so it doesn't have the pests and diseases of the other garlic-growing areas." Plan to get garlic onto market early in season Mr Smith believes there is a market opportunity for garlic that grows early in the traditional growing season. We thought we could get a few varieties to come early on the market, so we can get some good prices for them and replace the imported garlic," he said. The first successful harvested trial crop has reached a stage of maturity that would be ready for market. "It's got a code name called AF. We're getting some good-sized bulbs out of this," Mr Smith said. "I estimate we're getting 6-8 tonnes per hectare." The DPI's Stuart Smith and agriculture minister Ken Vowles stand in a field of garlic PHOTO: Stuart Smith and Primary Industries Minister Ken Vowles discuss the garlic crop trial near Alice Springs. (ABC Rural: Katrina Beaven) Mr Smith said the early trial results were encouraging despite poor water quality and salty soils. "We have to keep watering them pretty constantly to keep moving the salt out of the root zone," he said. "The water we're using at AZRI is pretty low quality. "Most of the water other people are using in horticulture around the Central Australian region is a lot better quality than this." Mr Smith said the research results would also add value to what was being learned by a grower at Orange Creek Station, south of Alice Springs, who is conducting a commercial garlic trial this year.
12 Dec 16, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, I was wanting to grow garlic on the Atherton Tablelands, some 800m above sea level, in the tropics. We have a subtropical to temperate climate. Which garlic would be best suited to our conditions? Thanks
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?
Showing 1 - 10 of 430 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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