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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

16 Sep 14, Munodawafa SD Mutopo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I would like to plant garlic in Zimbabwe at the altitude of over 1500m (the Highveld). The soils are clay-loam with clay content of less than 24%. When should I plant and which variety and what is the time to harvest. Any recommended fertilizer regime?
11 Sep 14, Robert (Australia - tropical climate)
Could I but a few Australian white garlic seed from you please. Kind regards Robert
07 Sep 14, Gail (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I panted garlic late April, lovely green foliage, but I check one last week and the bulbs look like spring onions. When will bulbs form? Do I wait for plants to die off
07 Sep 14, Sunny (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
What is a good crop to plant after I have harvested my garlic? Not all veggies like being planted in soil that has had garlic or onions.
24 Aug 14, Chris (Australia - temperate climate)
I have seen recommendations for planting Garlic up to 8 cm deep. I tried last year with several rows at varying depths.The best were just pushed into the ground and about 1/2 inch of soil on top. Q:- Whats the best fertiliser for garlic and when should it be applied.NPK ratios Pls.
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.
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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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