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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 Australia - 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

25 Mar 17, Hannah (Australia - temperate climate)
I am in Sydney, When will be good time to grow garlic ?
27 Mar 17, Jonno (Australia - temperate climate)
Garlic is normally planted as the season cools down and is harvested in late December. It likes a sunny spot but dislikes competition from weeds so keep it well mulched. Consistent watering is also important for the best yield.
17 Mar 17, Dianne (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi I have tried growing garlic a couple of times now. Generally I plant on the 23 March and harvest 23 June. First few times garlic was small except for a couple decent sized ones. Last year, I ended up with one large bulb only, on each plant; almost like a small onion. What would cause this to happen?
19 Mar 17, Verena (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Dianne I am in a sub tropical area too and I plant late April/May and harvest in November when leaves start to die down. Perhaps you are harvesting to early?
29 Mar 17, Ken WIlson (Australia - temperate climate)
Heres an answer for garlic, I grow about 300 plants a year and get good results with about 90% of the cloves coming in at 5cm in diameter plus. Season. Garlic takes up to 9 months to mature. Plant in autumn, late March to May, harvest November to December. Clove selection. Plant only the largest cloves, at least the size of your top thumb joint, I have big hands so I plant cloves 2- 2.5 cm across. Its easy to eat the biggest and the best, its better to plant the biggest and the best. Spacing. I plant 15 - 18 cloves per square metre, 25cm apart in rows 25 cm apart. With 30 cm + paths between 4 rows. It's easy to crowd them, and the yield in terms of weight may be much the same, but bigger garlic are a lot more fun and much easier to use in the kitchen. Sunlight. Whilst garlic can tolerate low sun during the winter months it needs 8 hours direct sunlight during the early and late growth stages. So lots of clear sky when it's maturing, September onwards. If your nutrition is right, (and soil acidity is right) then water could be the problem. While not much water is needed in winter, the ground should be kept moist through the season, especially in spring. A shallow watering is best the roots don't go down more than 30 cm max. Once to twice week during the maturing season. We cant control the weather, but avoid flooding (and applications of nutirients) during the final few weeks to lessen the chance of fungus attacks and sprouting. Garlic likes a moderate amount of lime (dolomite), you can rely on the recommended amount at least two weeks before planting and once every three years. Maturity. Look for tops fading in colour, a weakening of the stem near the base and a flattening of the top of the bulb when (gently) exposed Thats a lot and there's a lot more. It's a labour of love and a lifetime. And I'm sure others will have other suggestions, this is just a framework of what has worked for me. Planting at the moment actually. Regarding shallots most of the above also applies but Im not much of an authority. Shorter season length, but most of the above applies. I plant under the same conditions as garlic but only a few dozen and get good results.
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
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 345 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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