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Growing Garlic

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                P P    

(Best months for growing Garlic in USA - Zone 5a regions)

P = Plant cloves

  • Easy to grow. Plant cloves. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 4 - 5 inches 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
  • Garlic cloves
  • Young garlic shoots

Garlic is traditionally planted in cold weather and harvested 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 but in 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, maybe just a single large bulb.

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 stir-fry.

Your comments and tips

06 Sep 19, Suzanne Lee (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have garlic growing for the first time, they are lovely and green but i don't want to over or under water them. Can you give me some guide lines please. I have a dripper system with these, but wonder if that is giving the required amount or what is the optimum system and how much water, for garlic. I have no idea if they are hard or soft necked garlic! They were purchased from an organic grower but i didn't ask what style they are.
09 Sep 19, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Stick your finger in the soil, down about 3-4 cm
01 Sep 19, Meredith (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I plant garlic every year, but it never goes to seed. Can you please advise on a fertilizing schedule please. I always plant before the first full moon in April. I have trouble getting it to keep all year through after its picked, dried and hung and wonder if this is because it didn't go to seed? Any how would be appreciated.
04 Sep 19, TempestSkye (Australia - temperate climate)
The issue you're experiencing is more likely due to the type of garlic you are growing than anything you're doing. Garlic is generally split into two categories: hard neck and soft neck. Your planting times are perfectly fine for an Australian temperate climate. The old sayings about planting on shortest day and harvesting on the longest actually comes from the northern hemisphere and aren't optimal for most Australian climates. I follow the advice of Penny Woodward, who has literally written the book on garlic in Australia. https://www.pennywoodward.com.au/garlic-plant-it-now/ If you read the link above, it explains that hard neck varieties of garlic don't last as long, whereas soft neck garlic varieties tend to keep better.
17 Sep 19, Meredith (Australia - temperate climate)
Thank you for the tips
05 Sep 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thanks for the tip on shortest / longest day stuff. How do you distinguish between a soft and hard neck? I looked up a website and all they had was a white bulb and a light purple bulb.
03 Sep 19, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have read plant around the shortest daylight hours day - 21st June - harvest around 21st Dec. I would think garlic would not require a lot of fertilising. You are trying to produce bulbs not a huge green top - so don't go overboard on the N. Start with a good fertile soil and maybe a top up after 3 mths - light on the N. A general veg fert would do at planting. Or compost or manures etc. Do some internet research about growing it.
02 Sep 19, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I would suggest you google
28 Aug 19, Jules Sturm (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Here's a tip ,to get your garlic sprouting prior to planting ( using cloves) separate the cloves ,place on a plate & put in the fridge ..the temperature drop & darkness shocks them into sprouting ...you will get both root& shoot growth so plant when roots about 5-10mm long ...
29 Aug 19, anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Also plant around end of June.
Showing 1 - 10 of 628 comments

I live in Zone 9a. Has anyone had any luck planting garlic in zone 9a? I am going to give it my best shot - it's in my refrigerator. Been reading about vernalization. If it would cool off here for any extended length of time I hope to get my cloves planted.

- Brittney Benèa Byrd

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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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