How and When to Plant Garlic

Garlic is extensively utilized in a lot of recipes and is a staple component in most households close to the globe. It is a single of the oldest acknowledged crops, with a history courting back again hundreds of many years. Not only is it utilised in a variety of foodstuff, but it has also been utilised during history as a healthcare plant.

With the uses of garlic currently being so popular, why not try and grow and harvest some yourself? It does not subject if you reside in an condominium or have lots of acreage out in the place, you can surely increase your possess garlic, and we are listed here to demonstrate you how.

Getting Started

Garlic is one of 700 species inside of the genus Allium, the exact same household as onions, scallion, shallots, and leeks. To get started with garlic, you will 1st want to pick which kind of garlic you prepare on increasing. Garlic can be broken down into two distinct kinds, hardneck and softneck. The range is primarily based on the advancement of flower stalks, clove development, and general hardiness.

whole stems of garlic
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Hardneck Garlic

Hardneck garlic has much less but greater cloves when compared to softneck garlic. Hardnecks build a lengthier flowering stem, named scapes. The scapes will produce bulbils at the leading, which must be cut in early summer to avert them from absorbing energy from the plant and ensuing in more compact heads when it’s time to harvest.

Hardneck garlic kinds have a solitary row of cloves and are considerably far more cold temperature hardy than softnecks. They do not keep extremely effectively and are likely to begin going downhill in four to 6 months following they’ve been harvested. Hardneck garlic does peel more easily and tends to be much more flavorful overall.

Hardneck Garlic
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Softneck Garlic

Softneck garlic kinds do better in hotter climates and are not as hardy as hardnecks. They have numerous cloves of various measurements for every head and if saved properly, can previous from nine to twelve months soon after harvest.

Softneck varieties do not build a flowering stalk, leaving their stems softer and significantly more flexible without the require for trimming bulbils like the hardnecks.

garlic cloves on wooden table
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Buying Garlic to Plant

After you decide among hardneck and softneck garlic (or if you choose to have a go at the two,) now you need to make the obtain. It is very recommended that you acquire garlic directly from a local garlic farmer or a reputable on the web vendor.

It is important to note that however some vegetables can be started out with grocery keep variations, grocery shop garlic is often handled with chemical compounds to prevent sprouting and inhibit all round expansion. In addition, your grocery store garlic assortment may possibly not be best to develop in your region.

Planting much more than one range at a time can assist improve your odds of a successful harvest, as it can be a trial and error with some versions being at risk for ailment or not flourishing as hoped.

When and How to Plant and Harvest Garlic

The crucial to effectively expanding your own crops is to get to know the plant effectively and what kind of problems it needs to thrive and productively produce. You need to have to know the ins and outs of when to plant, how to plant, and when to harvest, normally, you could wind up empty-handed in the conclude.

person holding garden soil
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When to Plant Garlic

Garlic is often planted for the duration of the slide in between September and November and then harvested the subsequent summer, normally sometime in between June and August.

If you are in an area that is susceptible to heavy frost, make certain to plant your garlic cloves roughly six to 8 months prior to the floor freezes for the duration of the first frost. Garlic thrives greatest if it is provided a dormancy interval of four to eight months during chilly temperature that is steadily underneath 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

In milder to heat climates, you can wait to plant garlic as late as February or early March. This will end result in significantly smaller bulbs after they are completely ready for harvest in the summer time.

When the dormancy has finished in the early spring, it will commence speedily creating foliage and then bulbs. The speedy development occurs in the course of the spring before the sizzling summer climate situations halt development. Once it turns to summer time, the garlic will be all set to harvest. Now, let’s appear at a phase-by-step manual for planting and harvesting:

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12 Steps to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Garlic

  1. Depending on your region and your personal preference, select the most opportune time for planting. As mentioned above, garlic should be planted sometime during the fall months between September and November.
  2. Try to select the largest, healthiest-looking cloves that show no sign of disease. The larger the clove, the larger the bulb will be when the time for harvesting comes.
  3. Break apart the cloves from the bulb several days before planting, and keep the husk in place on each clove that has been separated.
  4. Prepare the soil by loosening it to a depth of at least 8 inches or more. Garlic does best in well-drained, moisture-retentive soil with pH ranging from 6.0 and 7.0. You can add to soil quality by mixing in granular organic fertilizer, well-rotted manure (never fresh), or some compost.
  5. Plant the cloves anywhere from 4 to 8 inches apart and 2 inches deep, in an upright position with the wider rood side facing down and the more pointed end facing directly up.
  6. Plant your garlic in rows that are spaced approximately 6 to 12 inches apart.
  7. Once planted and covered with soil, water the soil gently to allow it to settle. If you choose, you can cover the soil with a 4 to 6-inch layer of straw to help roots establish before the first frost.
  8. At this point, you allow nature to take its course. Once springtime comes around, keep your garden weeded well. Watering is not necessary unless there is an ongoing drought, in which case water very sparingly. Garlic doesn’t thrive well in super-moist soil.
  9. You should start seeing foliage during the springtime and they will be ready for harvest sometime between June and August, most commonly during late July. If you are in a warm climate and planted in the spring, calculate your approximate harvest date based on the days to maturity schedule of the specific garlic variety you used.
  10. You do not want to harvest too early and end up with small, underdeveloped bulbs. To tell whether garlic is ready to harvest, check for the yellowing of foliage for most varieties (not all.) Harvest is ideal when the tops just begin to yellow and fall over, but before they completely dry out.
  11. When it’s time to harvest, dig up a sample bulb to see if it’s truly ready. If it’s ready, the head will be divided into plump cloves and the skin covering the bulbs will be thick, dry, and paper-like.
  12. To harvest, carefully dig up the bulbs by using a gardening fork. Don’t use your hands to yank on the stems, you want to avoid causing damage to both the roots and the root plate.  Brush off any excess soil but keep the foliage intact. Garlic does not need to be cured, as it is immediately edible but many do choose to cure it so that it can be successfully stored for several months.

Tips for Growing Garlic Indoors

Garlic does not grow as properly below artificial gentle, so it’s not as frequent to expand it indoors but individuals surely do so with accomplishment. For the most component, indoor garlic is utilized for the scapes and greens instead than ready up to 6 months or much more for the bulbs. Scapes are commonly utilised in soups, salads, or even grilled and eaten as is or mixed into a stir fry.

indoor garlic plant
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Choose the Right Pot

You will want to use a clay pot that is at the very least six inches deep with drainage holes in the base. Plant at the very least 6 inches apart if bulbs are your final goal. You want to use a potting combine, not garden or topsoil.

Provide Natural Sunlight

No matter whether you strategy on developing scapes or bulbs, you will need to offer your garlic with natural sunlight. Place your pots in a sunny spot that gets at the very least 6 hours of regular daylight per working day. South or southwest-dealing with windows are hugely recommended.

Chill the Bulbs

To develop total bulbs, you require to place them via an synthetic dormancy, specifically for hardneck kinds. You can chill the bulbs in the refrigerator for numerous weeks to give them the dormancy period of time before planting. You are not likely to have much accomplishment if you skip this step.

Plant the Bulbs

As soon as the dormancy time period is up, plant the bulbs in a pot and keep the temperature between 60 and 80 levels Fahrenheit. You don’t have to fret about humidity, as garlic normally grows in much more arid circumstances in Central Asia. Drinking water sparingly, sufficient to hold the soil somewhat moist but by no means moist.

If you are likely by the drop planting plan, contemplate transferring your garlic outdoor in the course of the summer time so that the summer solar and heat can complete up maturing the bulbs.

Curing and Storage

Most individuals select to treatment garlic after it has been harvested, this will let your garlic to be saved effectively for months, at times up to one calendar year.

How to Cure Garlic

  • Leave the stalks and roots on the bulbs during harvest and throughout curing.
  • Bundle and tie together several stems of garlic
  • Hang bulb-side down in a cool, dark place or lay it flat on a raised screen without layering it.
  • Allow the bulbs to cure for three to four weeks before moving the pantry.
Garlic Bulb
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Ways to Store Garlic

  • Keep the entire garlic bulb whole until it is time for use and store it at room temperature.
  • Garlic can also be stored in the refrigerator in the crisper drawer to maintain freshness.
  • To add to the longevity, you can even place garlic in a freezer-friendly bag or container.
  • You can store garlic anywhere from 4 to 12 months depending on the variety you used.
  • Make sure to check the specific variety for more accurate storage information.


Garlic may possibly just take 8 to nine months from planting to harvest, but it is a relatively low-routine maintenance crop that will take care of alone and thrives if given a wintertime dormancy period. A produce of garlic can create adequate to last you till the next harvest and can be stored wherever from 4 to 12 months if effectively cured and stored.



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