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How to Grow Garlic with Ease from Clove to Harvest

  • Bob Styer
  • Herbs
A Good Harvest Of Garlic.

If you haven’t tried it before, it will surprise you how easy it is to grow garlic.  There are many types of garlic to choose from, ranging in color from white, tan, purple, and red. The flavors range from mild to hot.  Aged garlic is black and has a fantastic mellow flavor.  With such a wide selection, you’ll find one that fits your needs.  Another benefit is that garlic is a companion plant for almost every crop you can grow.  Continue reading, and you’ll also learn how to harvest garlic and even how to grow it in water.

What is Garlic?

Garlic is a member of the genus Allium, which is part of the lily family.  Its relatives include leeks, onions, chives, ramps, scallions, and shallots.  They all have the nickname “the stinking lilies” due to their characteristic aromas.

The Alliums grow from various sizes of bulbs and have long hollow or flat leaves.  The bulb sizes range from tiny chives to large onions.

What more can we say about garlic?  This favorite of farmers’ markets is an absolute necessity in many dishes, and it’s even used in desserts!

For centuries garlic has been a medicine as well as food.  An old Spanish proverb says, “Your son is sick, and you have garlic?”

In modern language, we’d say, “Get with it, Dad. Give your son some of your garlic and get him better!”  Studies show that ancient people weren’t wrong about garlic.

Would you like to learn about other herbs? Check out our post “The Complete Guides to Growing Culinary Herbs” for links to those articles.

Examples of Garlic Bulbs

Rocambole, a favored garlic, bulbs and cloves
Rocambole garlic bulbs and cloves
Four hardneck garlic red garlic bulbs
Red garlic bulbs
Hardneck garlic purple garlic bulbs
Purple garlic bulbs

Types of Garlic

Garlic is a perennial that’s often grown as an annual.  Any garlic will fall under one of the two main types:

Hardneck (Allium ophioscorodon)

This type has a flowering stem called a scape that grows from the center of the bulb.  The scapes are edible when young and curly, but later, they’ll straighten and turn woody.

Hardneck garlic tends to have sharper and more varied flavors than softneck types.  The bulbs have a shorter shelf life (4 – 5 months) than softneck types.  They’re also more tolerant of cold weather, so they’re a good choice for the more northern areas.

This garlic needs 6 – 8 weeks of temperatures below 45o F for healthy growth.  That makes Zones 7 and below the best for cultivating it.  Before winter, cover the garlic with straw mulch to protect it.  There are about 200 strains of hardneck varieties, which fall into three main types:

  • Porcelain.  This type provides four white-colored cloves per bulb.
  • Purple Stripe.  The name is self-explanatory.  Each bulb produces 8 – 12 cloves. The skin is purple, but the peeled cloves are white. This group includes the beautiful glazed purple stripe varieties.
  • Rocambole.  This type produces 12 cloves per bulb, colored tan or brown. They’re the only garlic that forms a scape with a double loop. This garlic has a rich taste and is one of the best. The only problem is its short shelf life (5 – 6 months).

Rocambole and purple stripe are the hardiest varieties.

Softneck (Allium sativum).

This is the typical garlic you’ll find in supermarkets.  It doesn’t have a stiff central stem or scape, so all the leaves are flexible and easy to braid.

This garlic type prefers warmer winters and has a milder flavor than hardneck types.  Softneck garlic grows best in Zones 5 – 9.  The softneck varieties have two main types, and they each have several strains:

  • Artichoke.  These garlic bulbs have tough skins and as many as 20 cloves in overlapping layers.  Artichoke garlic can stay in storage for up to eight months.
  • Silverskin.  Known for its high yield, this type can be grown in many hardiness zones.  Their soft leaves make silverskins the choice for garlic braids.

Gardeners have developed many garlic strains over the years.  This has resulted in some confusion about naming them.

Some strains might have the same name but are different from each other.  Other strains might be the same but have different names.  The result is that garlic has “strains” but not identified biological “varieties.”

Please note that elephant garlic bulbs aren’t garlic.  Elephant garlic is a member of the leek family and only looks like a large bulb of garlic with large cloves.

Video: The Fastest Way to Peel Garlic

Looking for an easy way to peel garlic? Watch this short video…

What is Black Garlic?

Black garlic isn’t a separate garlic strain; it’s regular white garlic that’s been aged.  The aging happens with high humidity and a temperature of 140 – 190o F for about a month.

The aging can be done in a slow cooker or a dehydrator because their heat is well-regulated.  White garlic can also age by yeast fermentation, but that requires special equipment.  Check out this website to learn how to make black garlic.

Black garlic cloves and bulbs from aged white garlic
Black garlic cloves and bulbs

Preparing the Soil

The best soil for garlic is sandy, loamy, and well-drained, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5.  Garlic doesn’t like soil that’s too fertile, but when it’s growing, it wants some fertilizer every few weeks.  Clay soil is always tricky for plants, and it might stain the covering of the garlic bulbs.

Clay soil also prevents water from draining well, which causes root rot.  The best improvement for clay soil is to mix it with organic material, such as well-aged compost.  See our article “Testing Garden Soil and How to Make Improvements” for more helpful advice.

Products to Help With Soil Preparation

Espoma Organic Bulb-tone 3-5-3 Natural & Organic Fertilizer and Plant Food for all Spring and Fall Bulbs. 18 lb. Bag. Use for Planting & Feeding to Promote Vibrant Blooms
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Cultivating Garlic from Cloves

This is the easiest and most familiar way of planting garlic.  The individual cloves you plant are “seed garlic” (like seed potatoes or seed rhizomes for ginger and turmeric).  In most areas of the country, garlic is planted in the fall, about 4 – 6 weeks before the ground freezes.

If you live in an area with mild winters, plant softneck garlic in the fall.  Hardneck garlic needs 6 – 8 weeks of temperatures below 45o F, so plant them before the first frost.  If you don’t get temperatures that low for that long, there’s a way to fool hardneck garlic.

Store it in a bag in the refrigerator for 6 – 8 weeks of simulated winter.  When you plant the hardneck garlic in the early spring, it won’t know the difference.  “Vernalization” is the process of exposing hardneck garlic to cold before it sprouts.

Before planting garlic, pick a warm setting with 6 – 8 hours of sun daily.  Next, loosen the soil to a depth of 8 inches and mix it with some compost or organic fertilizer.  Break up the garlic bulbs (also known as heads of garlic) into individual cloves.  Try to leave as much of the papery skin as possible because it protects the cloves.

Planting a basket of garlic cloves in the fall.
Plant garlic cloves in the fall and harvest the bulbs next summer.

Next Comes the Planting

With the pointy end up, plant each clove 2 inches deep and 4 – 6 inches apart.  Rows should be 12 – 14 inches apart.  Moisten the soil enough to settle, and top it off with a 4 – 6 inch layer of straw or shredded leaves.  Remove the mulch in the early spring after the last frost.

The garlic cloves will grow roots before the soil freezes, and you may even see some garlic sprouts.  Don’t worry about cold weather damaging the sprouts; the garlic will still grow in the spring.  Each clove you plant will produce an entire bulb in about nine months.

When choosing garlic bulbs or cloves, get organic ones from a nursery or seed company.  Grocery store garlic is often treated with a chemical to prevent sprouting.

To grow as a perennial, plant the cloves as described above and forget them for a few years.  This often happens anyway because you could miss a bulb or two during harvest.  Since the single cloves grow into a bulb, you’ll soon see many garlic shoots in a small area.  You can separate the cloves from the bulb and replant them.

Garlic Bulbs for Planting

GARLIC BULB (7 Pack), FRESH CALIFORNIA SOFTNECK GARLIC BULB FOR PLANTING AND GROWING YOUR OWN GARLIC OR GREAT FOR EATING AND COOKING
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Garlic Bulb (6 Pack), Fresh Siberian HARDNECK Garlic Bulb for Planting and Growing Your OWN Garlic OR Eating
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Garlic Bulbs Whole, Early Purple Italian Garlic Bulbs, 16 Bulbs, This Garlic is Ready for Eating or Planting, Cool Beans N Sprouts
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Gourmet Chesnok Red Garlic Bulbs Hard Neck - 4 Bulbs - Garlic To Plant For Fall Planting - Non-GMO Organic Grown
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SNOW HILL HIMALAYAN ORGANIC GARLIC BULB GROW ON HIGH ALTITUDE, FRESH HIMALAYAN GARLIC BULB FOR COOKING, SPICES & HEALTH BENEFIT - PRODUCT OF HIMALAYAS, NEPAL
SNOW HILL HIMALAYAN ORGANIC GARLIC BULB GROW ON HIGH ALTITUDE, FRESH HIMALAYAN GARLIC BULB FOR COOKING, SPICES & HEALTH BENEFIT - PRODUCT OF HIMALAYAS, NEPAL
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4 Early Italian Softneck Garlic Tubers Outdoors, Planting Ornaments Garden Perennials Simple to Grow Pots Gift
4 Early Italian Softneck Garlic Tubers Outdoors, Planting Ornaments Garden Perennials Simple to Grow Pots Gift
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How to Grow Garlic from Seed

Getting “true” garlic seeds is difficult, but hardneck garlic provides a unique substitute.  These plants form a scape that has a bulbous head.  This head has 20 – 100 objects called bulbils that resemble tiny garlic cloves.  People prefer to call the bulbils garlic seeds, even though they’re not true seeds.

Be aware when shopping since some sellers also call garlic cloves “garlic seeds.”  Cloves are “seed garlic,” indicating you’re getting garlic cloves to plant or bulbs to break into cloves.

You can leave the scapes on a few plants to collect the bulbils during harvest.  Remember that the bulbs on these plants will be smaller than the ones with the scapes cut off.

What’s the Difference Between Bulbils and True Seeds?

Bulbils are the result of asexual reproduction, and that’s why they aren’t true seeds.  That makes the bulbils and cloves clones of the plant that produced them.  True seeds come about by sexual reproduction.  This happens when pollen fertilizes the female pistil inside a flower.

It’s possible to get true seeds from garlic, but that’s a more complicated subject.  Garlic was often grown by seed many years ago.  Asexual propagation by cloves and bulbils has left many garlic varieties almost sterile.  An informative article by Joseph Lofthouse discusses true garlic seeds.

The bulbils are ready to harvest once the heads are dry and the plants die back.  To make it easy, we’ll call the bulbils garlic seeds too.  When the heads are dry, open them and remove the seeds.

Then lay them out in a protected area for a few days so they dry out.  Don’t dry them by exposing them to direct sunlight.  Once the seeds are dry, store them in a cool, dark area.

You can plant garlic seeds in the fall like full-sized cloves.  Plant the bulbils ½ – 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart.  The planting depth depends on the size of the bulbils, which can range from a grain of rice to a pea.

Since the bulbils are much smaller than cloves, they won’t provide a harvest until the second year.  Garlic varieties with very small bulbils can take three years before harvesting.  That’s because it takes more time to form a complete bulb.

Caring for Garlic During the Growing Season

Garlic is a heavy feeder and likes to have plenty of nitrogen.  That’s why mixing the soil with compost is essential before planting.  Work the compost into the soil about 3 inches from each plant or cover the entire bed.

Add some organic fertilizer to the soil every three weeks after planting.  It also helps to add blood meal, which is an excellent source of nitrogen.

Growing Garlic in Water

Many people online ask if it’s possible to grow garlic in water, and the answer is “not exactly.”  Garlic cloves will sprout in a week if you put them in a clear glass with about ½ inch of water.  Ensure the cloves are sitting in the water with the pointy end up.

Keep the glass on a sunny windowsill, and change the water whenever it gets cloudy.  You can cut off the top third of the leaves when they reach 3 – 7 inches long.  If you cut the greens closer to the clove, they’ll be bitter. These cuttings aren’t the same as scapes; they’re called “garlic greens.”

How to Use Garlic Greens

Use garlic greens for flavoring in salads or when cooking food.  Garlic greens will dry out fast, so use them immediately after cutting them.  You could also grow garlic greens by putting an entire bulb in water.

So the result of “growing garlic in water” is you’re growing garlic greens.  The cloves won’t form into bulbs when they’re left in water.  This is because plain water doesn’t have the nutrients needed to grow bulbs.

After you’ve harvested the greens, you can still use the cloves for cooking.  Another option is to plant the cloves, which have already formed roots while sitting in the water.

See the video below to learn how to start garlic in water bottles before planting it in the garden or containers.

Video: Starting Garlic in Water Bottles

Hydroponic Garlic

Gardeners have successfully grown garlic in water using hydroponic systems.  This is when you use water enriched with nutrients to grow healthy plants.  The plants will be anchored in a base like perlite or other material, not soil.

Root vegetables aren’t compatible with hydroponics, but garlic can get away with it.  This is because its roots can hang into the water while the bulb grows happy and dry in the base material.  Hydroponics requires special equipment, but if you’d like to learn more, go to “How to Grow Hydroponic Garlic.”

Growing Garlic in Pots

Pots made of plastic, artificial stone, or glazed ceramic are the best ones for garlic.  Terra-cotta pots might look nice, but they hold water like a sieve.  That means terra-cotta will force you to water the garlic far more often.

Since terra-cotta absorbs water, it can also crack when it freezes.  Unlike other herbs grown in containers, garlic stays outside all winter.  That makes the pot material an essential factor.

The pots for garlic should be at least 8 inches deep.  The width or diameter depends on how much garlic you plant in the pots.  A pot 20 inches in diameter can hold 8 – 10 garlic cloves.

With any container gardening, it’s best not to use garden soil.  Garden soil tends to get dense in containers and doesn’t drain very well.  This can lead to root rot.  There’s a preferred soil for growing garlic in pots.

You can make it by mixing three parts of organic potting mix with 1 part of well-aged compost.  Top it off by mixing in some high-quality organic bulb fertilizer.

When do You Plant Garlic in Pots?

Start planting garlic in containers in the fall, before the first frost.  First, split a garlic bulb to get the cloves.  Use the largest ones for planting and save the small ones for cooking.

Next, push the cloves into the potting mix so they’re about 3 inches deep and 4 inches apart.  Make sure the pointy ends of the cloves are sticking up.

After planting the cloves, water them well.  Next, cover the soil with about 2 inches of straw mulch or shredded leaves.  Keep the soil moist throughout the winter as long as it isn’t frozen.  If the soil isn’t kept moist, you could be trying to sprout dead garlic in the springtime.

During winter, keep the pots in an area with sunlight for 6 – 8 hours daily.  If a severe winter storm is on the way, move the pots to a sheltered location.  For more insulation, d wrap the pots with a blanket, bubble wrap, or straw.

In springtime, spread a couple of tablespoons of organic fertilizer on the soil.  Remember always to keep the soil moist; soon, you’ll see green sprouts poking through the soil.

For more information about container-growing, see our article “Growing Vegetables in Containers.”

Some Pots for Growing Garlic

QCQHDU Plant Pots Set of 2 Pack 8 inch,Planters for Indoor Plants with Drainage Holes and Removable Base,Saucer Modern Decorative for Outdoor Garden Planters(Green 8in)
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The HC Companies 11.5 Inch Round Classic Planter - Plastic Plant Pot for Indoor Outdoor Plants Flowers Herbs, Slate Blue
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How to Harvest Garlic

Garlic is ready to harvest about nine months after planting.  This time can vary depending on the growing zone.  At harvest time, the tops start to turn yellow and fall over.  A nutrient deficiency or pest damage can cause yellowing before mid-June to August.

To ensure the garlic is ready to harvest, dig up one bulb and see if it is plump and well-formed.  That’s the sign that it’s ready to go. To get milder-tasting bulbs, harvest the garlic in early summer.

Make sure you dig up the bulbs with a garden fork or shovel.  This is because the leaves will be too fragile to use for pulling out the bulbs.  Leave the roots and leaves on the bulb.

There’s another method from an old-time garlic gardener.  This one says to check for two small yellowed leaves at the base of the stem.  One of these leaves could have decayed already.

If you have two yellowed leaves, check for a third one starting to turn yellow.  That combination of yellow leaves means the garlic is ready to harvest.

Harvesting Garlic Scapes

Hardneck garlic scapes appear around June.  You can identify them by their curly shape and head resembling an elf hat.  Scapes aren’t the same as garlic greens described above in the “How to Grow Garlic in Water” section.

To harvest scapes, cut them off at the base.  They’re flavorful as long as they still have their curly shape.  Once they straighten out, they become tough and bitter.

The scapes are usually cut off so the plant’s energy concentrates on growing larger bulbs.  If the scapes stay on, the heads will produce bulbils.  You can dry these and plant them to grow more garlic.  See the section above with the heading “Growing Garlic from Seed.”

If you put the scapes in a slightly opened Ziploc bag, they’ll keep in the refrigerator for about three weeks.  To freeze the scapes, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop them in the freezer.  Once frozen, put them in a Ziploc bag and return them to the freezer.  You can store frozen scapes for up to one year.

Curing and Storing Fresh Garlic

Garlic is usable as soon as it’s harvested but needs curing before storage.  Cure hardneck and softneck garlic in a shady, dry, well-ventilated spot.  For hardneck garlic, bundle it together and hang it up to cure.

Softneck garlic leaves are easy to braid before hanging.  The leaves are still easy to braid when they turn brown while curing.  Curing takes about two weeks in a dry climate and up to two months in a humid environment.

Don’t remove the leaves while the garlic is curing.  The leaves help evaporate moisture so the garlic will store for longer.  The bulbs are ready when the husks are dry and papery, and the leaves are brown.

Next, cut off the leaves and trim the roots to about ½ inch long.  Whole bulbs will store for months.  If you break them apart, the cloves will stay fresh for about a week.

Store the cured bulbs in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area.  The flavor will continue to improve during the drying time.  Depending on the variety, garlic will last from 6 months to a year.

Storing garlic in the fridge will cause it to sprout and become bitter.  You can also use your stored bulbs to plant next year’s crop!

Helpful Accessories for Drying and Storing Garlic

COSORI Food Dehydrator for Jerky, Holds 7.57lb Raw Beef with Large 6.5ft² Drying Space, 6 Stainless Steel 13'x12' Trays, 165°F Dehydrated Dryer for Dog Treats, Herbs, Meat, Fruit, and Yogurt, Silver
COSORI Food Dehydrator for Jerky, Holds 7.57lb Raw Beef with Large 6.5ft² Drying Space, 6 Stainless Steel 13"x12" Trays, 165°F Dehydrated Dryer for Dog Treats, Herbs, Meat, Fruit, and Yogurt, Silver
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Watifisa Herb Grinder Electric Spice Grinder with Cleaning Brush, Herb Spice Coffee Grinder with Large Capacity - for Herbs, Fine Leaves, Peanuts, Pepper Beans, Mushrooms & Grains (Black)
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Zulay Kitchen Garlic Press Set - 2-in-1 Garlic Mincer Tool - Heavy-Duty, Dual-Function Garlic Crusher with Cleaning Brush, Garlic Peeler & Garlic Cleaning Tool - Easy-to-Squeeze Garlic Slicer
Zulay Kitchen Garlic Press Set - 2-in-1 Garlic Mincer Tool - Heavy-Duty, Dual-Function Garlic Crusher with Cleaning Brush, Garlic Peeler & Garlic Cleaning Tool - Easy-to-Squeeze Garlic Slicer
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How to Dry Garlic for Long-Term Storage

Peeling Garlic to Prepare for Drying

After curing the garlic, select the bulbs you want to dry and break them into cloves.  Peeling the cloves is the next step.  There are a few ways to make this easier:

  • Smash the cloves with the flat side of a knife to loosen the skin.
  • Microwave the cloves for 20 seconds to loosen the skin.
  • Using a cocktail shaker or two metal bowls, shake the cloves like you mean it to remove the skins.

Once the peels are off, slice the cloves lengthwise into thin pieces – the thinner, the better..  If you’re planning to make garlic powder, mince the garlic.  Don’t make the pieces too small because spreading them on drying trays will be more difficult.  Minced garlic will dry faster than sliced garlic.

Air-Drying Garlic

  • Lay the slices in a single layer on drying screens or a baking sheet.  The pieces shouldn’t overlap.
  • Place the tray in a warm, well-ventilated room.  Don’t expose the garlic to sunlight.
  • Turn over the slices every eight hours or so.  Minced garlic can be rolled by brushing over it with your hand.
  • It will take 2 – 3 days for the garlic to dry.  Drying time depends on the thickness of the slices and humidity.  The pieces might not dry at all if the humidity is very high.

Drying Garlic in the Oven

  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the slices in a single layer. Don’t let the pieces overlap.
  • Set the oven to the lowest temperature, which can vary depending on the oven model.
  • Check the garlic while drying to ensure it doesn’t scorch.
  • Drying will take about eight hours, depending on the oven temperature.
  • The garlic is dry if the pieces snap when they’re broken. The garlic will be light brown and crispy at that point.

Drying Garlic in a Dehydrator

  • Arrange the garlic slices in a single layer on the dehydrator trays. The slices shouldn’t overlap.
  • Follow the dehydrator instructions for drying herbs.

Store the dried garlic slices or minced pieces in air-tight containers in a cool dark place.  Use a coffee or spice grinder to turn the minced pieces into powder.

Dried garlic in any form will stay in storage for up to three years.  Like other dried herbs, it doesn’t spoil.  The problem with dried herbs is that the flavor and aroma degrade after a few years.

Garlic Companion Plants

Garlic is a companion to most vegetable crops.  It has a strong reputation for repelling pests and inhibiting some fungi.  Some examples include:

  • Cole crops.  Garlic repels diamondback moths, cabbage loopers, cabbage moths, and cabbage worms.
  • Fruit trees.  Planting garlic around fruit trees deters pests like mites, aphids, and Japanese beetles.  It’ll also protect peach trees from leaf curl and apple trees from apple scab.
  • Peppers.  Garlic protects these plants from fungal infections.
  • Strawberries and tomatoes.  Spider mites won’t damage them if garlic is nearby.
  • Rue will protect garlic and other alliums from onion flies and their maggots.
  • Spinach is a ground cover that keeps the weeds from taking over your garlic patch.  Leaf lettuce and arugula can also get this done.
  • Deer, rabbits, and squirrels stay away from your goodies when garlic is nearby.
  • Plants that shouldn’t be grown near garlic include sage, parsley, peas, beans, and asparagus.  Garlic will either compete for resources or inhibit the growth of these plants.

More information about companion plants is available from our Companion Planting Chart.

Garlic Diseases and Pests

Nematodes, thrips, bulb mites, and leafminers can bother garlic.  One of the best defenses against nematodes, bulb mites, and other soil pests is neem cake.  This remarkable material also acts as a fertilizer.

Find more details in our article “All About Using Neem Oil and Cake for Plants.”  Neem oil or organic insecticidal soap will destroy thrips, leafminers, and other pests.

Our article “Top 5 Natural Pest Control Methods You Can Use Now” has more information about organic pest control.

Garlic diseases include white rot, rust, purple blotch, and downy mildew.  Our article on neem oil and neem cake explains how they are effective against mildew and fungi.  Reference material is also included to read up on scientific research about this.

Final Thoughts

Garlic is a unique plant since it can clone itself from cloves in the ground or from bulbils above the ground.  Many of the foods we enjoy wouldn’t be the same without the beautiful flavor of garlic.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cultivating Garlic

  1. What’s the best month to plant garlic?

    The basic advice is to plant garlic 4 – 6 weeks before the ground freezes, so that would depend on where you live.  Hardneck garlic is a hardy plant, so it will grow almost anywhere if you don’t have permafrost.

    Garlic needs cold temperatures to sense that it’s time to grow roots.  If the cloves are in the ground too early, they could rot.

    Let’s refer to the USDA Hardiness Zones.  In Zones 0 – 3, plant garlic any time in September.  Zones 3 – 5 can go in late September to early October.  Zones 5 – 7 make planted garlic happy in mid to late October.  In Zones 7 – 9, garlic likes late October to early November.  The ideal time in Zones 9 – 10 is late October to early December.

    Please be aware that Zones 8 – 10 are better for softneck garlic since those zones don’t have cold enough temperatures for a long enough time to vernalize hardneck garlic.

  2. How long does it take garlic to grow?

    From a planted clove to a whole bulb takes 8 – 9 months.

  3. Is it better to grow garlic from seed or clove?

    True garlic seeds are hard to get, and they’re a complicated subject.  Garlic seeds were available many years ago, but asexual propagation by cloves and bulbils left many garlic varieties almost sterile.  See this informative article by Joseph Lofthouse that discusses true garlic seeds.

    In today’s world, individual cloves and whole bulbs are sold as “seed garlic.”  Hardneck garlic grows scapes that form flower heads containing bulbils.  These look like tiny cloves; you can harvest them after the head dries.

    Bulbils are often called “garlic seeds,” but they’re not true seeds.  It takes longer to grow garlic from bulbils, and you won’t be able to harvest mature bulbs until the second year.

    All things considered, the fastest way to grow garlic is by planting cloves.

  4. How hard is it to grow garlic?

    Garlic is a forgiving plant and easy to grow.  It’s not too picky about the soil and likes occasional feeding.  The main issue when growing garlic is planting the cloves at the right time.

  5. What plants aren’t compatible with garlic?

    Garlic doesn’t get along with its relatives since they compete for the same nutrients.  Also, planting garlic with other Alliums will increase the chances that they’ll all get infected by the same diseases or pests.

    Beans, peas, and other legumes add too much nitrogen to the soil.  Other plants like that, but garlic doesn’t.  Too much nitrogen will stunt the growth of garlic.

    Garlic stunts the growth of asparagus, and asparagus affects garlic flavor.

    Garlic will affect the flavor of melons and sage.

    Garlic and parsley compete for resources and stunt each other’s growth.

    Corn and garlic compete for sunlight, and garlic stunts the growth of corn.

    Strawberries can be questionable with garlic.  It’s known that garlic repels spider mites and some fungus from strawberries.

    What isn’t known is whether garlic stunts the growth of strawberries or affects the taste.  Some gardeners have reported these problems, but others say they haven’t had any issues.

  6. Does garlic come back every year?

    If you leave some cloves in the ground, they’ll sprout and propagate again in the spring.  You’ll never have to replant garlic when you leave some plants in the ground every fall.

    Most gardeners grow garlic as an annual, so they’re harvesting every plant and replanting more cloves in the fall.  Growing it as a perennial saves all the extra work.

  7. Can you plant garlic from the supermarket?

    There can be some crucial differences between seed garlic and supermarket garlic.  First of all, seed garlic is grown to be larger than supermarket garlic.

    Seed garlic is certified to be free of plant diseases, but supermarket garlic isn’t.  If your garden picks up white rot or other diseases from supermarket garlic, getting these diseases out of the ground could take several years.

    Finally, many garlic bulbs in the supermarket are treated with chemicals to prevent them from sprouting.

    In conclusion, you can plant and grow supermarket garlic, but you take chances with it.

  8. What should I add to my soil before planting garlic?

    Garlic isn’t too picky about the soil, but it prefers sandy, loamy, and well-drained soil.  Soil that has too much clay never drains well, and that can cause root rot.  A mix of compost and green sand will improve drainage and make the soil more loamy.

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Bob Styer

As a child, I hated gardening. That was mainly because Dad expected us to work in the garden every so often even though we thought play was more important. Over the years, though, I've developed a real appreciation for growing things. Whether you're growing plants for food or to enjoy their beauty, gardening can make your life better. Seize the moment!

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