How to Plant Garlic

October 28, 2015 (Last Updated: March 10, 2019)

This post may contain affiliate links, see my Privacy Policy.

Steps on How to Plant Garlic

Fall is the time of year to plant garlic in most areas.  You want to get it in the soil with enough time for the roots to set before the soil freezes.  Finding the perfect planting time is always a bit of a gamble.  You don’t want to get it in too late, but if you plant too early, the plants will start to sprout above the soil, risking the chance of freezing the plants.

Whole garlic ready for fall planting

I buy whole heads of garlic at my local nursery.  There are usually several varieties to choose from.  This year I planted a softneck variety.  There are also hardneck varieties.  Hardnecks  will grow a woody stalk.  The softnecks don’t have this woody stalk.  As a general rule. softnecks store longer than hardnecks. Prepare your soil and amend with a fertilizer.  I used rabbit droppings.  You could also use a composted manure to amend you soil.

Break apart heads and sort cloves.  Discard any small cloves (or use for cooking!)  or any damaged, soft cloves.

Garlic cloves ready for planting

sprouted garlic clove

It is okay to plant sprouted cloves.  Plant cloves in rows 2-3″ deep and about 4″ apart.  There is a top and a bottom to the cloves and you want to make certain you plant with the root on the bottom.  In the picture above you can see the difference.  The sprout is the top.

Planting Garlic

After all cloves are planted, cover with soil and then add a mulch.  I like to use a layer of straw, usually 4-6″.  I have also used leaves, but they tend to compact and get very heavy in the spring.

That’s all there’s too it!  The you sit back and let the garlic do all the work!  In the spring, you can peak under the mulch to see if you have green sprouts popping through.  Most plants will work their way through the mulch and you can leave mulch in place.  If mulch is too thick, you may have to remove so the plants can grow.

Happy Planting!

You might also want to read Natural Fertilizer

Rabbit Manure


How to plant garlic for a healthy crop in the spring.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
    November 2, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    This is great, Kathy! I have my fall garden going right now and I’m so going to add some garlic!

    • Reply
      November 3, 2015 at 6:14 am

      I always try to save some room for garlic!

  • Reply
    Katie Crenshaw
    November 2, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I always wanted to plant garlic! I am so going to do this. Thanks for the great tips!

    • Reply
      November 3, 2015 at 6:12 am

      Happy planting!

  • Reply
    Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
    October 30, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Can I plant some in a pot, Kathy? All my veggies are grown in containers – I’d love to try garlic – let me know if you think a pot would work. Thanks!

    • Reply
      October 30, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      I’ve never tried a pot, but I think it would be worth giving it a try! You’d want at least 6″ of soil for depth and then enough spacing for bulbs to grow. Keep me posted!

  • Reply
    karrie @ Tasty Ever After
    October 29, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Homegrown garlic is so much better tasting than the store bought. I’ve always had friends give me what they’ve grown and I also got some heads this year in my organic CSA. Your post makes me want to grow my own so a nursery trip is in store for Saturday. Thanks for making me work this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      October 29, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      Ha! You can thank me again in the spring when you have beautiful garlic coming up!

  • Reply
    Laura ~ Raise Your Garden
    October 29, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Oh thanks so much for the shout out Kathy! And you know how much I love garlic. So tasty. I get so frustrated by all those stinkin’ small gloves, but when I eat them they perk me up. Nothing flavors like garlic…does it? Wonderful and insightful post! Enjoyed the read =)

    • Reply
      October 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      You bet! Glad to share your great tips!

  • Reply
    Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    October 28, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Very informative post, Kathy. Growing your own veggies is one of the best things! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      October 29, 2015 at 5:48 am

      Gardening is very rewarding.

    Leave a Reply