Steps on How to Plant Garlic
When 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.
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.
How to plant
Prepare your soil and amend with a fertilizer. I used rabbit droppings. You could also use a composted manure to amend your soil.
Break apart heads and sort cloves. Discard any small cloves (or use for cooking!) or any damaged, soft cloves.
It is okay to plant sprouted cloves. Plant cloves in rows 2-3 inches deep and about 4 inches 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.
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 to 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.
For more gardening ideas, check out transplanting tomato seedlings and how to prune apple trees.
Belinda Hall says
I would love to try an grow garlic I love it in everything.
Give it a try! There's nothing better than growing and then harvesting your own!
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks says
This is great, Kathy! I have my fall garden going right now and I'm so going to add some garlic!
I always try to save some room for garlic!
Katie Crenshaw says
I always wanted to plant garlic! I am so going to do this. Thanks for the great tips!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen says
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!
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!
karrie @ Tasty Ever After says
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 🙂
Ha! You can thank me again in the spring when you have beautiful garlic coming up!
Laura ~ Raise Your Garden says
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 =)
You bet! Glad to share your great tips!
Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
Very informative post, Kathy. Growing your own veggies is one of the best things! 🙂
Gardening is very rewarding.