Plant garlic in early spring as early as 4 to 6 weeks before the last average frost date and again in early fall in cold-winter northern regions.
Garlic requires cool temperature of 32° to 50°F during its first two months of growth.
About Garlic. Garlic is a hardy perennial bulb plant grown for its papery white heads that contain clusters of individual cloves. Cloves are strong flavored eaten raw and mild-tasting cooked. Garlic grows to maturity in about 90 days.
Garlic Yield. Plant 12 to 16 plants per person.
Site. Plant garlic in full sun in loose, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Garlic prefers a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.8.
Garlic Planting Time. Garlic requires cool air temperatures of 32° to 50°F during its first two months of growth when bulbs are formed, but it is not affected by hot weather as it matures. Plant garlic in spring and again in early fall in cold-winter northern regions. Garlic can be planted as early as 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost in spring. Sow garlic in early spring and fall in mild-winter southern regions. Sow garlic during winter in reverse-season climates.
Planting tips: Planting Garlic.
Planting and Spacing Garlic. Grow garlic from cloves or bulblets which are planted with the plump side down. Set cloves 1 to 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. Space rows 12 inches apart. Plant plump outer cloves and use small center cloves for cooking.
More tips: Garlic Plant Starting Tips.
Water and Feeding Garlic. Keep the soil moist but not wet early on and slightly dry as bulbs near maturity; this will improve their flavor. Add well-aged compost to planting beds twice a year; fertilizers will decrease the flavor of the garlic bulbs.
Companion plants. Beets, lettuce, strawberries, summer savory, tomatoes.
Garlic Care. Keep planting beds weed free. Pinch away blossoms to focus the plants efforts on bulb formation rather than foliage. When stems begin to yellow, bend them to the ground without breaking them; this is called “lodging” and promotes bulb formation. Avoid planting garlic where onions or garlic have recently grown.
Container Growing Garlic. Garlic can not be grown easily in containers.
Garlic Pests. Onion thrips may attack garlic. Spray them away with a heavy stream of water.
How to protect garlic: Onion Family Growing Problems: Troubleshooting.
Garlic Diseases. Mildew may occur in a warm moist environment. Keep plants dry.
Garlic Harvest. Harvest bulbs when the tops start to dry, about 2 to 3 weeks after lodging. Bulbs should pull easily away from the stems. Allow bulbs to dry in an airy place for 3 to 4 weeks after harvest, until the outer skins turn papery.
Harvest tips: How to Harvest and Store Garlic.
Storing and Preserving Garlic. Store mature bulbs in a cool, dry location in a net bag. Braid the tops of the plants together with twine and hang them to dry. Peeled garlic cloves can be canned or frozen.
Garlic Varieties. Brown Tempest, California White, Chesnok Red, Chet’s Italian Purple, Elephant, Georgian Crystal, German Extra Heavy, Hillside Rocambole Og, Inchelium Red, Italian Purple Skin, Leningrad, Lorz Italian, Machashi, Mild French Silverskin, New York White, Polish White, Red German, Red Touch, Romanian Red, Spanish Rojo, Yugolavian.
Common name. Garlic
Botanical name. Allium sativum
Origin. South Europe
More tips: Fall and Spring Planted Garlic.