7 Popular Garlic Planting Tips

  • Garden
  • Posted 5 months ago

Garlic, with its pungent aroma and distinctive flavor, is not only a popular culinary ingredient but also a rewarding plant to grow in your garden. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice with a green thumb, planting garlic can be a gratifying experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with valuable tips and insights on how to plant garlic successfully. From selecting the right cloves to harvesting your flavorful bulbs, we’ll cover all the essential aspects of growing garlic.

7 Popular Garlic Planting Tips

Choosing the Right Garlic Variety

The first step in garlic planting is selecting the appropriate variety for your climate and preferences. There are two main types of garlic: hardneck and softneck. Hardneck garlic varieties thrive in colder climates and produce scapes, which are curly flower stalks that can be harvested and used in cooking. Softneck garlic varieties are better suited for milder climates and tend to store longer.


Preparing the Soil

Garlic thrives in well-drained soil with a pH level between 6 and 7. Before planting, it’s crucial to prepare the soil by removing weeds, rocks, and other debris. Loosen the soil with a garden fork or tiller and incorporate organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve soil fertility and drainage.

Timing and Planting

Garlic is typically planted in the fall, several weeks before the first frost. This allows the bulbs to establish roots before winter and promotes better growth in the spring. However, if you live in a region with mild winters, you can also plant garlic in early spring.

To plant garlic, break apart the garlic bulb into individual cloves, leaving the papery skin intact. Plant the cloves root-side down, about 2 inches deep and 6-8 inches apart in rows. Ensure the cloves are planted with the pointed end facing upward. Cover the cloves with soil and gently pat it down.


Watering and Mulching

Garlic requires consistent moisture for optimal growth. Water the garlic immediately after planting and continue to provide regular watering throughout its growth cycle. However, be careful not to overwater, as excessive moisture can lead to rot.

To conserve moisture and suppress weed growth, apply a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or shredded leaves, around the plants. Mulching also helps regulate soil temperature, especially during extreme weather conditions.



Garlic is a nutrient-hungry plant, and providing adequate fertilization is crucial for healthy bulb development. Before planting, incorporate a balanced organic fertilizer into the soil. Additionally, you can side-dress the garlic with compost or a nitrogen-rich fertilizer during its growing season to promote vigorous growth.


Controlling Pests and Diseases

Garlic is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, you may encounter issues such as onion thrips, aphids, or fungal diseases like white rot or downy mildew. To prevent infestations, practice crop rotation, keep the garden clean, and inspect the plants regularly for signs of damage or disease. If necessary, apply organic pest control methods or consult with a local gardening expert for appropriate solutions.


Harvesting and Curing

As the garlic plants mature, the leaves will start to turn yellow and dry out. This is an indication that the bulbs are ready for harvest. Avoid waiting too long, as the bulbs may split or become overripe.


Harvesting and storing your garlic bulbs

Harvesting and storing garlic bulbs properly is crucial to preserve their flavor, quality, and longevity. Here are the steps to harvest and store your garlic bulbs:

  1. Timing: Garlic is typically ready for harvest when the lower leaves have turned yellow or brown, and the upper leaves are still green. Timing can vary depending on the garlic variety and growing conditions. It’s essential to monitor your plants closely to determine the right harvest time.
  2. Digging: To harvest garlic, use a garden fork or shovel to carefully loosen the soil around the bulbs. Be gentle to avoid damaging the bulbs. Insert the fork or shovel about 4-6 inches away from the base of the plant and lift the bulbs out of the ground.
  3. Cleaning: After digging up the bulbs, gently remove excess soil by shaking them or brushing off the loose dirt. It’s crucial to handle the bulbs delicately to prevent bruising or removing the protective outer layers.
  4. Curing: Curing is an important step in the post-harvest process that allows the garlic bulbs to dry and develop their characteristic flavor. Cure the garlic by hanging the plants in a well-ventilated, warm, and dry area, such as a garage, shed, or covered porch. Ensure there is good air circulation around the bulbs to prevent mold or rot.
  5. Drying: Allow the garlic bulbs to dry for about 2-3 weeks. During this time, the outer skin will become papery, and the bulbs will shrink slightly. Avoid exposing the bulbs to direct sunlight, as it can cause them to become sunburned and affect their flavor.
  6. Trimming: Once the garlic bulbs are fully cured, you can trim the tops and roots. Use clean pruning shears to cut the dried stems about 1-2 inches above the bulb. Trim the roots close to the base of the bulb.
  7. Storage: After trimming, store the garlic bulbs in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated location. You can store them in mesh bags, paper bags, or hang them in braids or bunches. Avoid storing garlic in plastic bags or containers, as they can trap moisture and promote mold or rot.
  8. Temperature and Humidity: Garlic bulbs prefer storage temperatures between 50-60°F (10-15°C) with humidity levels around 60-70%. Avoid storing garlic near areas with high humidity or fluctuating temperatures, such as the refrigerator, as it can cause sprouting or premature aging.
  9. Check and Rotate: Regularly check your stored garlic bulbs for any signs of rot or spoilage. Remove any damaged bulbs promptly to prevent the spread of decay. Additionally, rotate your stored garlic periodically, using the older bulbs first to ensure freshness.

By following these steps, you can properly harvest and store your garlic bulbs, preserving their flavor and quality for several months. Enjoy the fruits of your labor in various culinary delights and savor the distinct taste of homegrown garlic throughout the year.


Gently dig up the bulbs using a garden fork, being careful not to damage them. Shake off excess soil and leave the plants to cure in a warm, well-ventilated area with good air circulation. Allow the bulbs to dry for 2-3 weeks until the outer skin becomes papery

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