How to Plant Garlic

How to Plant Garlic

Garlic is, hands down, my favorite and most used spice! Whether it’s whole and roasted, chopped and simmered (or sauteed) or in powder form, it goes in pretty much everything savory I make in the kitchen!


I always purchase my seed garlic from either Seed Savers Exchange or our local Farmers Market and would recommend the same for you.


Use Seed Garlic.  I know that seems like a silly thing to say, but seriously – use seed garlic.  Either order it from a source you trust or ask the vendors at your local market specifically for seed garlic, don’t just grab some garlic off the shelf at the grocery store, cross your fingers and hope for the best.  I’ve done that, it ended poorly…You’ll be happier for taking the extra step.


Between September 15 and November 30  is the best time to get it in the ground. I usually shoot for sometime before Halloween.


Garlic loves loose, rich soil with lots of organic matter and a pH of 6.5.


  • Planting your own garlic allows you to grow diverse varieties of garlic and get to know which are your own personal favorites.
  • There’s also something about knowing that there is something working in the garden despite to snow and cold throughout the grey months.


  • Keep your head of garlic intact until you are ready to plant, then break it into cloves right before planting (keep the “paper” on each clove).
  • Each clove goes in the ground pointy end up (root end down) and ~2 inches below the soil.
  • Each clove should be 4-8 inches away from each consecutive clove in the row depending on which variety you choose.
  • Once you’ve covered your cloves with soil, apply 6 inches of mulch over the top and let it be for the winter (we use straw as mulch pretty much all the time).
  • Your garlic may sprout before winter fully sets in…don’t worry, it may get frost bit where it peeks through the mulch, but it should recover perfectly.
Happy Planting!
Written by Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm


  1. Pingback: Growing, Harvesting, and Storing Garlic | Homestead Honey

  2. kelli

    great post! i love growing garlic. i started with store bought organic and just planted the cloves i grew the next year, but now it seems they’ve got something wrong – a lot of the cloves have little brown spots. if i can find seed garlic, i’m using that next time around.

  3. 1st Man

    So do you water it regularly or just let nature provide Winter moisture? We LOVE LOVE garlic as well, and I would love to have some. I was thinking of dedicating a 4×4 raised bed just to garlic and maybe onions?

    1. Bee Girl

      Depending on how much moisture you usually get throughout the cooler months you may have to water it a bit. Garlic needs ~1 inch per month throughout the winter 🙂 That doesn’t seem like a lot, but here in the high desert, it’s hit or miss depending on the year.

    2. 1st Man

      Thanks for the info. We’d definitely get that here in the Winter. And even if dry, I can water once a week easily if necessary. OK, I’m off to Seed Savers Exchange to order us some!

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