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How to grow garlic

How to grow garlic

Garlic is one of the most popular, versatile and easy-to-grow vegetables. It's also a great way to get kids involved in gardening. Garlic is easy to grow from seed and takes less than two months for harvest!

Know your climate

If you're lucky, your climate will be ideal for growing garlic. Garlic is a hardy plant that can tolerate many different climates and soil types, but it does have its preferences. Garlic should be planted in areas with a long growing season—at least 150 days of warm weather between the last frost of spring and first frost of fall (this is why it's best to plant in the fall). The ideal soil temperature when planting garlic is 70 degrees Fahrenheit; this will allow the bulb to develop slowly over time.

If you don't live in an area with these conditions, don't despair! You can grow garlic indoors or try other varieties like grano duro or rocambole that are more tolerant of cooler temperatures.

Pick a suitable variety

If you're new to growing garlic, it's important to start with a variety that will grow well in your region. Garlic is planted in the fall and harvested in the late summer or early fall, so if your climate is prone to early frosts or late spring rains, choose a softneck variety that can withstand these challenges. You also need a hardneck variety if you plan on using it for braiding (which most people do).

If you have very poor soil quality but still want some homegrown garlic for eating straight out of hand and planting next year's crop of cloves, consider using an "Elephant" type of garlic plant that grows large bulbs with many cloves inside them. These types tend not to produce smaller heads like other varieties do—they just get bigger! They might not be as tasty as other types either, but they're very forgiving when it comes time for harvest season since they'll often yield at least something even if they aren't planted deep enough underground or watered regularly enough during drought conditions due their massiveness--almost like an insurance policy against failure

Space plants properly

A good rule of thumb is to plant garlic at least 12 inches apart, unless you're growing a variety known as elephant or dinosaur garlic (which can grow larger and don't need much space). You should not plant your cloves any closer than 12 inches apart because this can cause problems with disease and pests. Planting the bulbs too close together will also lead to small bulbs in the end, so if you want bigger ones, give them some breathing room!

Ensure correct soil drainage

Garlic prefers well-drained soil that drains quickly, but make sure you don’t have overly sandy or clay soil. A raised bed is ideal for garlic planting since this will help prevent water from pooling around your plants’ roots and rotting them. If you can’t create a raised bed, make sure the soil is well-drained and doesn't hold water for too long.

Plant garlic in mid-October to early December so the roots have time to develop before winter sets in—but don't plant too early either! Garlic needs approximately six weeks of growing time before it's ready for harvesting at the end of June or beginning of July (depending where you live).

Don't let your garlic dry out; ensure good drainage but also add organic matter like compost so there isn’t any standing water around its base once it rains heavily during the summer months!

Temperature control

The best temperature for growing garlic is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Garlic is a cool-weather crop, so if you live in a warmer climate, you'll have to grow it in the fall or winter. If you grow your garlic in the heat of summer, the bulbs will be smaller and less flavorful than if they were grown at cooler temperatures.

Water appropriately

You should water your garlic deeply but infrequently. Water it in the morning, when the sun has dried off any dew on its leaves. Don't water after sunset and never water when it is cold or hot. If rain is expected within 24 hours of planting your garlic, wait to plant until after the rain stops.

Harvest at the correct time

When you're ready to harvest, use your hands to gently twist the bulbs out of the soil. If they're very tight, you can use a garden fork or trowel to loosen them from the earth.

The garlic is ready when it's large enough and its leaves are yellowing. To test for ripeness, squeeze the bulb: if it feels firm and dry and there's little give, it's time for harvest!


Growing garlic is not difficult, but it does require certain conditions to be met. It is important to know what these are before you plant your seeds or set out your bulbs in the spring. Follow these tips, and you’ll have a bumper crop of fresh garlic ready for harvesting in no time!