Growing Information


Plant garlic in the fall, and depending on your location, it is best to plant garlic 2-4 weeks before the ground freezes solid.  You are hoping to provide good conditions for the cloves to establish some roots before the onset of freezing winter temperatures, while not yet sending up an above ground shoot. If your ground does not freeze solid, plant 2-4 weeks before the coldest time of year. Gently break the bulbs apart and use all cloves that are plump and firm, all sizes of cloves can be planted since they contain the same genetic material. Try to keep as much wrapper on as possible to help keep out any soil-borne diseases. Plant root end down, and tip up, 2-3 inches deep, or as far into the soil as your fingers will press the clove. Space cloves no closer than 6” apart with 9” between rows. It is best to plant in full sun and rich, well-drained soil, though garlic will tolerate many soil types, but it will appreciate fertile, well-aerated soil.  Add 3-6 inches of mulch like straw, chopped hay, leaves, or grass clippings. If the soil is dry, make sure the garlic receives water. 

In the spring, you can keep the mulch on the garlic, make sure that each sprout can push through the mulch, and make sure to water as needed.  Keep water in the root zone, not around bulbs. Hardneck varieties (Killarney, Zemo and Chesnok) will send up a flower stalk called a scape. When the scape has formed one curl, they can be snapped off just about the leaves, and eaten!


Harvesting & Curing

Look for the time to harvest your garlic when there are 3-4 remaining green leaves and the rest have dried. Each green leaf equates to one bulb wrapper that will remain on the bulb once harvested, and fewer bulb wrappers will result in a potential shorter storage window. Brush off excess dirt and hang bundles of 5-10 plants out of direct sunlight where there is good air circulation, or lay flat in a single layer with good air movement. You can put a fan directly on the plants in order to aid drying. Let bulbs cure for 3-4 weeks. Trim roots and cut the neck ½” above bulb. 



Store in an open big or bag with circulation, such as netted bag. Ideal storage temperatures are 55-65 degrees and 45%-60% humidity. Refrigerators are too humid, and garlic will begin to sprout.