Growing garlic

Joined Dec 12, 2000
Okay, here's what I did, I was asking around at the farmers market about growing garlic, and someone told me I had to wait until september to plant, anyway, just for the heck of it, I took a couple of store bought bulbs and planted them in small planters filled with top soil,just to see what would happen, of course I didn't separate the cloves, but now I actually have some sprouts coming up, so I know it's time to replant the garlic into the garden, only thing is where do I go, or what do I do from there ??, should I water daily ?? I read somewhere that garlic prefers well drained soil., and when will I know when it is ready to be harvested ??, I know it's going to take a couple of months, and should I replant in the fall as well, or should the root system be well enough in place that it will reseed itself by next spring ??. When I do pick the garlic out of the garden, should it be hung for a few days before taking the greens off ??, or does that make much of difference ??. just a few things I needed to ask, all answers are appreciated,
Jeff =>
Joined Oct 9, 2002
I recall reading that grocery garlic is treated to delay sprouting and if used it wouldn't product much of a yield. Heck, it could be they are merely justifying the costs of the growing garlic. At any rate, if you don't separate the cloves when you replant them, I'd imagine your in for a bit of a mess. Each clove produces a full head. I can't imagine what a full bulb would become underground.

When I grew garlic, I didn't go through any special soil preparation...just planted them in some soft soil so they'd have little resistance underground. Also, you're supposed to plant the cloves upside down. Since you're already sprouting, not sure if that would be advisable.

As for harvesting, I washed as much dirt off as I careful or you'll rub off all the outer papery layers in the process and then let them dry out before cutting down the stems.

Nothing better than home grown garlic!
Joined Jan 24, 2003
plant ideally early spring, seperate the cloves & plant individually. harvest in the autumn. Mines doing well in rather a cold climate.
Joined Dec 30, 1999

If you're planting in the spring, where are you getting your bulbs from? It is certainly helpful that you are in a cooler climate.

It is generally not recommended to plant in spring unless the bulbs have already had a "cold treatment". It also depends on the climate and whether hard-neck or soft-neck varieties are going in.

"In the North, plant 4-6 weeks before the ground freezes. This gives the plant time to make good root development but not enough time to make leaf growth. Where winters are milder, garlic is planted from October through January. Where winters are so severe or snow cover so unreliable that garlic freezes out, soft-neck varieties are planted in spring."
How to Grow Garlic

"Time of planting is critical since both optimum shoot and bulb development require a cold treatment... Ideally, roots should be developing and shoots should be emerging from the clove but not above the soil at the time of the first hard freeze (28 degrees Fahrenheit). Garlic shoots will emerge from the ground in late March or early April. Unless given a proper cold treatment prior to planting, garlic planted in the spring will often produce weak shoots and poorly developed bulbs. Lack of scape development in hardneck garlic and bulbing in all garlic is usually due to an inadequate cold treatment."
Growing Garlic

The best book on the subject is Growing Great Garlic: The Definitive Guide for Organic Gardeners and Small Farmers

Gardening organizations of British Columbia

Also, trust your farmers market growers. They obviously grow it in your area so they'll be able to provide you with the most accurate advice.

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