Planting, Growing & Harvesting Garlic


Garlic can be planted in the Spring as soon as the ground can be worked, but fall planting is recommended for most gardeners. Plant in the Fall and you will find that your bulbs are bigger and more flavourful when you harvest next Summer.

• In areas that get hard frost, plant garlic 6-8 weeks before frost date.

• Break apart the cloves from the bulb a few days before planting, but keep the papery husk on each individual clove.

• Plant cloves about one month before the ground freezes.

• Do NOT plant cloves from the grocery store. They may be unsuited to our area, and most are treated to make their shelf life longer.

• Ensure the soil is sandy well-drained with plenty of organic matter. Add Art Knapp bone meal to the soil. Select a sunny spot.

• Place cloves 4 inches apart and 2 inches deep,I n their upright position.


• Northern gardeners should mulch heavily with straw for overwintering.

• Mulch should be removed in the Spring after the threat of frost has passed

• Cut off any flower shoots that emerge in the Spring. These may decrease bulb size. These “scrapes” are great in cooking.

• Garlic requires adequate levels of nitrogen. Fertilize in the Spring with Art Knapp 8-20-20 fertilizer

• Water every 3 to 5 days during mid May to June

Harvest & Storage:

• In late July or August, the clue for harvesting is to look for yellow tops. Harvest when tops are yellow before they fully dry.

• To harvest carefully lift the bulbs with a spade or garden fork.Pull the plants, carefully brush off the soil, and let them dry in an airy shaded spot for 2 weeks.

• The bulbs are cured and ready to store when wrappers are dry and papery, and the roots are dry. The root crown should be hard, and the cloves can be easily cracked apart.

• Bulbs should be stored in a cool dark, dry place and kept there for several months.

Recommended Varieties:

Softneck: like their names, they have necks that stay soft after harvest and therefore are the types you see braided.Strong, intense flavor.

Hardneck: grow one ring of cloves on the stem. Extremely cold hardy, but do not store as nicely as other varieties. Flavor is more mild.

Elephant: AKA great neck garlic. More closely related to the leek family. Large cloves that taste more like onion.