Growing Garlic

Allium sativum : Amaryllidaceae / the onion family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
        P P            

(Best months for growing Garlic in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • P = Plant cloves
  • Easy to grow. Plant cloves. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 10 - 12 cm apart
  • Harvest in 17-25 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Beets, Carrots, Cucumbers, Dill, Tomatoes, Parsnips
  • Avoid growing close to: Asparagus, Beans, Brassicas, Peas, Potatoes
  • Mature cured garlic
  • Almost ready to harvest
  • Garlic cloves
  • Mature cured garlic
  • Young garlic shoots

Garlic is traditionally planted in cold weather and harvested in summer ("plant on the shortest day, harvest on the longest"). Plant the cloves (separated from the bulb), point upwards, deep enough to just cover with soil. A fairly tough and easy-growing plant but in better soil with regular watering you will get a better crop. On poorer soil, and forgetting to water them, you will still get some garlic, only not quite so much, maybe just a single large bulb.

Leave a garlic to go to seed, and you will probably get plenty of self-sown plants the following year.

To keep for later use, dig up and leave to dry out for a day or so after the green shoots die down. To use immediately, pull up a head when you need it, or cut and use the green shoots.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Garlic

Cut the growing shoots or use the entire young garlic plants as 'garlic greens' in stir-fry.

Your comments and tips

15 Apr 08, tiarem (Unknown climate)
Can someone please supply a set of rules for growing garlic. I've not grown it before. My garlic has just shot and is looking healthy but I don't know if I have to fertilize or not, nor do I know how much water to give it
17 Apr 08, Liz (Unknown climate)
Garlic has a long growing season. The old saying "Plant on the shortest day and dig on the longest day" is the easiest way to remember how long. If it is planted in good soil you won't need to fertilize it. In the hot months water regularly, it doesn't like long dry periods.
21 May 08, Leontine (Unknown climate)
So when it says plant garlic cloves, you can just break up and plant the individual cloves that you get from the supermarket?
30 May 08, Abbie (Unknown climate)
You might not be able to plant the garlic from the supermarket depending on where it has come from. Most imported stuff is sprayed with all sorts of toxins, and many are sprayed with various growth inhibitors. Try getting some Australian garlic, or even better some organic garlic. Otherwise, try as they have garlic for sale online.
30 May 08, Chris (Unknown climate)
Leontine, I second what Abbie said. I've tried to grow supermarket garlic. When it was cheap imported garlic it just rotted in the ground. Local stuff, when available, grew ok.
07 Jul 08, Wayne (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Garlic I have grown purple Australian garlic over the past 4 years. I plant the toes on 1 April and pull bulbs early October.This works for my climate. It is trial and error on the pulling up, as too soon they will not keep. I have some bulbs if anyone wishes for me to send. Please email hobbfarm (at) yahoo dot com dot au
12 Apr 15, Richard (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I am just a beginner at this and will thank you for any assistance In growing garlic. I believe the season for growing garlic is Apr -Jun Or there thereabouts . I will be grateful if you can send me some of your garlic bulbs. Thanks. And regards. Richard (Check under plant names for your zone. We do not supply seeds -Liz)
08 Nov 19, Chris Dawson (Australia - temperate climate)
No Richard, that is not the growing season for garlic. People plant the cloves in April to June. We normally harvest around November to December. The old farmers used to say plant on the shortest day (June 21) harvest longest day (December 21).
06 Mar 17, Tony (Australia - temperate climate)
I haven't planted garlic before. Would love some bulbs to try at planting
05 Apr 17, Sakinah (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi there, I know it has been years since you posted about these garlic cloves. But I will try my luck anyway. I have been trying to grow garlics for the past few years but they all eventually rot here in Adelaide. I can give you my address or send to you a prepaid envelope; and I am willing to pay to cover your costs too. Thanks so much!
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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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