Growing Garlic : Planting, Harvesting and Caring Garlic Plants

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a hardy plant that prefers hot climates but can also handle cold climates. Growing garlic needs patient of many months.

Learn how to grow garlic in pots and garden beds including planting, watering, harvesting, storing and fertilization.

Garlic Growing Guide

Position:Full sun spot

Planting Time

Garlic should be planted in June -July in warmer climates, April - July in temperate climate and March -June in cool to cold areas. In Queensland and northern NSW it can be planted in March to early April. Planting later will reduce the size of the bulbs.

I have been growing garlic in pots at home for many years now. The garlic plant does not need any special attention except regular watering. Garlic bulb is easy to grow provided you follow the following guidelines.


Garlic likes rich, free draining soil. Mix some river sand, compost and cow manure into the garden soil. The compost and cow manure supply nutrition and retain moisture and river sand makes the soil free draining so that the bulbs do not rot in the soil before they produce shoots (garden soil preparation).


Planting Garlic
Planting Garlic
  1. Do not plant cloves from the grocery store. They are usually treated to make their shelf life longer and hence harder to grow. Instead, buy organic garlic from a nursery.
  2. Select bulbs that are completely dry, whose cloves are firm and with plenty of papery sheath. Avoid soft or spongy cloves and bulbs with green shoots.
  3. You can plant your previous year's best-formed bulbs.
  4. Separate the cloves, but keep the papery husk on each individual clove.
  5. Plant cloves so their pointed tips are about 2 cm below the ground.
  6. In garden beds, plant cloves about 10 cm apart in 40 cm apart rows.

Growing Garlic
Growing Garlic


Mulch the plants to keep weeds down and contain moisture in the soil. I use sugarcane mulch.


Do not allow the soil to completely dry out during bulb formation. Water regularly.
Stop watering when the tops become yellow.

Fertilizer For Cucumbers

Garlic requires adequate levels of nitrogen. Fertilize accordingly.
Liquid feed of fish emulsion can be given every 2-3 weeks.

Pests and Diseases

Garlic is a natural pest repellent so the plant has very few problems with pests and the diseases unlike other vegetable plants.
Rot due to fungus may be a problem in cool weather. It affects the base of the leaves and roots. Rotating your crops and cleaning up the area after harvesting to prevent the rot in next season.

Harvesting and Storing Garlic

Harvested Garlic
Harvested Garlic

  1. I usually cut a few soft green stems from each plant to use them in vegetable curries and coriander chutneys.
  2. Harvest when the tops begin to turn yellow and fall over, before they are completely dry.
  3. Hang the whole plant in bunches, make sure all sides get good air circulation. Allow to dry undercover for 2 to 3 weeks so that the roots and the skins become papery and dry. At this stage, the root crown should be hard, and the cloves can be cracked apart easily.
  4. Remove the leaves and roots but keep the papery wrappers to store.
  5. Store the whole bulbs (do not separate into cloves) in net bags in a cool, dark and dry place. This way, they can be kept for several months.
  6. The flavor will increase as the bulbs are dried.
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