Create an ideabook for your next remodeling project!
Browse more than 1,000,000 photos from top designers and save your favorites
When to plant: Plant in fall for the best results. Planting times vary. In cold-winter areas, plant about six weeks before the ground freezes. In mild-winter areas, wait until later, usually after the first frost. Tradition says plant on the autumn equinox or the shortest day of the year.
Time to maturity: Around 9 months
Light requirement: Full sun
Water requirement: Keep the soil moist but not overly damp or soggy.
Favorites: Ajo Rojo, Bogatyr, Carpathian, Creole Red, German Red, Inchelium Red, Marble Purple Stripe, Polish White, Purple Stripe, Siberian, Silver Rose, Spanish Roja
Planting and care: Break the bulbs into individual cloves. Use the largest cloves that have roots attached. Set in the soil so the points face up; the top of the clove should be about 2 inches deep, and the cloves should be set 6 to 8 inches apart; plant elephant garlic a little farther apart. Cover them and keep the soil moist but not soggy. In cold-weather climates, thoroughly cover with mulch during the winter months to prevent any soil heaving caused by temperature fluctuations.
Remove the mulch in spring and continue to keep the soil moist while the bulbs develop. Keep the garden bed well weeded, but be careful not to harm the bulbs. Stop watering when the tips of the leaves start to turn brown.
There are different schools of thought on whether to remove the scapes from hardneck garlic. If you want, remove them after they form and cook them up as a type of green — if you like the taste of the garlic you're growing, then you'll probably like the scapes.
Though garlic plants are usually pest free, they can develop some problems. Issues like thrips can usually be solved by good gardening practices. Prevent root maggots by not planting where you’ve planted other members of the onion family in the previous two years. White rot can also be a problem, as well as some other diseases. If a disease develops, pull out the affected plant and dispose of it.
Harvest: You can pick off some of the leaves to use when they are about a foot tall, but don’t remove all of them. Once about three-quarters of the leaves have turned brown, carefully remove the bulbs with a garden fork to avoid breaking them apart. You might want to harvest softneck garlic a bit earlier if you plan to braid it. Hang the bulbs in bundles in a dry, well-ventilated spot until the skins become fragile and paperlike, usually about three to six weeks. At that point, remove any dirt and cut off almost all of the roots. Store in a mesh bag in a cool, well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight.
More: How to Grow Cool-Season Vegetables