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Planting garlic in the fall – How to maximize your harvest with little effort and proven planting method.

If you decided to create new garden beds after the summer season, garlic is best planted in the fall. Before the frost freezes the garden soil, this allows the roots to develop, so that the plants spend the winter healthy under the soil surface. In addition, garlic is one of the few plants that you can plant during the fall season and harvest the following summer. This crop is quite useful as an ingredient in cooking and is surprisingly easy to grow in the garden. Here is some useful information and tips that can help you get this gardening job done.

Planting garlic in the fall – preparation and soil care.

sprouted clove of garlic plants in autumn and water and fertilize regularly

After removing summer season garden debris and preparing your garden soil for winter with compost, you can reserve space for growing garlic. This planting time gives it a head start on development, so the plant will grow faster and more resilient in the spring. A good rule of thumb is not to plant garlic until after the autumn equinox in late September . Just like onions and other plants in the Allium family, garlic is sensitive to day length and matures during the longest days of summer. Planting in the fall, accordingly, gives him a jump start on the growing season, making him one of the first plants to appear in the garden next spring.

The right choice of plant varieties for cultivation.

by careful selection of suitable varieties plant garlic in autumn as productive planting time

These plants need at least two years between successive plantings, if not more, to allow the soil to recover. Garlic is usually hardy and unaffected by many pests or diseases. However, it requires full sun and loamy soil. Select garlic cloves for planting based on your preferences for flavor and use. Those from grocery stores are not a good choice, however, as they may be varieties unsuitable for your region. Most of these are also treated with growth inhibitors to extend their shelf life, making them more difficult to grow.

plant garlic with suitable large cloves in autumn with fertilized and nutritious garden soil

It’s best to find a reputable dealer and choose only clean, healthy varieties. Local farmers who grow garlic are an excellent seed source. You will need to crush your bulbs, but no more than a day before planting so the root bulbs don’t dry out and can take root quickly. Sort them all and reserve the largest ones for growing. You can use the smaller ones in recipes for delicious dishes during the fall season. Larger cloves make larger bulbs at harvest time.

Choose the best planting period

use planting method with garlic cloves in autumn season and harvest the next late summer


As mentioned earlier, in most regions the best time to grow garlic plants is traditionally in the fall. When winter comes and the ground freezes, the plants go dormant. Once the ground warms up in the spring, garlic begins to grow again where it left off. Garlic thrives in full sun and loose soil. Choose a garden bed that has not grown anything in the bulb family in the last two years, and one that receives an average of at least six hours of sunlight each day.

plant garlic in a raised bed with mulch in autumn and enjoy the harvest next summer

Remove weeds and spread some organic slow-release fertilizer according to the instructions on the package. Add about 5 centimeters of finished compost and work it into the top layer of soil. However, fall planting time depends entirely on your climate and growing region. It is common to plant garlic between mid-September and mid-October, but this time frame may change if you are growing in very short or very long growing seasons.

How garlic planting is best done in the fall.

plant garlic plants side by side with the tops up in the soil in the fall for a rich harvest


If your garden soil is amended, you should plant garlic cloves root side down and upright. You can plant a single row or several rows with 10 to 20 inches between plants, planting at least 5 inches below the soil surface. Mulch with a good four 10 cm of straw or shredded leaves. If the planting area is in a windy location, place branches over the bed to hold the straw in place. In addition, good soil preparation is necessary if you want to produce the best and largest bulbs. You need deeply cultivated, well-drained, rich soil with a pH of 6.4-6.8, so add compost and well-rotted mulch to the bed before planting.

sort out ripe garlic cloves and grow them by hand in the soil in good conditions

Use quality varieties and plant several different ones just in case one performs poorly. Carefully break open the garlic bulb to free all the cloves. Then leave them in their papery skin, but separate them from the bulb and from each other. Be careful not to damage the clove or tear the protective skin. However, do not separate the garlic cloves more than 48 hours before planting so that they do not dry out. Accordingly, the largest of them produce the largest bulbs. Plant individual pieces intact, with the pointy end up. The mulch will help keep the weeds down during the growing season. Your garlic will establish roots but little or no top growth before the ground freezes solid. By early next spring, your garlic will be ready to grow, sending out tiny green shoots as soon as the ground thaws.

The proper garden care for optimal garlic growth.

in spring, green leaves grow from overwintering garlic in a garden soil with straw cover

Remove any cored, moldy, mushy or tiny garlic cloves before growing. They will not grow well in the garden soil and are not worth planting. You are left with all the large and healthy pieces for garden stock. Each garlic clove is easy to plant in its own hole. Dig the holes about 8 inches deep and at least 10-15 inches apart. After positioning the cloves, cover the holes with soil and press lightly. Garlic needs to be watered fairly evenly during the growing season to ensure full development of the bulb. The dying of the leaves indicates that harvest time is near. At this time, you should reduce watering. Not too many pests bother garlic, but don’t plant it where you’ve had problems with wireworms or nematodes. Diseases are more of a problem in poorly drained soils.

garlic plants grown during spring in nutrient-rich garden soil

Feed the plants every two weeks with a liquid fertilizer from the time the shoots emerge in early spring until about June 1. Water is critical during the early summer tuber formation phase, so try about 3 inches per week, including rain. If you grow hard garlic around the time of the summer solstice, your plants will send up a seed stalk. However, you should cut this off so that the plants put all their energy into bulb formation. These stalks curl into a loop and are delicious. Use them in salads, stir-fries, soups, scrambled eggs, or any dish you want to add some flavor from garlic. Grated in a blender with a little olive oil and Parmesan, they also make a particularly tasty pesto.

Plant garlic in the fall and harvest it in the summer.

enjoy abundant harvest of garlic in the garden in optimal conditions and store it properly

Leave a flower stalk or two so you can decide when to harvest your garlic. About four weeks before harvest, the bulbs’ outer skins begin to dry out, so stop watering in July. Too much water at this stage can stain the sheath or even cause mold. Use a shallow shovel to loosen the soil around a few of the plants and lift them by hand, as they can be easily damaged. This will help you determine if they have reached prime maturity. You should harvest garlic before the bracts deteriorate or burst open. Carefully lift the bulbs with a spade or garden fork to harvest. Pull them out, gently brush off the soil, and let them cure for two weeks in an airy, shady spot.

take advantage of the perfect harvest time for garlic with brown leaves in midsummer

Harvest your garlic around the end of July or early August, when the lower third to half of the leaves have turned brown and wilted, but the upper leaves are still green. It can be difficult to decide exactly when to harvest, and this is where flower stalks can come in handy. When the leaves start to turn brown and stand up, it’s time to harvest. So the garlic will certainly be ready for harvest in mid-summer. You will know it is time when the outer leaves of the plant die and turn brown.

Prepare the crop for storage and allow the garlic to cure.

use well stored garlic bulbs for various dishes and spicy dishes in the kitchen

Leave the green stems on the garlic and do not wash it before curing. Lay each plant flat in a row and then stack the next plants crosswise over it so the bulbs are not touching. Then let the garlic cure in a cool, dry place with adequate ventilation. Hang freshly harvested garlic bulbs to dry for 3-4 weeks. After the leaves, roots, and outer sheaths are completely dry, you can brush off any loose soil and cut open the roots, along with the tops, before storing the garlic. At this point, you can remove any dirt from the bulbs and also wash them off before storing.

store braided bulbs of cured garlic in a dry and ventilated place for a longer period of time

Under optimal conditions of temperatures near freezing and 65-70% humidity, hard garlic will keep for five months and soft garlic for eight months. The flavor increases when the bulbs are dried. Save the largest garlic cloves to replant for next year. Experienced gardeners claim that garlic can “learn” because it adapts to growing conditions and gets better every year.