Quick Reference

Type of Harvest: Single harvest

Transplant/Direct Sow: Direct sow

When to Plant: October is garlic planting month. 

Days to Sprouting: 4-8 weeks

Days to Maturity: 90 days

Planting Depth: 1-3” deep - deeper in sandy soil - Cover with 3-4 inches of loose mulch or straw.

Germination Temp: 55°F

Seed Spacing: Plant 3-6” apart. 

Row Spacing: 6" apart

Light: Full sun

Soil pH: 6.0-7.0 pH

Water:  1/2 - 1" of water per week - more in dry conditions.

Soil Temperature: Minimum 55°F. These are cool weather loving plants.

Fertilizer: 10-10-10 N-P-K ratio

Rotation: Garlic is a heavy feeder - rotate each year and prep the new location with a balanced fertilizer or rich compost. 


Harvest Type

Garlic plants produce one bulb, so harvest is singular though the entire crop of garlic may mature over the span of a week or so. 

Transplant / Direct Sow

Direct Sow garlic in October. In more northern areas, plant garlic cloves in mid- to late-September. You want to be sure that your garlic crop is in the ground 2-3 weeks before the first frost. 


Full Sun

When to Plant:

Direct sow seeds when the soil temperature is in the 55°F range. Garlic will sprout in colder soil, it just takes longer. 

Days to Sprouting

Garlic can begin to sprout in as little as seven days, or it may take 8 weeks. Much depends on the soil temperature. 

Days to maturity

It takes about 90 days for Garlic to reach full maturity.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds 1 - 3" deep. Be sure to cover the soil with 3-4 inches of loose mulch, such as straw. 

Germination Temperature Range

Germination is best when the soil is 55°F; however, garlic will sprout in colder soil, so long as the soil is not frozen. 

Spacing Between Plants

Plant seeds 3-6" apart. Six inches between plants is ideal since you will want space to loosen the soil between bulbs. Garlic is a narrow plant with a shallow root ball. The added space between plants allows you to hoe the soil, which allows the bulbs to expand freely. 

Companion Plants

Rue is a good companion plant for garlic. Rue helps to discourage garlic flies and their maggots. Otherwise, garlic should be grown free of other plants and weeds. It will use as much of the nutrients in the soil as possible. 

Growing conditions

Garlic likes loamy soil with a lot of nutrients, but that is also well-draining. Plant in October as the seasons change and the nights are getting colder. Your goal in planting garlic should be 2-3 weeks before the first frost date. 

Tip: Old-time farmers planted garlic during the waning crescent moon to improve plant growth and establishment of the cloves. 


Garlic is a heavy feeder, and you should rotate the crop each year. Also, garlic can be pestered by garlic maggots and rotation of the crop helps prevent soil pest issues. 

Anticipated yields

Plan your garden yield at 15-20 garlic bulbs plants per person. Expect about five pounds of garlic per 10 feet of row space. 

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