How to Plant Garlic Seeds


Just as you plant potatoes in order to grow potatoes, you have to plant garlic to get garlic. For strong, homegrown flavor, seed cloves of garlic can be purchased at most garden centers for planting in the spring or fall. Be sure to purchase enough bulbs to supply 12 to 16 cloves per family member. To plant garlic seed cloves, you'll want to prepare a bed of loose soil and keep the garlic well watered.

Step 1

Dig the soil with the shovel in an area of your garden where the garlic will see full sun at least six hours each day and the soil drains well. The bed should be loose up to 8 inches deep.

Step 2

Drag the hoe along the bed to form a 1-inch deep trench for planting your garlic. If you need multiple rows, be sure to space them 15 inches away from one another.

Step 3

Divide your garlic bulb or head into individual cloves, and set each clove 1 inch deep into the trench pointing upward, spacing the cloves 4 to 8 inches apart. Use the center clove of the bulb for cooking, as this part typically doesn't perform well when planted.

Step 4

Cover over the cloves leaving only the tip of the clove and any green stalk sticking up from the surface. Don't pack the clove in or you may restrict growth, but you do want to firm the soil around it so it will stay put even in heavy rain.

Step 5

Water the garlic and soil area well to moisten the soil evenly. Continue to water as often as necessary to keep the soil damp and not allow the garlic to dry out. Keeping the area free of weeds will ensure the garlic gets enough water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid purchasing garlic from the grocery store and trying to plant it even if it is sprouting. Some seed cloves have been treated to avoid disease, while supermarket varieties have not.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Seed cloves
  • Water


  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
Keywords: planting garlic, starting garlic, planting garlic cloves

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.