How to Plant Garlic Seed


Garlic (Allium sativum) does not produce true seeds. Growers consider each clove of the head as a seed and nursery seed stock is preferable to garlic that you purchase at your grocery store. Nursery garlic seed has not been treated and it is proven. You can purchase garlic seed clove as bulbs from local growers, at some nursery and garden centers and online. Plant the garlic seed in the fall, after the first hard frost.

Step 1

Determine where you will plant the garlic seeds. The area should receive six hours of sunlight per day.

Step 2

Add a 3-inch layer of compost and a 3-inch layer of sand to the planting area and, using the gardening fork, mix them into the soil to a depth of 12 inches.

Step 3

Deliver or mail a soil sample to your county cooperative extension office for analysis. Let the agent know that you intend to grow garlic so that you will receive appropriate amendment suggestions. Garlic requires a soil pH of 6 to 7.

Step 4

Amend the soil with the materials suggested by the results of the soil analysis. Pour them onto the planting area and mix them in to a depth of 8 inches.

Step 5

Separate the garlic seed cloves.

Step 6

Plant the garlic seed cloves, pointed end up, so that the base of the clove lies 4 inches beneath the soil. Plant the garlic seed cloves 5 inches apart in rows that are 30 inches apart.

Step 7

Cover the cloves with soil and water the area to a depth of 6 inches. Keep the soil moist, not soggy.

Step 8

Place a 3-inch layer of straw mulch over the planting bed three weeks after planting. Remove it when the soil warms in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Compost
  • Sand
  • Trowel
  • Weed seed-free straw mulch


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Garlic in Minnesota
  • Hood River Garlic: How to Grow Garlic
Keywords: plant garlic seed, grow garlic seed, plant garlic clove

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.