Garlic Seed Planting Instructions

Overview

A member of the allium family, garlic is a beneficial addition to the home garden. Not only is it heart healthy, it is also used in a wide array of cuisines ranging from Italian to Spanish to Greek to Hawaiian. Growing garlic at home is simple and rewarding. When planting garlic at home, you use the individual cloves as the seeds, and the shoots will come from the bulbs after they are planted. After growing garlic, you can move on to adding other garlic family members to your garden, such as leeks or shallots.

Step 1

Decide what time of year you want to plant your garlic, in late fall or early spring. Plant in spring if you have warmer regional weather (cooler and rainy conditions can produce weaker bulbs). Plant garlic in fall if you live more north, right after the first major frost of the year.

Step 2

Prepare the planting site with six to eight hours of sun per day and with well-draining soil on even ground or a raised bed. Add loam and composted manure to make the planting site rich with nutrients. Since garlic takes about eight to nine months to mature, the spot should be somewhere that won't be in a major path of foot traffic.

Step 3

Prepare the garlic for planting. Break the bulbs apart into cloves, away from the basal plate (where the roots grow from). Each clove should break away cleanly; do your best not to damage the 'footprint,' which is the woody patch where the clove was attached to the basal plate. Keep all the largest bulbs to plant and keep the smaller ones for culinary use.

Step 4

Dig a 2-inch deep furrow in the soil with the trowel. Plant each individual clove upright in the soil, 4 inches apart. For rows, keep them at least 15 inches apart. Cover with 1 inch of soil.

Step 5

Water the garlic with about 1 inch of water. From here on out, about 1 inch will be needed per week, depending on your climate. Garlic's new green shoots should show up in about four to six weeks.

Step 6

Protect the garlic for severe winters when it is dormant by covering the planting area with straw. Although garlic is winter hardy, it can be damaged in very cold temperatures below freezing.

Things You'll Need

  • Loam
  • Composted manure
  • Trowel
  • Straw

References

  • Garlic Central: Growing Garlic
  • Garlic Farm: Growing Garlic
Keywords: planting garlic, growing garlic, garlic seed planting

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.