How to Plant Garlic & Onions


A few of the easiest vegetables to grow in a garden, no matter how much room you have, are garlic and onions. Even if you've never grown them before, garlic and onions are some of the simplest to plant and care for. Be sure to start with fresh garlic cloves and onion sets that look healthy and show no signs of disease or rot.

Step 1

Prepare your garden in early spring by loosening the soil 6 to 8 inches deep. Spread manure, compost, or garden soil over the top of the entire bed 4 inches deep and turn the soil to mix it in.

Step 2

Drag your hoe through the soil to make a furrow 1 inch deep by however long you want. Make multiple rows, if needed--15 inches apart for garlic and 6 inches apart for onions.

Step 3

Plant both onions and garlic 1 inch deep in the furrows, 4 to 5 inches apart. Be sure to position the clove or onion set with the pointed end facing up. Cover the cloves and sets and press lightly to secure them.

Step 4

Water the garlic and onions as often as needed to keep the soil moist. When watering, look for weeds that may try to grow in the newly dug soil and use the cultivator every few weeks to dislodge them.

Step 5

Encourage bulb formation by pinching off flowers of the garlic when they form and bending the stalks over toward the ground without breaking them. For onions don't pinch the flowers off, but do bend the stalks over before the flowers have a chance to open. Pull up mature garlic and onions when the stalks have turned brown.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or tiller
  • Well-rotted manure, compost, or garden soil
  • Hoe
  • Garlic cloves
  • Onion sets
  • Water
  • Cultivator


  • "Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide"; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000
Keywords: plant garlic and onions, planting garlic onions, growing garlic onions, how garlic onions

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.