How to Plant Garlic: A Step-by-Step Guide

Discover the art of planting garlic for a flavorful harvest. From soil prep to pest control, we've got you covered. Join the garlic-growing journey!


5/19/20243 min read

green metal garden shovel filled with brown soil
green metal garden shovel filled with brown soil

Garlic, with its rich flavor and numerous health benefits, is a staple in kitchens worldwide. But did you know that it's also remarkably easy to grow in your own garden? In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about planting garlic. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a novice, learning how to plant garlic will not only provide you with a fresh supply of this aromatic herb but also add a touch of homegrown goodness to your meals.

Step 1: Selecting and Preparing the Cloves

To start your garlic-growing journey, it's crucial to select high-quality cloves for planting. Look for large, firm bulbs with unbroken skin, preferably organic and locally sourced. Avoid cloves that are soft, moldy, or sprouting prematurely. Before planting, gently separate the cloves from the bulb, being careful not to damage them. Aim to use the largest cloves for planting, as they will produce the biggest bulbs. Once selected, it's essential to prepare the cloves by removing any outer layers of papery skin, but leave the inner skin intact to protect the cloves during planting and germination.

Step 2: Preparing Your Garden

When choosing a location to plant garlic, opt for a spot with well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight, ideally receiving at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Avoid areas prone to waterlogging, as garlic bulbs can rot in overly wet conditions. Prepare the soil by loosening it to a depth of about 8 inches (20 cm) using a garden fork or tiller. Remove any weeds and debris, then amend the soil with compost or aged manure to improve its texture and fertility. Additionally, adding a balanced fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content can encourage robust root development. You will need:

  • Garden fork or tiller,

  • Compost or aged manure,

  • Balanced fertilizer (we recommend an all-natural fertilizer),

  • Rake.

Step 3: Garlic Meet Soil!

To plant garlic cloves, begin by spacing them about 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) apart in rows, with each row separated by 12-18 inches (30-45 cm). Dig individual holes for each clove, ensuring they are around 2 inches (5 cm) deep with the pointed end facing up and the flat end down. Once planted, cover the cloves with soil and gently pat down the surface to ensure good soil-to-clove contact. It's best to water the soil thoroughly before planting to ensure adequate moisture, then continue to water regularly throughout the growing season, especially during dry spells.

Step 4: Garlic Maintenance

As your garlic begins to grow, monitor its progress regularly. Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids or white rot and take appropriate action if necessary. It's crucial to maintain consistent soil moisture, so water your garlic plants regularly, aiming to keep the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Adjust watering frequency based on weather conditions, ensuring the soil doesn't dry out completely between waterings. For more detailed guidance on growing garlic and maximizing your harvest, explore additional resources available at Garlic Infused Living. Happy growing!


How deep to plant garlic cloves?

Garlic cloves should be planted about 2 inches (5 cm) deep with the pointed end facing up.

How to plant garlic cloves in the fall?

In regions with cold winters, plant garlic cloves in the fall before the ground freezes, allowing them to establish roots over the winter.

How to plant garlic in a pot?

Choose a deep pot with good drainage, fill it with well-draining soil, and plant garlic cloves about 2 inches (5 cm) deep, ensuring they receive adequate sunlight.

How far apart to plant garlic?

Space garlic cloves about 6 inches (15 cm) apart in rows, with rows spaced about 12 inches (30 cm) apart.

Can you grow garlic from the grocery store?

Yes, you can grow garlic from store-bought bulbs, but it's best to select organic garlic to avoid potential treatments that could inhibit sprouting.