Image for Grow Your Own Garlic

Get planting in October for homegrown garlic next year! Follow the guide below from our Floral and Plant Sale Coordinator, Maureen, to enjoy the freshest garlic at home.

What Garlic Needs to Grow Well

  • Full sun
  • Lofty soil, rich in organic matter
  • Even watering
  • Good drainage
  • No competition from weeds
  • Winter protection

Planting, Growing & Harvesting Schedule


  1. Dig up the area you will be planting in; it should be about 8” deep. Incorporate compost into the soil as you dig. Rake it out smooth.
  2. Mark rows with a long stick, about 9” apart.
  3. Break your head(s) of garlic up and plant the cloves, pointed side up, about 6” apart and 3-4” deep.


After the first hard frost, mulch with straw or a combination of straw and leaves.

Early April

In the spring, pull back the mulch from the garlic bed. It is not necessary to do this with hard-neck garlic, but it needs to be done with soft-neck.

Green Garlic stems can be harvested around the end of April.


If you are going to fertilize, do it before mid-May. This is when the garlic plant is putting out its leaf mass.

In mid to late May, the bulbs have begun to form!


By mid-June, the scapes are out. When the scapes are about 9-10” long, cut them about 1” from the top leaves of the plant. Cutting the scapes promotes bulb development.

Stop watering the garlic about 2 weeks before harvest.


Harvest the garlic when about 40% of the leaves have started to shrivel and dry up.

  1. Use a garden fork to loosen the soil next to the bulbs and lift. Do not pull on the stems or they may break.
  2. Do not let the garlic sit out in the direct sunlight too long while harvesting.
  3. Dry the bulbs on a rack or hang to cure. Bundle in groups of 10 or so and set in a protected area out of direct sunlight with good ventilation.


Once dried/cured, cut the stems back to 1-2 inches and the roots to about a ½ inch. Be careful not to disturb the basal plate. Store at 60% humidity at about 55-60° F.