An easy way to grow an essential ingredient.

Growing garlic (2)

As the cooler months creep in, it's time to plant bulbs in the garden and at the top of the list is garlic!

It's easy to grow and will always be useful in the kitchen. Here's everything you need to know to yield your garlic crop.

Soil type Moist, well-drained soil, enriched with organic matter. Do not plant in freshly manured soil.

Soil preparation Dig in organic compost or well-rotted manure a few months prior to planting. Our no-dig garden bed is the perfect soil preparation for your garlic prop.

Suitable for all climates.

Prefers full sun or partial shade.

Use organic Australian garlic if you can.

When to sow cloves

  • Hot climate from June–July.
  • Temperate climate from April–July.
  • Cooler climate from March–June.

Water requirements
Keep soil moist, but do not over-water. Be sparing with water as the bulb matures.

Sow garlic cloves directly into the ground, pointy end up, 3 cm deep. Plant 15 cm apart in rows 30 cm apart or in a 2 m2 block. Also plant around the base of fruit trees, and inter-plant the blocks with beneficial flowering plants like nasturtium, pyrethrum and lavender.

When to fertilise
Use a compost tea, worm tea or liquid seaweed once a month.

Special needs
Frost-tolerant; once established, garlic needs little attention

Harvest period – 6–8 months after planting

  • Harvest the garlic when the lower leaves have all died down and only the top six leaves are still green. Once the garlic starts to lose its leaves, discontinue watering and let the soil begin to dry out to make harvesting easier – it's easier to pull garlic out of loose soil than mud.
  • Every few days you can dig down around a few plants to inspect the size and shape of the bulbs, being careful not to disturb the roots, until you are satisfied they are ready. If they're not ready yet, carefully replace the soil and let them go a few days more then inspect again. Leave the harvest in a sheltered spot for a day or so to allow the outer skin to dry, then brush off any dry soil and store.

Companion planting
Garlic is good to grow with tomatoes, roses and fruit. Garlic won't be happy if you plant it with peas and beans. The secretions of sulphur from garlic is said to improve the scent of roses. Garlic also repels aphids and borer, which is a plus for any garden!

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