Mrs. David's Garden Seeds®

Plant Garlic Bulbs In The Fall

You need to plant garlic bulbs in the fall if you want garlic by summer. It takes approximately 240 days for garlic to ripen once it is planted. The bulbs need to be overwintered in order to bring full flavor when you pick it in eight months. If you plant your garlic in October, it should be ready to pick by June.

Imagine, your own fresh garlic year round. Garlic for all of your sauces--Italian spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, marinara, salsa, whatever you can imagine. Saute garlic to flavor meat, rice, and so much more. How about making your own garlic bread instead of buying it at the grocery store? Best of all, since you grew it, you know there are no harmful pesticides on it so you know your family will enjoy chemical-free flavor.

You can grow enough for the year by planting enough this fall. Then save your best garlic bulbs for next year's planting. The key is proper drying and storage which I cover down below.

This is Bavarian garlic.This is Bavarian garlic.

As I stated above, garlic really needs to be planted in September and October so it can be ready to enjoy in May and June.

David's Garden Seeds® sells garlic each fall. We usually get our garlic bulbs in near the end of September. We are almost sold out already after having them for one week so we just got another three large boxes of them in yesterday at the end of the day. On Monday, they will need to be packed for sale.

***UPDATE 2023: We have our garlic in now on 8/30/2023 so order now. We have 6 varieties this year. Don't wait. It is going fast.

Beautiful purple and white Dunganski garlic bulbs.Beautiful purple and white Dunganski garlic bulbs.

Two Types Of Garlic

There are two types garlic--hardneck and softneck. Hardneck is best in Northern climates as it is more hardy than softneck garlic. But hardneck does not store as well as softneck garlic does. After harvest, hardneck varieties are shriveling up within four to six months.

Softneck garlic grows better in the South. It also stores better, for up to one full year.

We suggest getting a variety of garlics for you to plant in your garden. Some plant garlic bulbs in a container. It can be done, but if you have a garden bed that is not being used this winter, we suggest putting them in the ground.

We are in South Central Texas and we plant garlic bulbs each year that are hardneck. They do fine, especially with the crazy winters we have had for the past two years.

How To Plant Garlic Bulbs

Before you plant garlic bulbs, make sure the soil is loose and you have added compost into it. We make our own compost here on the farm. You can, too, no matter where you live.

When you want to plant garlic bulbs in the fall, you will buy a whole garlic bulb with six to eight cloves, depending on the size of the bulb. Now, some varieties of garlic have three to five cloves. You will need to separate each clove in order to plant it. Keep the papery skin on the cloves. Do not remove it. This provides a bit of protection for the clove in the ground until it sprouts.

The pointed end of the clove will go up and the wider end which is the root will go down. Plant each clove two inches deep and four to eight inches apart. Plant each row six to twelve inches apart. That way, each garlic bulb that grows will have plenty of room to spread out.

The good news about garlic is that the smell naturally keeps away most bothersome garden pests. It is easy to grow and requires little maintenance and little water. Now if you live in a drought plagued area like South Central Texas in 2022, you will need to water regularly because we are not getting rain. But if you live somewhere normal that gets a nice amount of rain each week, you are good to go. If it has been 10 to 12 days without rain, give the garlic some water.

Ivan garlic is a white hard-necked garlic. Remember to plant garlic bulbs in the fall for summer harvest.Ivan garlic is a white hard-necked garlic. Remember to plant garlic bulbs in the fall for summer harvest.

Once you plant garlic bulbs, do water them and then cover them with a nice layer of mulch or hay. This year (2022) we covered our garlic beds with hay that we just bought this week. The hay or mulch keeps the ground moist longer than if you do not mulch.

Once the crop has sprouted in the next four weeks or so, add a few more inches of hay on top to protect the garlic from the cold in winter. When winter comes, the garlic will go dormant and then continue to grow in the spring.


In early spring, the tops of the garlic plants will start turning brown. When most of them are brown, it is time to harvest. Of course, you can also count 240 days or eight months on your calendar so you know about when the harvest should be.

If you want to keep some of your garlic bulbs to plant next fall, save the biggest and best of them and that way, you will get bigger, better garlic in the following summer.


Do not wash off your garlic once it is harvested. This will cause it to rot before it has had a chance to cure. Also, do not cut the stems off. Lay it outside on a table or in a big, roomy place like a barn and let it dry naturally.

After a few weeks, you can cut part of the stem off to store or you can use the stems to braid the garlic together for storage purposes.

Return from Plant Garlic Bulbs In The Fall to Companion Planting

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