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How to: Planting Your Hardneck Garlic Bulbs in the Fall

How to: Planting Your Hardneck Garlic Bulbs in the Fall


By the time November rolls around here in the North, our gardens have been cleared out, neatened up and prepped for a long winter rest. Something else you can do in preparation (or longing) for spring is to plant hardneck garlic bulbs before the ground freezes over. Hardneck garlic requires a "sleep" period of sorts after setting it's roots in order to be able to produce in the spring. 


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Plant your garlic in fertile soil by putting a few inches of compost or an organic granular fertilizer to the beds. Make sure your area has been fully tilled before mapping out your garlic rows. They'll need to be 2 feet apart.

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Cut the necks off your garlic bulbs before breaking the outer skin to reveal the cloves inside.

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Dig down 4-6 inches deep for each row.

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Place your cloves flat end down, pointed tip up. The cloves should be planted 6 inches apart and at least 2 inches of soil above the clove.

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Cover loosely with the soil you dug out to create the row.

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Cover with some sort of mulch, like straw, grass clippings or chopped up leaves to prevent weeds, as garlic does not like competing with other growth.

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Ta-da! You're done! It really is that simple, and you'll be able to harvest your garlic as soon as late July.

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Get your Garlic HERE!

17 comments on How to: Planting Your Hardneck Garlic Bulbs in the Fall

  • Patricia Cassayre
    Patricia CassayreSeptember 29, 2022

    Think this is very informative. This may help a lot of people learning to plant. .

  • Scott
    ScottSeptember 10, 2022

    In Northern Pennsylvania zone 5a have been planting the large saved cloves for about 6 years on Columbus Day. Now I plant in mid September. Bulbs have been larger!

  • William G. Schwartz
    William G. SchwartzJanuary 25, 2022

    To increase the size of the bulb at harvest time, remove the flower head as soon as it appears in mid spring. this works for me for my elephant garlic especially. As a lawyer/ nurseryman, I formed the ACS, donated and planted specimen japanese maple trees at the Whitehouse in DC,( I used to propagate hundreds of varieties of acer palmatum and discovered many witches brooms,etc,etc. Love your lettuce varieties.

    JANET NECESSARYJanuary 25, 2022

    I have had the best garlic crops the past 2 years because i started planting the garlic in newly dug beds away from my regular vegetable garden. before I started doing this my garlic had a fungal disease and a lot of it rotted in the soil. New beds have prevented that.

  • Randal L James
    Randal L JamesJanuary 25, 2022

    I started growing garlic in 2006 with some bulbs that I bought at a local greenhouse. The original bulbs were about the same size as what is sold in the stores. I have been rotating my garlic beds with my compost pile. when I turn my compost pile in the late fall after adding the remains of the plants from my garden I will plant garlic where the compost pile was.
    I have been planting garlic in the last week of November. I will sprinkle bone meal over the area before planting.
    In the spring when I see garlic leaves starting to appear I will apply Dried Blood Meal to the area.
    On the 26 of July I dug up the garlic and hung the bulbs in my garage to finish drying. When the bulbs were dry I trimmed the leaves to 1" above the bulb, put hem in mesh bags and they are now hanging from the floor joists in the basements along side about 20 garlic bulbs from last year. The garlic apparently likes the way that I grow if because the garlic bulbs that I harvested this year are nearly 4" diameter more tah twice the size of the original bulbs.
    I live in Jefferson County, Ohio and have not had to buy any garlic in more than fifeteen years neither have the family and friends that I give some of my garlic to.
    I am not sure what kind of garlic this is because the place that I bought it from orinally did not specify what type it was.

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