How to Grow Garlic at Home
Growing your own garlic is fun and you get to
the reward of eating your crop. Here are some tips on how to grow garlic successfully at home.
Garlic is a member of the allium family which also includes leeks, shallots and onions.
Individual cloves act as seeds. The bulbs grow underground
and the leaves shoot in to the air. Although garlic is traditionally thought of as a
Mediterranean ingredient garlic is also grown successfully in colder more Northern climates.
There are many different garlic varieties, a lot of which
you can easily grow at home for a great crop.
Garlic is grown from the individual cloves. Each clove will produce one
plant with a single bulb - which may in turn contain up to twenty cloves.
Growing garlic is therefore self-sustaining.
When planting garlic, choose a garden site that gets plenty of sun and where the
soil is not too damp.
The cloves should be planted individually, upright and about an inch (25 mm) under
the surface. Plant the cloves about 4 inches (100 mm) apart. Rows should be
about 18 inches (450 mm) apart.
It is traditional to plant garlic on the shortest day of the year.
Whether this is for symbolic or practical reasons is unclear.
See the dedicated sowing page for advice on when
to plant garlic.
Garlic is a very friendly plant and grows well planted with other flowers and
vegetables in the garden. For more information on how to grow garlic with other plants,
see the page on
Although garlic can protect other plants growing nearby against many ailments, there are some it is
prone to. See the garlic diseases page for
an overview of some of the most common.
Garlic is also prone to a few pests.
Harvesting Your Garlic Crop
As garlic reaches maturity, the leaves will brown then die away. This is the cue
that it is time to harvest your garlic crop. If you harvest too early the cloves will be very small,
too late and the bulb will have split.
Proper handling of garlic after it's been picked is almost as important as
looking after it whilst it's growing. It's essential that garlic is dried properly, otherwise
it will rot. The bulbs are often hung up in a cool, dry place. After a week or
so, take them down and brush the dirt off gently - don't wash the bulbs at this stage.
Then enjoy the delicious results of growing your own garlic in your own