How to grow garlic

Learn how to grow this versatile vegetable

With hardly any effort and very little space you can grow your own crop of gorgeous garlic. Used in countless recipes, having fresh, homegrown garlic at your fingertips is easier than you might think, and we’ll show you how with our step by step guide.

Quick facts

Best time to plant: November - February

Harvesting season: June-August

Difficulty: Easy, suitable for beginners


Garlic should be planted somewhere that gets a lot of daylight, they also need light, well-drained soil. If you have heavy clay soil, or your garden is prone to waterlogging, you can plant your garlic in a container instead, just make sure it’s at least 20cm deep. If your soil is unsuitable in the cold weather but improves after the winter, you could plant your garlic in seed trays to start and plant out later.

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Tools for the job

  • Garlic bulb – it’s better to get these from a garden centre than the supermarket as they might carry diseases
  • Trowel
  • Multipurpose compost

How to plant your garlic

  1. Dig some multipurpose compost into the area you’re going to plant your garlic.
  2. Plant each clove 2cm deep, with the pointed end up. Allow 15cm between cloves, and 30cm before rows.

And it’s as simple as that, your garlic is planted and ready to grow!

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How to care for your garlic

Garlic is pretty low maintenance and there are only a few simple jobs you need to do to keep they healthy.

  1. It’s important that you keep the area clear of weeds, so continue to weed regularly.
  2. You only need to water your garlic after long, dry spells. When you do water your garlic, give it plenty so it soaks deep into the soil. This will help the roots to really bed in.
  3. Make sure you remove the scapes, these are the flower stalks they start to grow in spring, you don’t want your plant putting energy into growing these rather than the garlic.

How to harvest your garlic

Your garlic is ready to harvest once the green leaves, which can be used for salads, have started to turn yellow. Simply loosen the dirt around the bulbs with a trowel and gently lift them with a fork. Be careful not to cut the bulbs with your trowel as this limits their storage life.

Leave your bulbs somewhere warm to dry or store them for up to 3 months until you’re ready to use them.

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