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growing garlic

Virtually all garlic is grown from cloves. Garlic cloves planted in the fall will yield a garlic bulb the following summer.


Certified seed stock is paramount, and planting garlic from the supermarket should be avoided. It may have been exposed to bleach, radiation, and / or growth inhibitors to delay sprouting. It may have also been stored in conditions that would be less then ideal for planting stock.


You do not want planting stock that has been exposed to diseases, such as white rot, which can stay in your soil for upwards of 30 years.  Garlic Gods grows in an allium quarantine area, which means that our garlic is annually inspected and certified to be white rot disease free. See more about white rot in our blog on our resource page.



  • The amount of garlic you will be able to grow from your garlic seed will typically be 4-12 times the amount that you plant.


  • Depending on how much garlic you use in your kitchen, 1-5 pounds of seed should produce enough culinary garlic for a family of 4 for a year.  


  • We encourage you to use the garlic with the shorter storage life first; hardneck varieties generally last 4-7 months when properly cured, softneck varieties will last longer and can store 6-12 months.


  • Each garlic description will list the "typical" shelf life, and depending on how well the garlic has been cured and stored that life could be extended or diminished.


  • Garlic Gods offers a multitude of  sizes for each variety of seed, 1/4 pound, 1/2 pound, and  pound options. 


  • Bulb sizes range from 1.5 inches to 3 inches in diameter. 


  • The largest bulbs are sent to the earliest orders (first come, first served).


A typical pound of seed could range from 4-12 bulbs depending on the variety and size.  The largest cloves usually grow the largest bulbs, but this can change depending on your growing conditions. 


If you order more seed than you have room to plant in your garden, we suggest planting the largest cloves and eating the smaller cloves.  To keep extra cloves from drying out place them in the freezer to be use over a long period of time.

We want you to have success when growing garlic, but we cannot guarantee how garlic will preform in your area - there are just too many variables - soil, weather, climate, watering, time of planting, sun exposure, etc.  Please feel free to call or email with any questions.

Seed Storage

Seed Storage

How to store your garlic prior to planting

Soil Preparation

Soil Preparation

Do you need to amend your soil?

Planting Garlic

Planting Garlic

Suggested spacing



When to add mulch



Are weeds a problem in your garden?



When to water garlic

storing garlic seed

It is very likely that you will receive your garlic long before it is time to plant.  Optimal storage is at room temperature, dark and dry with good ventilation (DO NOT store in refrigerator).

Keep seed garlic in mesh bags and hang if possible - garlic loves to breathe, so DO NOT store in plastic or enclosed containers.

DO NOT break your garlic into individual cloves until you are ready to plant.  (Individual cloves can dry out)

Soil preparation

Garlic will grow large, healthy bulbs when you take some time to create an ideal growing environment.  Good cultivation is key.  Work soil to a depth of 18 inches, clay will benefit from deeper preparation to help keep soil from compacting around the roots.

Amend the soil with lots of organic matter if possible.  Garlic grows best in areas with full sun, ample water, and weed removal.  If you live in an area with heavy rain, it is important to prepare for drainage prior to planting.

planting and spacing

  • Space rows 12-16 inches apart

  • Plant cloves 6 inches apart within each row

  • Plant cloves 3 inches deep (root side down, pointed end up)

should you mulch your garlic?


Reasons to mulch include:

  • Insulating the garlic cloves and helping with temperature moderation

  • Moisture retention

  • Soil amendment

  • Weed control / suppression

You may not be need mulch in your garden.  If you live in a cold area and decide to mulch, it should be between 2 - 6 inches, and should have some "fluff" to help trap the insulating air.  

Common mediums used for mulch include:

  • straw

  • hay

  • grass clippings

  • leaves

While mulch can help insulate garlic during the winter, it can also hold moisture during spring / summer and may cause the bulbs to mold.  For this reason some gardeners may want to remove mulch as the ground begins to warm.


Weeds become problematic for garlic when they have deep root systems and high foliage that shade the garlic leaves.  Weeds should be removed to allow maximum sun exposure and plenty of space for bulb development.


The best garlic is grown in soil that is never allowed to fully dry and has moisture to the depth of the roots.  There should be plenty of water for healthy growth and bulb development, but not so much that the ground becomes saturated.  If the soil is dry at time of planting, consider watering so that the garlic has enough moisture to begin root development before it goes dormant for the winter.

As harvest approaches, discontinue watering to allow the ground and roots time to dry (approximately 2 weeks prior to harvest).

Watering will change depending on your climate, soil, and growing environment.

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