How Deep Should Garlic Be Planted?

A vegetable that can spice up your favorite home-cooked dishes, garlic is an excellent addition to your backyard garden. If you plan on growing it, you'll need to know how deep to plant it. Don't worry! We did some research to answer this question.

You should plant garlic cloves one to three inches below the ground. The depth depends on the type of soil you use and the climate where you will grow your garlic.

Planting and growing garlic can be easy, fun, and rewarding. Garlic is known not only for spicing up recipes but also for its health benefits. Keep on reading to learn more about how to plant and grow garlic in your home garden.

Best Planting Depth For Garlic

Planting garlic in the soil, How Deep Should Garlic Be Planted?

Typically, you should plant garlic cloves one to three inches deep. How deep you plant garlic depends on the type of soil and the climate you have in your location.

If you are in a region that often experiences rainfall and has clay-like soil, you should plant your cloves between one to two inches deep. If not, your garlic will decay during winter and spring.

If your soil is sandy and drains well, plant your cloves two to three inches deep to prevent stress on your plants during summer. You can shield your garlic from cold weather by planting it at least two inches in the ground.

The Right Spacing For Planting Garlic

While knowing the correct depth for planting garlic is important, it is also essential to understand the appropriate spacing when planting. Proper spacing contributes to the size of the garlic you'll produce and maximizes your planting area.

You can plant your cloves in different places, like backyard gardens, containers, or plant beds. Where you grow your garlic also determines the spacing you'll apply.

When planting garlic in plant beds or the backyard, space the cloves six inches apart in a parallel line or across each other. A closer space of four to five inches can result in smaller bulbs but more significant quantities.

If you're using containers, plant the garlic gloves four inches away from each other. Remember to load your pots with plant fertilizer or potting soil to ensure that your plants get the nutrients they need.

Here are several elements to consider in the proper spacing of garlic cloves when planting.

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Size Of Your Garden

Most garden owners have large planting areas and can plant cloves far enough from each another. Ample space when planting encourages larger garlic bulbs. Closer spacing results in a smaller bulb size but a more significant number of harvest crops.

Garlic Type

You can choose to plant softneck garlic or hardneck garlic. Softneck garlic is firmer than hardneck, and you can grow this kind in moderate weather conditions. Also, this type does not develop a garlic scape.

The hardneck type thrives in cold areas and has bigger cloves than softneck garlic. This garlic has scapes which you can use in cooking and spicing up your dishes.

Some kinds of softneck and hardneck garlic can be very large. One example is the Music garlic, which has enormous bulbs. You should plant them about six to eight inches from each other.

The Spanish Roja, which can also be large, is best planted with a spacing of six to eight inches. The Nootka Rose and the Western Rose produce tiny to average size bulbs when planted with a spacing of four to five inches.

Weeding Practices 

When removing unwanted plants around your garlic, you can use your bare hands or tools to make weeding easier. If you remove grass and weeds with your hands, you can plant cloves closer to each other.

If you weed with tools like a garden rake, you must provide more space between your cloves in order to be able to use it.

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Plant Illnesses

You should provide adequate spacing between your cloves if you want healthy, disease-free garlic plants. Jammed garlic plants are more susceptible to illness because their leaves take time to dry.

Mulching your plants will help prevent disease too! You can add some compost to your plants to avoid plant bacteria.

Steps For Planting Garlic 

Here is a guide to planting garlic:

  • Prepare and add complete fertilizer to the soil where you'll be planting the garlic.
  • Choose cloves that are big and in good shape. If you want to harvest larger bulbs, choose a bigger size of cloves during planting. 
  • A couple of days before planting, separate each clove from the bulb. Do not remove the papery casing in each clove.
  • Plant your cloves vertically four to eight inches apart and two inches deep in the ground.
  • Your rows should be six to twelve inches from each other.

Here is a video showing how to plant garlic in your backyard garden.

Best Time To Plant Garlic 

October is the best time for planting garlic, but you can grow it anytime shortly before or after October.

In northern states, the end of September and the entire month of October are the best times. Planting should take place before the first frost.

October is the perfect month to plant garlic in the south, but you can also grow it until November to January.

Tips For Growing Garlic

Here are some tips you can follow for growing this wonder vegetable called garlic!

  • In areas where frost and freezing occur, cover your garlic plant with straw or compost to ensure they will last through the winter.
  • You can pull out the mulch during springtime.
  • During spring, as the weather becomes warmer, the plants will grow, and you will see shoots appearing in the soil. You should slash the flower buds because they might lessen bulb measurement.
  • Early in the spring, apply plant nutrients to the soil near the roots of your garlic. You can use granular fertilizers and organic fertilizers such as pelleted chicken manure.
  • Apply another fertilizer just as the bulbs grow in reaction to extended daylight. Add fertilizer again when the garlic leaves turn yellow.
  • Make weeding a regular habit. Your garlic plants need vitamins to grow healthy.
  • Give your garlic plants enough water to avoid plant dehydration. You may water your plants for three to five days during the time your garlic develops bulbs.

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Harvesting Garlic

Harvesting your garlic plants will be exciting. Here's a guide to reaping your garlic crops:

  • Knowing the right time to harvest your garlic is vital because if you harvest it too early, it could be small and less flavorful. One indicator that your garlic is ready for harvest is when you see the bottom leaves of the plants turn yellowish. 
  • Remove your garlic from the ground using a garden fork. Slacken the soil around your plant, then gently pull it up with your hands. 


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  • Dry your harvested garlic in a place with a moderate temperature. Cure your garlic for three to four weeks to maximize its moisture content.
  • Let the garlic dry by laying it on a baking tray or storing it in a mesh bag.

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Storing Garlic

The proper storage of harvested garlic bulbs will ensure preservation and flavorful cloves. Here are tips for storing your garlic.

  • Cut the stalks and roots of your bulbs but keep about 1 1/2 inches of stem fastened to the head. Remove all leaves for easier storage.
  • You can preserve and maintain your garlic knobs in a dry place for six to seven months. Check for sprouting bulbs and discard them.
  • If your garlic smells sour or has soft brown specks, discard it. 
  • To keep your garlic from sprouting, do not put it in the refrigerator.

In Closing

Planting and growing garlic in your garden or yard will reward you with a harvest of flavorful, nutrition-rich bulbs to spice up your home-cooked dishes.

Remember that the correct depth in planting, the right spacing, and the proper care you give your garlic plants are essential for yielding a good harvest. 

If you found this post helpful, check out these related articles:

Can You Grow Garlic From Store Bought Cloves?

Is It Safe To Grow Vegetables In Depot Buckets?









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