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Step-by-step instructions for planting and growing garlic

Garlic is one of the easiest and most simple vegetables to grow!

A low-maintenance crop

Caution: do not plant garlic in soil which was used in the preceding year for growing vegetables belonging to the onion family: garlic, shallots, onions, leeks.

Garlic grows in all types of soil as long as this soil is well aerated and non-sandy, and fares well on soil with residual fertilizer from previous crops. A nitrogen-free basal fertilizer containing potash and sulphur can also provide added benefits.

Garlic is an ecological crop, and rarely requires chemical treatments as long as certified plants are used to prevent diseases (viruses, rot, nematodes).

Quick and easy to plant

Separate the garlic cloves and plant only the largest, healthiest and well-shaped cloves. Keep the smaller cloves at the centre of the head for cooking. Plant cloves in soil, 3 cm deep, point upwards. Plant in rows spaced 30 cm apart, and allow for 10 cm between each clove. For poorly drained soil: plant in ridges (10-cm high ridges).

Another option is to plant cloves closer together. That way whole fresh garlic plantlets can be harvested earlier on, and mature garlic can be harvested later on.

Low maintenance

Hoe the soil to get rid of weeds. Water plants (during bulb formation) if the month of May is dry for nice vigorous plants.

Spread out your harvest!

As garlic is such a versatile plant, harvest can easily be spread out over several months. Garlic planted in autumn can be harvested:

As early as April

For whole fresh garlic (garlic plantlets) which is harvested before the bulb is formed. Enjoy whole fresh garlic sprinkled with a bit of salt, chopped in a salad, or as a topping on cottage cheese…
Garlic leaves: chop like chives, and sprinkle on a salad or omelette.

In May

Harvest fresh as needed for cooking. If you’re using certified plants, you will find that garlic leaves are as tasty as cloves.

From June

Harvest at maturity and leave to dry in the shade for a couple of days (direct sunlight damages the plant and alters storage qualities), then braid in a rope.

Ecological gardening tips

The French Ministry in charge of Ecology and Sustainable Development has published some easy and simple tips on its website for ecological gardening and gardening solutions that help preserve the environment.

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