Fertilization Of Garlic: Tips On Feeding Garlic Plants

Fertilization Of Garlic: Tips On Feeding Garlic Plants

By: Amy Grant

Garlic is a long season crop, 180-210 days to maturation, depending upon the variety. So as you may imagine, the proper fertilization of garlic is of paramount importance. The question is not only how to fertilize garlic, but when is the best time for feeding garlic plants?

Garlic Plant Fertilizer

Garlic is a heavy feeder, basically because it takes so long to come to fruition. Because of this, it’s best to think about feeding garlic plants right from the start. In most climates, garlic bulbs should be planted in late fall or early winter — six weeks before the soil freezes. In milder areas, you may plant garlic in January or even February for late summer or early fall.

Prior to either of these planting times, you should amend the soil with plenty of compost, which will become the basis for fertilizing your garlic as well as aid in water retention and drainage. You can also use manure or 1-2 pounds (.5-.9 kg) of all purpose fertilizer (10-10-10), or 2 pounds (.9 kg.) of blood meal per 100 square feet of garden space.

Once the garlic has been sown, it is time to consider a schedule for further fertilization of garlic.

How to Fertilize Garlic

Fertilization of garlic plants should occur in the spring, if you planted in the fall. Fertilizing your garlic can occur either by side dressing or broadcasting fertilizer over the entire bed. The best garlic plant fertilizer will be high in nitrogen, those containing blood meal or a synthetic source of nitrogen. To side dress, work the fertilizer in an inch (2.5 cm.) down or so and about 3-4 inches (7.6-10 cm.) from the plant. Fertilize every three to four weeks.

Fertilize your garlic again just before the bulbs swell, around mid-May. By all accounts, however, do not fertilize with high nitrogen foods after May, as this may stunt the bulb size.

Keep the area around your garlic weed free since it doesn’t compete well with weeds. Water the garlic deeply every eight to 10 days if spring is dry but taper off in June. Start checking for mature cloves at the end of June. It’s best to dig one out and cut it in half to check for maturity since the green tops of garlic don’t die back like other Alliums when they are ready. You’re looking for plump cloves covered with a thick, dry papery skin.

Cure bulbs in a shaded, warm, dry and airy place for a week. Garlic can be stored for months in a cool, dry, dark area. Cold temperatures promote sprouting, so do not store in the refrigerator.

This article was last updated on

Block Reason: Access from your area has been temporarily limited for security reasons.
Time: Tue, 30 Mar 2021 2:46:12 GMT

About Wordfence

Wordfence is a security plugin installed on over 3 million WordPress sites. The owner of this site is using Wordfence to manage access to their site.

You can also read the documentation to learn about Wordfence's blocking tools, or visit to learn more about Wordfence.

Generated by Wordfence at Tue, 30 Mar 2021 2:46:12 GMT.
Your computer's time: .

How to Grow Garlic from Clove

Types of Garlic:

If we consider the duration of crops then garlic are mainly of two types:

  • Hardneck garlic
  • Softneck garlic

If you are looking for garlic that is easier to grow and long-lasting, softneck ones will be an ideal choice. On the other hand, hardneck garlic has a better flavor but softneck varieties not-long lasting.

Method 1: Grow Garlic From Cloves: Step by Step Process

Depending on what type of weather you live in, you have to decide the best time to plant garlic. If you live in the winter region, you can plant garlic in Spring. On the other hand, mid or late fall is a preferable time for growing season, especially if you live in a hotter region. Also, planting garlic at least eight weeks before the first frost would be the best time. The most basic way to grow garlic is growing them from their cloves. So at first we are going to discuss this step by step process. Before we begin, you should know that it takes around nine months to harvest fully grown garlic. So, you need to be a little patient.

Step 1: Get the Garlic Cloves

First, you need to buy garlic. It can either be seed garlic or organic garlic. And then, separate the cloves from the bulb. Take the larger cloves to plant.

Step 2: Prepare the Soil

To plant the garlic cloves, you will need to prepare the soil next. Since garlic is a root vegetable, using loose soil allows it to grow correctly. You will also need composts and fertilizer.

Step 3: Depth and Space

Garlic cloves are being planted closer to the soil surface. You do not need much space to plant them either. The distance between the planted cloves should be five to six inches. Using a wooden stick or your hand, dig holes that are one or two inches deep.The smaller depth will allow the garlic roots to grow out. And, the distance will allow the bulb to grow freely.

Step 4: Plant the Cloves

And, it’s time to plant the cloves you separated. Plant them with the head toward the ground and the pointy part toward the surface.

Garlic should be planted in an area that will receive full sun. And make sure to water them from time to time.

Step 5: Take Care of the Plants and Wait

Once the sprouts start to grow and become a few inches tall, cover the plating area with grass and leaves. This process will keep the soil moisture, nutritious, and protect the garlic plant from the winter’s cold.

While you might not need to water the plants during winter, it is better to water them during the summer.

Step 6: Harvest and Store

After eight to nine months after planting the cloves, the plants will start to turn yellow. And, that would be the time for harvesting garlic. Gently pull out the garlic one by one with your hand. If you cannot pull out easily, you can use a fork. And, you will find that the individual cloves have grown whole garlic. After you pull out all the plants, clean the dirt off the bulbs and let them dry in the sun for two or three days. Once the bulbs are dry, they will be ready to be stored for a few months.

Method 2 : How To Grow Garlic In Water Step by Step

In our second method about how to grow garlic from clove, we tried experimenting with growing garlic in water. It is an effective way to grow garlic if you can’t grow garlic in the ground or container. But, remember this: in this way, the garlic cloves will only grow fresh garlic sprout . You will not get new garlic unless you plant them in soil later.

Step One: Get the Garlic Bulbs

Buy some garlic from the store and peel off the outer layer.

The garlic has to be fresh with large cloves. Using smaller cloves may not give you a good result.

Step two: Get Water Container

You can get a glass jar with a not-so-wide opening. If you do not have a glass jar, try using a clear water bottle.

Having a glass jar or clear bottle will allow you to see root growth.

Step three: Fill Up the Containers with Water

Fill the container with water. If you are using a water bottle, carefully cut the top with a cutter and fill it up with water.

The opening has to be wide enough to let water touch the garlic heads.

Step four: Set the Garlic

Now, take the garlic bulbs and set their heads on the top of the water containers. As mentioned in the previous steps, the garlic heads need to touch the water, or the sprout will not grow.

Once the garlic is set on the water, give them a few days. Avoid putting the jars under direct sunlight. You will soon notice the roots have started to emerge from the heads and the sprouts from the pointy end.

Step five: Change Water Time to Time

You would need to change the water at least once a week. You need to change it whenever it turns murky. If the water is not in time, it will prohibit the growth of the sprout.

To change the water at first take the garlic bulb off the top of the container and drain the jar’s old water. Fill up the container with fresh water and put the bulb back on the top. Make sure the growing roots are in the water.

Step six: Harvest the Garlic

The roots and sprouts will start growing around four to five days after planting them on water. If you notice any sprout stuck under the clove layer, use a thin cutter or knife to cut it open and allow it to grow. After 15-20 days, the green sprout will be several inches tall. The whole garlic would be edible, except the roots that grew in water.

You can cut the sprouts and cook or use them with soup, lentil, or salad. Or you can plant each of those clove separately on your garden soil.

Method 3 : How To Grow Garlic In Indoor Pots

Garlic is also a container garden vegetable. If you do not have sufficient area to grow garlic in your yard, you can still grow them in pots. The steps are as follow…

Step I : Get Fresh Garlic

First of all, buy some garlic from the store or farmers. Break the cloves from the bulb and separate the large cloves. Each of these cloves will produce one garlic bulb.

Step II : Prepare the Soil Mix

Garlic needs highly fertile soil. You can add organic matter or compost with the soil. The mixture should be of 60% normal loose soil and 40% organic matter or compost.

Step III : Prepare the Pots

Take a pot or container with a proper drainage system. Then, fill it with the soil mixture.

Step IV: Plant the cloves

Plant the garlic clov es in the soil with 2 inches deep holes and 4 to 5 inches apart from each other. It will leave room for the cloves to grow.

Step V: Take Care of the Plants

Water the plants enough to keep them moist. But do not overwater them. As the weather gets warmer, you can reduce watering gradually.

With enough sunlight and proper care, the garlic will start sprouting within a few weeks. And they will be ready to be harvested after a few months.

How Long Does Garlic Take To Grow

The growth duration of garlic depends on garlic varieties and the weather temperature. Hardneck garlic matures well in warm weather while softness matures well in the cold. But, it usually takes 9 months for garlic to grow fully.Garlic is being planted in fall so that by winter, the cloves will start to grow into bulbs. It takes at least forty days for cloves to form bulbs if the temperature is less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In both cases, garlic plants need the sun every day for at least five to six hours. If everything goes accordingly, you will be able to harvest garlic in summer.

Fertilizer For Garlic

Garlic is known as a heavy feeder vegetable. It requires fertile soil. That’s why, when planting garlic, there are two things you need to keep in mind:

  1. When to fertilize
  2. How to fertilize

Since garlic takes a long time to grow, it needs an adequate amount of fertilizer. Nitrogen fertilizer works best for garlic. You need to apply them once before planting, once during spring, and one last time when the scapes start growing. Organic matter, such as compost, helps a great deal to fertilize your plants. But, do not over-fertilize them otherwise, excessive growth will ruin the plants. To know the detail about how to fertilize them you can read out this article that is about how to fertilize vegetable after planting

How To Grow Large Garlic Bulbs

You need to maintain a few things to harvest large garlic bulbs. Those things are…

Choose the largest cloves

To harvest the largest bulbs , you will have to choose cloves carefully. If you plant cloves of different sizes, you will get different results. So, choose the largest cloves.

Use Proper Soil

The soil has to be well-drained yet moist enough. You can use fertilizer during late spring.

Remove Scapes

Scapes grow when the plants start to mature. Garlic produces flower stalk that is known as scapes. It would be best if you cut them off as soon as you see them.

Harvest On Time

Garlic needs to be planted and harvested in time. If not, you may end up getting green garlic. It is premature and tastes more like an onion.

Health Benefits of Spring Garlic

Spring garlic has many of the same health benefits as regular garlic. For one, it is a low-calorie food, so you can use it to flavor dishes without adding a lot of calories and fat. Also, it contains vitamin B6 and manganese, both of which are needed by the body to boost energy.

Many studies have shown that eating garlic can have cardiovascular benefits, too. Since there are sulfur compounds in the garlic, it can make the blood vessels more elastic. That way, they expand to hold more blood so that more nutrients and oxygen can pass through.

You’re going to find that spring garlic has tons of Vitamin C, which can lower cholesterol. Along with that, it lowers blood pressure.

The biggest benefit might be the anti-inflammatory properties of garlic. The allicin (sulfur) can stop free radicals. Plus, it can boost the immune system to help with the flu, common cold, and many other problems.

Back in World War II, antibiotics weren’t a thing yet. Garlic was used on open wounds to prevent infections. However, we don’t recommend that you use garlic instead of an antibiotic – just that it had been used that way in the past.


Garlic is divided into two types: hardnecks and softnecks. Hardnecks grow with a hard woody stalk, prefer cooler winters, have a warm to hot spicy flavor and store for 3 to 6 months. Softnecks have a softer stem suitable for braiding, milder flavor and store 6 to 9 months.

Garlic survives bitterly cold winters underground or grows frost-hardy leaves where winters are mild to moderate, grows rapidly when the weather warms in spring, and bulbs in summer. In the north, plant 4 to 6 weeks before the ground freezes. This gives the plant time to make good root development but not enough time to make leaf growth. Where winters are milder, garlic is planted from September through early November.

Garlic needs fertile soil with lots of organic matter so the soil remains loose through the long growing season. Growers with heavy clay soils should add a lot of compost before planting. Those blessed with lighter soils having naturally loose texture need add only small amounts of organic matter, like green manures prior to planting.

Break the bulb into individual cloves. Small cloves usually grow small bulbs, so plant only the larger ones. Use the small cloves in your kitchen. Under each clove, apply 1 tbsp. of Rock Phosphate, Bone Meal or Fish Bone Meal along with Kelp Meal, Azomite or Greensand. You could also use a complete mix such as our Rose & Flower Mix or Vegan Mix. Plant cloves 1 inch deep, pointed tip up. Designate each variety planted with a wooden plant marker. Have at least 4 to 8 inches of space between plants on a raised bed. To grow the largest bulbs, try spacing your plants 6 to 12 inches apart.

Mulch with 3 to 4 layers of overlapping newsprint covered with straw or compost. The new shoots will grow right through the mulch in 4 to 8 weeks depending on the variety planted and the weather. The mulch also suppresses weeds. When active growth begins in early spring, side dress with a high nitrogen fertilizer like Blood Meal, Fishmeal or high nitrogen Bat Guano or Seabird Guano. Repeat in late March. Follow in late April and late May with a high phosphorous such as Bonemeal or Fishbone Meal.

Garlic should not be planted with peas and beans. Good companions are lettuce, beets, strawberries, and chard. Rotate the crop and do not grow in soils where onions or other alliums were planted the previous year.

Even in the dry west, garlic needs little irrigation as it grows mainly during the wet season, although some irrigation maybe necessary in dry spells. Garlic needs about an inch of water each week during spring growth. Stop watering by June 1 or when leaves begin to yellow, and let the bulbs firm up.

The state of the garlic’s foliage is the indicator for harvest, not any particular date. Gauging the right time to harvest is very important. Dug too soon, the skins won’t have formed around each clove. Hard-neck bulbs, if dug too late, may have begun to spread apart in the soil and will not store well. Each year the timing is a little different so rather than watch the calendar, observe the plants. Hard-neck varieties put up a tall, woody flowering stalk that usually grows bulblets at the top. If the plant is allowed to put its energy into these seeds, the bulb forming below the ground will end up smaller, so cut seed stalks off as soon as the flower head has reached 8 to 9 inches tall.

Garlic is fairly easy to grow and bothered by few pests. Occasionally a grazing deer will nip the growing tips in the spring. Disease-wise the biggest problem is root rot in poorly drained soils, or from over watering.

Harvest & Curing

As the bulbs mature the leaves brown off. When there is still about 50% of green leaves remaining on the plant, it is a good time to harvest. (Incidentally, immature bulbs that haven’t fully developed skins around their cloves can be chopped up like onions and make delicious additions to cooking.) In very good garlic ground (very fluffy soil) the plants might be pulled by hand, but it is usually better to loosen the soil first with a spading fork. Immediately brush off the soil from around the roots, but do this gently.

Drying is the essential part of curing the bulbs, so do not wash them in water. Immediately move the newly dug garlic out of direct sunlight. When curing, some growers tie the garlic plants by their leaves or stalks in loose bundles of 8 to 12 plants and hang them under cover. Others spread the plants in single layers on screens, drying racks, or slatted shelves. You can attach your wooden plant marker or a label to bunches or drying racks to keep track of your different varieties.

Garlic stores longer if it is cured with its stalk or leaves attached. Good air circulation is absolutely essential. The plants should cure from 3 weeks to 2 months, depending on the humidity and amount of air circulation. Some growers use a fan in the curing shed.

After curing, you may trim the roots. If the garlic is to be kept in sacks, cut the stalks off 1/2-inch above the bulb and gently clean the bulbs with a soft bristle brush, taking care not to strip off the papery skin.

Garlic Plant Fertilizer - When And How To Fertilize Garlic - garden

Fertilizer and mulch are two important things to add to your vegetable garden. So today, we're talking about how to fertilize and mulch your garlic plants!


First, find out your soil’s fertilizer needs and then apply it accordingly before you plant. Some common fertilizers to start with are ones with a 5-10-5 ratio, a 5-10-10 ratio, an 8-16-16 ratio, or a 12-12-12 ratio. You can use about 1-2 pounds per 100 feet – and when it comes to nitrogen, garlic has a moderate to high need for it.

After planting, once your garlic is 3-4 inches (7.6- 10 cm) tall, you can side-dress it with a nitrogen fertilizer.


You will also need to apply some mulch to your garlic plants, especially during the winter! This will protect your underground cloves against temperatures that are too low, and will also keep your soil from heaving. You can use organic materials like shredded leaves, grass clippings, bark, straw, or hay!

PS. Want tips and tricks for growing a variety of herbs and vegetables? Sign up for our newsletter, and stay informed about all things gardening. You'll receive helpful, step-by-step tips to help make your garden a success!

Watch the video: Fertilizing Garlic in the Spring