Plant Garlic This Fall - Indiana Yard and Garden - Purdue Consumer Horticulture

Plant Garlic This Fall

Although garlic is thought to have originated in Asia, it has become an integral ingredient in most every county’s cuisine. Garlic is usually grown for the flavorful bulbs that grow underground, but the green tops are used much like green onions in some countries. The flowers of the garlic plant are sterile and so do not produce seed. New plants are grown from the individual sections of the bulb known as “cloves.”

Garlic for planting should be purchased from a reliable garden center or mail-order catalog. Storage temperature of the dormant garlic affects the bulbing of the future plants. Temperatures above 77 F may inhibit bulb formation, so using garlic from the grocery is ill-advised for planting purposes. Garlic that has been stored at about 40 F for several months is ideal for starting a new planting.

Garlic can adapt to a wide range of soil types, but it must have a well-drained soil. Garlic can be planted in either fall or early spring. Bulb formation is optimum when days are getting longer in late spring. Generally, most gardeners find it easier to get the garlic planted in fall, since early spring soils are usually too wet for planting.

A light application of fertilizer, such as one-half pound of 12-12-12 fertilizer per 100 square feet, should be adequate for most soils. Work the fertilizer into the top 4-5 inches of soil.


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