Q and A: Trouble Planting Garlic

Follow this tip on how to successfully grow garlic.
Similar Topics:

Q: Last year I tried to grow garlic and was very unsuccessful. I planted cloves of regular garlic and elephant garlic in the late fall. By midsummer the garlic heads were about the diameter of my thumb; by fall the elephant-garlic heads were smaller than the size of regular garlic heads. What am I doing wrong? Our garden gets moderate sun for half of the day. The soil is well amended with compost, and the garlic lies under a foot of leaf mulch all winter. We live in Minneapolis.

A: Timing of planting is the critical factor for planting garlic, especially in the far north. The farther north, the earlier in the fall you must plant. In Minneapolis, for instance, cloves must be in the ground no later than late September for proper root development before the onset of winter. Also, garlic enjoys full sun and a sandy loam enriched with lots of organic matter. Heavier soils with organic matter also produce good bulbs (often larger) but the storing quality goes down. Late planting and insufficient sunlight sound like the culprits to your poor garlic crop.

Next Up

Q&A: When Is It Too Late to Plant Bulbs?

If you miss the optimum planting time for spring-flowering bulbs, go ahead and plant them anyway.

Grow Guide: Planting Bulbs

Gardening expert Felder Rushing offers tips on planting bulbs.

How to Plant Springtime Bulbs

Give your lawn and garden spaces new life with these colorful design tips for planting bulbs.

How to Save and Replant Forced Seasonal Bulbs

In general, the most resilient candidates worth saving are small bulbs that naturalize or reproduce readily in the garden.

Plant a Bed of Spring Bulbs

Harbingers of spring, bulbs transform sleeping gardens into oceans of color as the seasons turn.

Tips for Planting Bulbs

How to choose the best bulbs and give them a good start.

Planting Bulbs

Planting spring-flowering bulbs is easy. The hardest part may be deciding which flowers and how many to plant in your garden.

Planting Bulbs in Containers

Follow these easy steps for planting bulbs in containers and you'll have a display that brings spring to your doorstep.

Planting Bulbs in Pots

A planting of mixed spring bulbs will give quick, near-guaranteed results for kids and a colorful display that can be enjoyed by the rest of the family. 

Selecting and Planting Flower Bulbs

From the purchase to maintaining them throughout the season, this simple guide to bulbs will help ensure garden success.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.