Q and A: Trouble Planting Garlic

Follow this tip on how to successfully grow garlic.
Related To:

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.

Keep Reading

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 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.

Planting Freesia, Anemone and Hyacinth

Plant these bulbs and corms in the fall for dazzling spring color.

Gardening Q & A: Summer Snowflake Plant and More

Master gardener Paul James talks about pruning candles, cool plants, and no-hassle manure tea.

Plant Hyacinth Bulbs This Winter

It's not too late to plant hyacinth bulbs for a burst of color come spring.

Plant Minor Bulbs for Spring

Bulbs that aren't as well-known as daffodils or tulips can still make a big impact in your garden.

When Should You Plant Tulips?

Planting times vary by zone. Get the facts and know when to plant.

Planting Bulbs

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

Timing Spring Bulb Planting

Spring-flowering bulbs need to be planted in fall in order to bloom come show time. The bulbs need a certain amount of time to get established before winter's freezing weather sets in, and they need enough time exposed to cool soil temperatures to be properly chilled. 

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.