Planting Garlic in the Fall Garden

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Just about everything tastes better with some garlic added. In addition, garlic has medicinal properties and helps boost the immune system, prevent heart disease, and reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Garlic also has antibiotic and antifungal properties. So it is a good idea to keep plenty in storage.

Fall is the best time for planting garlic. Garlic is one of the most trouble free crops I grow in the garden. Once planted, it only requires watering and a little additional organic fertilizer around the time the garlic scapes begin to emerge.

It was beautiful last Saturday and I took advantage of the warm day to putter around in the garden. While a batch of tomato sauce simmered on the stove, I cleaned up a few beds and planted the garlic.

My garden is a mix of in-ground beds and 4×4 square foot gardens or raised beds. I usually plant garlic in one of the 4×4 raised beds rotating from year to year. Unfortunately, the raised beds have degraded to the point that they need replacing before next season. So I had to find a new home to plant the garlic.

I had Kevin help me frame out a 3×7 bed using some scrap 2x3s and settled this frame on top of the soil in one of the in-ground gardens. The soil is really good in this garden, so prepared the new bed by adding a generous amount of compost, some organic fertilizer and mixed it into the top level of the soil.

Adding compost to the garlic bed.

How to Plant Garlic

I sorted through my garlic and pulled out the largest cloves. I usually plant 30 cloves, which provides us with enough garlic for a year. This includes using a majority in jarred sauces and as seed for the following year.

This year I planted 45 cloves so I could share extra garlic. I couldn’t source any extra garlic seed this late in the season, so I sacrificed some of my storage garlic and planted 15 extra. Luckily, I have a lot of lovely farmers markets in my area should I run out next year.

Separating the garlic cloves for planting

I measured and plotted the holes for the garlic spacing them 6-inches apart and 4-inches deep.

Plotting the holes

I planted the garlic making sure the pointy-ended tops of the cloves were at least 2-inches beneath the soil surface. I firmed the soil around the bulbs and added a layer of straw.

Planting garlic cloves pointy end up

Mulching the garlic bed with straw

The shallow frame will help contain a layer of mulch on top of the planted garlic and allow me to place a piece of fencing on top to keep the mulch in place and prevent the neighborhood cats from digging. The fencing will be removed once the garlic grows next spring.

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About Rachel

Rachel lives on a few acres in rural Maine where she strives for a more self-sufficient life. She writes about her homesteading journey at Grow a Good Life where she shares her experiences growing a garden, keeping backyard chickens, preserving the harvest, and living a simple life. Follow Rachel’s journey to Grow a Good Life. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

16 thoughts on “Planting Garlic in the Fall Garden

  1. Thomas

    Your garlic looks fantastic! I plant around 50 bulbs a year, which I think is plenty for a family of three. Garlic has to be one of my favorite things to plant because you can essentially forget about them until it’s time to cut the scapes.

  2. Angi @ SchneiderPeeps

    I have some buckwheat decomposing my garlic bed right now. We’re still a couple of weeks out from planting. How wonderful to be able to grow enough to last all year, that’s always my goal but I’ve never made it. Maybe this year. Thanks for sharing your technique with us at Simple Lives Thursday; hope to see you again this week.

  3. Marla

    Your garlic looks great and thanks for sharing the vivid pictures. Very informative and helpful post. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.

  4. Marla

    Just a note to let you know that I choose your post as one of my features on this weeks Real Food Fridays blog hop that goes live tomorrow @ 7pm EST. Thanks for sharing and being part of Real Food Fridays!

  5. PintSizeFarm

    Garlic is by far my favorite fall plant. Roasted garlic is delicious (especially home grown). Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre hop – feel free to stop by Pint Size Farm or one of the other hosts to submit another this week!

  6. Lucille Furey

    I planted my garlic last October and it started to come up before winter came. It all died but looks like it might be greening up again. Should I cut off the dead stuff or just let it be? And perhaps I should plant it a little later this year? I live in CT. Thanks

  7. Maureen Peterson

    I must use too much garlic (is there such a thing LOL) I harvested 150 + cloves last year for myself and gave maybe 25 away…I freeze some because the heads start to go in Feb-March. I ran out in April …
    Right now my Garlic is ready. already, last 2 yrs it was ready in the end of July here in N IL … Weird weather this year..Black raspberries and onions are early too… but the hot crops are lagging (tomatoes. peppers. eggplants etc)

  8. Dorothy Posey

    Thank you for the garlic planting post the best I have seen.The garlic I ordered hasn’t arrived but I have prepared a bed like you have shown so I am praying I get the results you have,keeping my fingers crossed.


Thank you so much for your comments. I love hearing from you!