General gardening topics

When to plant garlic – A Growing Guide to growing garlic both indoors and outdoors

Last updated on January 24th, 2022

Our site is reader supported, this means we may earn a small commission from Amazon and other affiliates when you buy through links on our site.

When to plant Garlic

Garlic has become very popular to grow due to its popularity in many Mediterranean cooking recipes. It is also very easy to grow when it is being grown in a sunny position. It can be grown indoors as well as outdoors, so even if you don’t have any outside space you can still successfully grow garlic.

As a general rule, you plant garlic cloves (which are the individual bulbs that make up a garlic bulb) before Christmas and they will usually grow best when planted in the late autumn or the late winter.

Do not plant garlic you have purchased from the supermarket.

It can be tempting to buy garlic from the supermarket as it is usually cheaper but it can carry diseases and may not be a variety that grows well in your area. Purchase the bulbs from garden centres and nurseries. Garlic can even be purchased from Amazon where most nurseries sell their garlic online. This will ensure the greatest chance of a good crop.

garlic cloves
Garlic bulb being split into cloves

Planting garlic outdoors

when to plant garlic

Growing garlic outdoors is very easy. Most people choose to grow garlic in the ground, if doing so, make sure you select a sunny sight. Add good quality compost to the soil before planting. Break the garlic bulbs into the individual cloves and place them just under the surface of the soil, root down (pointy end up) and space them 15cm (6″) apart in rows 30cm apart.

Garlic is vulnerable to being overrun by weeds so regular weeding is needed. Water is usually not needed during the winter, but during spring and early summer water during dry spells as this will help increase yields.

Growing garlic in pots

Garlic can be grown in pots, planters and troughs. Add good quality compost to the container and plant the garlic cloves 15cm (6″) apart. You can then place them outdoors in a sunny position or indoors on a window ledge.

As a general rule, use pots that are at least 6″ deep to give the roots plenty of room to grow. Plant 3 cloves to a 6” pot, 6 to an 8” pot and 8-10 to a 10” pot. Troughs can be planted in rows 6 inches apart and covered with wire if you have a problem with animals digging them up.

growing garlic in pots

How to grow garlic indoors

Garlic grows well indoors and is incredibly easy to grow. They can be grown in any container that is at least 6″ deep, which is enough space to allow them to grow. When growing garlic indoors you can cut the tips off of the growth and use them in salads or as a garnish in soups. Water the garlic regularly and grow on a light windowsill.

Growing garlic indoors pointers

  • If you are using a container not designed for growing in, ensure that it has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain away.
  • Use a good quality compost.
  • Water regularly but not too much that the compost becomes waterlogged.
how to grow garlic

Harvesting Garlic

The green leaves can be cut during the growing season and used in cooking and as a garnish but the bulbs should be lifted once the foliage has turned yellow, this can be anywhere between June and August. This is done by carefully lifting with a fork and then they can be dried and stored in netted bags.

Garlic problems

Growing garlic is generally problem-free, but it can suffer from rust which is a fungal disease, move any leaves that have been affected. In any future year’s growth, it is usually best to plant them in a different position in the garden.

Some soils have a disease in them called ‘White Rot’ that rots off the garlic roots. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from this then it is advised that you grow garlic in containers, remembering to use quality compost and not the soil from the garden.


  • Don’t purchase garlic from supermarkets to plant as it could carry diseases.
  • Space 6 inches apart so they are just under the soil and have room to grow.
  • Use compost when planting garlic in pots.
  • Use pots that are at least 6 inches deep to give room for the roots to grow.

See Garlic for sale on

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

Write A Comment