The Best Time to Plant Garlic

Updated November 21, 2016

When gardeners think of planting season, many of them think of the spring. To grow garlic, you must operate on a slightly different schedule. As the rest of your garden winds down, start thinking about planting garlic.


The best time to plant garlic is in the fall. Plant two or three weeks after the first killing frost, so that roots and shoots begin emerging from the clove -- but not above the soil -- before the first hard freeze at -2.22 degrees Celsius. A local extension office can help you pick the best planting time for garlic in your area.


Like many hardy bulbs, garlic benefits from exposure to the cold. Garlic planted in the spring often develops weak shoots and poor bulb development.


Garlic does not easily produce seeds, meaning that gardeners cultivate garlic from cloves instead. When preparing a garlic bed in the fall, loosen the soil and provide an amendment, if necessary, to give garlic the well-drained, fertile soil it needs to produce large, well-shaped bulbs.

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