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Some love him, others hate him. Almost no other ingredient splits us like garlic, mainly because of its smell. If garlic, botanically Allium sativum, is to be grown in the garden, you do not necessarily run the risk of the plant spreading the typical garlic smell. Rather, they have pretty flowers and are available in different varieties. When growing the plant, however, no distinction is made between edible and ornamental garlic.

The garlic plant

The garlic bulb is the outlasting organ of garlic and is actually an onion consisting of a main and many smaller side bulbs, the so-called garlic cloves. The garlic plant grows from the center of the tuber, which grows between 60 and 90 centimeters in the case of common garlic. The extent to which the main or secondary cloves of the garlic are developed depends on when the planting was carried out.

Tip: You should keep about one-fifth of the cloves of a bulb for pulling garlic.

plant garlic


You can pull garlic from the cloves either in the fall or in the spring. If the planting takes place in autumn, one speaks of the so-called winter garlic. With this, the harvest is also much more lush than with garlic cloves that are planted in spring.

Tip: Basically, you can grow garlic from the cloves of the plant from spring to fall. However, if you want to harvest garlic, then you should stick to the natural rhythm of the plant, otherwise the harvest will be poor.

Allium sativum

The best time to plant winter garlic is autumn, between September and early November. This allows it to grow well into the soil and develop many cloves of garlic until spring. It is then harvested from early summer.

Tip: Some believe that the winter cold also has a positive effect on the growth of garlic. And then the harvest turns out to be more plentiful.

Garlic that is planted in spring is called spring garlic and is harvested in early fall. It is best to plant the toe early in the spring, i.e. from mid-February, when the temperatures allow it. If the weather doesn't cooperate, you can plant the non-hardy garlic cloves until the beginning of April.


Garlic needs well-drained soil as it does not tolerate moisture very well. In addition, the soil should be rich in nutrients, but not freshly fertilized. It is best to mix some sand into the garden soil. This will make the garlic plant looser. Humus or compost should be added a few weeks before planting the garlic.

If you want to grow garlic in a pot on the balcony or terrace, mix potting soil with sand. To avoid waterlogging, you should provide the planter with a drainage layer. In addition, the planter should have at least one drainage hole so that excess water can drain off.


Garlic loves the sun and hates the rain. That's why it needs a rain-protected location in the pot on the balcony. Since it spends the winter outdoors, you should make sure that the soil is not completely soaked, especially in winter. It is best to place the garlic on a protected house wall. In the garden bed, you should cover it with a layer of brushwood or mulch in winter when temperatures drop sharply.

Garlic thrives in the garden when it has the right neighbors. So he feels very comfortable between

  • strawberries
  • raspberries
  • cucumbers
  • carrots
  • beets
  • tomatoes
  • fruit-trees
  • lilies
  • tulips
  • roses

He is not happy about the neighborhood of beans, peas or cabbage.


Sticking the garlic cloves is easy. Proceed as follows for planting:

  • Prepare a planting hole with a good four centimeters
  • Leave 10 centimeters between plants
  • Tuck in the toe(s) with the tip facing up
  • Cover toe(s) with soil
  • Pour the toes carefully

Planting in the bucket

When planting in a pot, proceed as described above. However, you should put the toe(s) in a slightly larger planter. In addition to the planting distance of 10 centimeters between the toes, there should also be a good five centimeters distance from the edge of the pot, because the garlic roots need a lot of space.


While the garlic is growing, you want to keep it moist. Make sure that it is evenly moist. The toes do not like fluctuations in humidity and too much moisture. Once the garlic has grown, it no longer needs as much moisture, but the soil should not dry out completely. You can do without additional fertilizer if the substrate or soil is rich in humus or nutrients.

If winter shows a very cold face, you should also cover the pot with a solid winter protection for garlic that is grown in the pot. Fleece or sackcloth, for example, are suitable for this. It is important that the enveloping material is permeable to air.

Tip: Some also recommend putting potted or tub garlic in the conservatory during the cold season.

If the garlic develops flower stalks, you can cut them off. This causes the garlic to put all of its energy into the bulb, resulting in a better harvest. You can also leave the stems standing. The garlic is harvested when a third of the garlic green has already withered. If you want to continue cultivation, immediately set aside cloves from the harvest for autumn or spring.

Garlic Blossom

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