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Basic Garlic Planting Instructions:

Garlic bulbs can be planted in the ground during spring or fall. For most areas, a fall planting works best because these plants will grow right through most of the cold season in most areas. Plant garlic bulbs in your garden 6-8 weeks before your average first hard freeze date. You can usually find this information by checking with your local extension office.

I usually just go with 10-12 weeks before the end of the year for my local gardening conditions. When the time comes, you’ll need to prepare your garlic cloves for planting. Tear apart the individual cloves from the main bulb, but leave the paper husk on each clove. Next, you’ll want to let them sit in a cool dark type of place for 24-48 hours prior to planting.

This will give you time to follow the information in our guide below for garlic fertilizer application. Garlic does best when the soil in the area has been properly amended prior to planting. Now place your cloves four inches apart, and plant two inches deep in rows at your chosen site. Be sure to plant the root face down and the pointy end facing up.

Getting Ready to Plant Garlic:


Garlic responds best to a banded pre-plant application of organic garlic fertilizer, with regular subsequent applications at the two critical stages of growth: emergence and just prior to bulbing. ‘Banded‘ simply means you add your mix of organic soil amendments in a line where you will be planting and growing instead of broadcasting it and wasting resources.


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Once bulbing has begun, additional fertilizer has no significant effect, and should not be applied past late spring. Natural Liquid Lime can be amended to the final application when conditions call for extra calcium. Our recommended garlic fertilizer is an excellent choice.


Banded Applications for Garlic Fertilizer:

Per-acre mix ratio:

Be sure to perform a soil test! It’s always best to know the numbers before you apply any product. You may have plenty or you may need more, and either way you’re just throwing darts without a good data source to advise you on which products to buy.


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However, if you’re not growing commercially and you know generally based on observation what your soil care requirements are, you can always skip the soil test kit. If you’re not relying on what you grow for income, a general guideline will probably do. So, here’s what we recommend:


Mix 2 gallons Natural Fertilizer that has a high nitrogen content, 1 gallon Natural Liquid Bonemeal, and 1 gallon Natural Kelp along with 25 gallons of water. For ideal garlic fertilizer application, apply in a band on or near the row prior to planting in the fall.

Pictured above us the Environmental Concepts 1663 Professional Soil Test Kit.


Soil Applications for Garlic Fertilizer:


2 gallons Natural Fertilizer and 50 gallons of water. Apply at emergence.


2 gallons Natural Fertilizer, 1 gallon Natural Kelp, 1 gallon Natural Liquid Lime and 100 gallons of water. Apply just prior to bulbing.


Rates of nitrogen and potassium vary according to soil fertility and any other inputs used. Higher dilution rates are more effective than lower dilution rates, and this is a key thing to keep in mind…


Two or three lighter applications may be more effective than one heavy application! Applying a very diluted mixture as you water in your plants in the initial two weeks may be ideal for growing. Some call this ‘Fertigation’ and it can be very effective way to your watering in a small-scale gardening system.


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To reduce susceptibility to attack of insects and disease-causing organisms, apply a per-acre mixture of 1 gallon Natural Fertilizer or 1 quart Natural Kelp and 20 gallons of water as a foliar spray when signs of infestation become apparent.



There you have it! We took the guesswork out of garlic fertilizer with careful analysis of application rates. That leaves us with one final question about garlic growing below. But first, please take a moment to check out these gardening supplies and tools to help you fertilize and water your garlic plants.



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Is Organic the Best Fertilizer for Garlic?


We tend to think so! We’re striving to make organics affordable for every farmer and gardener. It might not be time yet, but we hope that one season soon you will consider making the switch over to organic growing. When you are ready, we’re here with research and data to inform your decision.

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Here’s a few of our recent posts on a variety of organic gardening topics:


Growing Rosemary

Growing Tomatoes

Growing Cucumbers

All About Watering Wands

Homemade Fertilizer Options


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