How to Plant Garlic – Learning How to Grow Garlic from a Clove

Sharing is caring!

As a popular culinary ingredient, garlic is so useful in the kitchen! Learning how to plant garlic from the store – and more specifically, how to grow garlic from a clove – will have you cooking with homegrown ingredients in no time!

I decided to plant garlic cloves in the fall so I am looking forward to a July harvest, hopefully. Even if you’re reading this post during a different time of year, you can still learn how to plant garlic and grow some anyway.

Planting garlic from a clove was so easy and only took a moment or two. Really, there’s no reason not to try it.

Follow along as I explain exactly how to grow garlic from a clove, as I’m doing.

How to Plant Garlic - Holding a Clove of Garlic over a bulb
Learning How to Plant Garlic starts with removing one clove of garlic from the bulb.

When to Plant Garlic

Knowing when to plant garlic can help you improve and optimize your harvest. Planting garlic in fall allows the garlic bulb plenty of time to grow and develop. You can plant it in the fall anytime you can still work the soil, but generally later is better so the bulbs don’t send out too much foliage straight away. Aim for about 4-6 weeks before the ground totally freezes.

(Here in Pennsylvania, we plant garlic in late October or early November.)

For a slightly later harvest, you can also plant garlic cloves in winter if your soil isn’t frozen yet. You can also plant in containers.

Some gardeners say they plant garlic in spring and still harvest small bulbs at the end of the season.

If you are wondering what to do with sprouted garlic, just plant it! You’ll inevitably find some in your pantry or fridge at some point. 🙂

Planting garlic from a clove in the raised garden bed
Planting garlic from a clove in the raised garden bed in the end of October.

How to Plant Garlic Cloves

Learning how to grow garlic from scraps is not difficult! In fact, I probably spent fewer than five minutes planting garlic at home for the first time!

Follow these steps to discover how to plant garlic from a clove.

  1. Peel a few cloves away from the garlic. (Research suggests it’s personal preference whether to peel the cloves or not. It is not required and many sources say not to peel the cloves.)
  2. Dig a small hole that is at least 3 inches deep, or as deep as 5 inches. If planting more than one clove, space them out at least 4 to 6 inches apart.
  3. Plant garlic cloves one per hole, pointy side up.
  4. Fill the hole up again with soil.
  5. Top with a few inches of mulch, if desired.
  6. Water the ground where you planted garlic until it is evenly moist.
  7. Watch for growth in just a few weeks! Avoid letting the soil dry out during this time.
Garlic Bulb and Cloves on a Bamboo Cutting Board
Garlic Bulb and Cloves on our Bamboo Cutting Board

Discovering How to Plant Garlic

Growing something new is always fun and exciting! Now that you know how to plant garlic cloves to grow a whole bulb, will you join me in this exciting gardening adventure?

I grew my first crop of garlic in 2021-2022 and I can’t wait to experience the whole process year after year!

I simply planted organic garlic cloves I purchased from the store. Some gardeners say only to use garlic sold for the purpose of growing. I feel like gardeners should explore and find what works best for them!

How to Plant Sprouted Garlic

Planting sprouted garlic is easy peasy! You just need to have your garden space ready and some garlic bulbs on hand.

  1. Bring the sprouted garlic out of storage. (Remove it from your pantry or fridge.)
  2. Inspect the garlic bulb and individual cloves for signs of mold or other damage.
  3. Separate the cloves from the garlic bulb.
  4. Place the cloves in the ground with the green sprout facing up. Space them out at least two inches.
  5. Cover the planting hole and water adequately.
Lots of fresh garlic bulbs
Lots of fresh garlic bulbs – Plant some cloves so you can enjoy garlic all the time!


When you plant a clove, it eventually sprouts and green foliage grows from the center of the clove. New roots form at the base of the clove. As garlic grows, new cloves form to create the full garlic bulb. Eventually, the greens grow upward and little bulbils may form in the top. These can produce even more garlic if they drop to the soil.

Generally, the best time to plant garlic is in the fall. If you plant garlic in the spring, it may only grow a single bulb and not individual cloves, depending on your growing season. That’s okay! It’s still delicious.

Garlic grows nicely in the garden or in pots. The garlic plant itself originated in Central Asia, but today it is grown and enjoyed all over the world. You can grow garlic in containers or pots, raised beds, or directly in the ground. Consider different garlic companion plants to choose the best place in your garden for growing garlic.

Yes, you can plant garlic from the store! You can plant garlic from the farmer’s market or produce store or a mail order for special garlic. Planting store-bought garlic may leave you with some questions, such as, what type of garlic is this? Is it hardneck or softneck garlic? How big will it get? All of these questions are manageable and you should still have a successful garlic crop!

You can peel the outermost part of the garlic bulb, just enough to separate the cloves. It’s not necessary to peel away the papery material on the individual garlic cloves before planting.

Yes, you can plant sprouted garlic! Keep in mind that sprouted garlic will likely grow quicker than non-sprouted garlic. You may wish to plant this a bit later than you would plant a garlic clove that has not sprouted.

With sufficient growing time and good conditions, one clove of garlic can produce one entire new bulb of garlic with multiple cloves.

In general, it takes garlic about 8 to 9 months to grow a full bulb for harvesting. If you plant in the fall, you can usually harvest mid-summer.

Where to Buy Garlic for Planting

You can buy garlic for planting from farms and online providers or simply try your local produce store, farmer’s market, or even the grocery store.

I purchased my garlic at Produce Junction and I’ve also planted whatever random garlic I found sprouting in my fridge!

You can find garlic bulbs for sale on Amazon that are suitable for planting as well.

Our website features affiliate links to products that we personally believe in. If you make a purchase from a link on our site, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you! This helps our girls chase their garden dreams! Thanks for your support. (View full affiliate disclaimer at the end of the page.)

I’m gardening with reckless abandon, what can I say?! I guess time will tell how this works out, but if it makes you feel better, you can buy special garlic for planting.

Or you can be like me and just plant anything you buy from the grocery store or otherwise. 😉


Either way, I wish you the best harvest and look forward to sharing my journey as I have updates for you!

By the way, here is my garlic growing in December. I am so excited to see its continued growth!

Garlic growing in a raised garden bed as of December 16, 2021
Here is our garlic growing in our raised garden bed as of December 16, 2021.

Have you tried growing garlic from a clove?

Do you have tips to share or questions you want to ask?

We love hearing from you in the comments, so please reach out!

Happy Gardening!

11.26.22 – Updated post on How to plant garlic bulbs with new photos.

10.05.23 – Updated to add Where to buy garlic for planting and added FAQ section, and moved questions to the bottom.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *