Garlic FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Garlic

Garlic Frequently Asked Questions

Seed Garlic: the larger the clove you plant, the larger the garlic bulb you will harvest. Large or medium sizes should be used for planting in order to harvest the largest tastiest bulbs next summer.

Cooking Garlic: people who love garlic and most restaurants prefer the ease and convenience of the large or medium garlic bulb. These bulbs have huge cloves that are ideal for cooking or roasting and super easy to peel.

Great Taste and Lower Price: those who want gourmet taste in a smaller more economical package find that medium bulbs taste just as good as the larger ones. Some home cooks prefer the daintier clove size.

Green Garlic: uses the smallest cloves. Green garlic tastes best when it is small and tender. Green garlic is harvested in the spring before the bulbs fully develops.

Hardneck garlic has a false seed stalk called a scape. This garlic comes in a huge variety of kinds, colors, and flavors with easy to peel big cloves. Softneck garlic has a floppy stem that is commonly braided. It has a high yield, smaller cloves, and grows well in the South.

For best results and biggest bulbs plant hardneck and softneck garlic in the fall after the first killing frost.  Plant before the ground freezes: You want to plant your hardneck garlic about 4-5 weeks before the ground starts to freeze. This gives the garlic clove time for root development in the fall. You don't want to plant too early or the garlic may have poor bulb development or cloves may rot.

You can freeze either cooked or raw garlic to use later, however, you will lose some of its vital nutrients by freezing it.  Do not freeze garlic that you want to plant as garlic can withstand freezing temperatures only if it is planted and already growing in the ground. 

How much hardneck garlic do you need to plant? 

If you want to harvest:

  • 10 pounds of garlic, plant 2-3 pounds of garlic 

  • 25 pounds of garlic, plant 5-7 pounds of garlic

  • 50 pounds of garlic, plant 10-12 pounds of garlic

  • 100 pounds of garlic, plant 20-25 pounds of seed garlic

  • 200 pounds of garlic, plant 40-50 pounds of seed garlic

  • 500 pounds of garlic, plant 100-125 pounds of garlic

*Yields assume good growing conditions

Yield will depend on growing conditions, garlic variety, how much you weed, clove size, the greenness of your thumb, and weather. In particular, poorly draining soil will stunt garlic size. It is possible to harvest less than you plant if the variety is unsuitable, weeds run rampant, or growing conditions are poor.

The rule of thumb is to plant / re-plant your largest cloves as they will yield the biggest heads of garlic.

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