Garlic Growing Guide

 Did you know our garlic can also be planted successfully anywhere in Australia?

Check out our guide to planting and growing garlic here.

cropped image of a man holding freshly harvested garlic bulbs by the tops

Types of garlic

There are two types of garlic, 'hardneck' and 'softneck'. Kangaroo Island Fresh Garlic grows and sells hardneck garlic. The hardneck varieties produce flower stems (scapes) that will need to be removed. Trimming off the scapes will help your garlic grow. The added bonus is that they're delicious, you can use them like spring onion tops – they're especially good in salads and stir-fries. Hardneck varieties are also hardier than softneck ones and will grow amazingly in most climates.


How to plant garlic

Garlic grows best in a sunny location with well-drained soil. You can improve the fertility of your soil by digging in a manure-rich compost a month before planting. 

Make sure it's the right time. Choosing the right time to plant garlic is all-important. Garlic should be planted in the autumn when the soil temperature is cooler. This allows the garlic to establish roots before winter and develop strong shoots in spring. In Australia, this means the ideal garlic planting time is between March and May.

Select good-quality bulbs. Make sure you choose healthy bulbs that don't have diseases or pests. Supermarket garlic may carry diseases given its unknown origin. Kangaroo Island Fresh Garlic bulbs are disease-free and will help you grow delicious garlic right in your backyard!

Prepare your soil well. As we mentioned, garlic prefers well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Choose a sunny spot in your garden and work in plenty of compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility.

Planting your garlic. Each clove in a garlic bulb is a seed. Break your bulbs into individual cloves, leaving the papery skin on. Plant each clove with the pointed end facing up and the base about 2-3cm deep in the soil. Space each clove about 10-15cm apart. Rows should be spaced around 25cm apart. Cover with soil and lightly firm it in.

Water your garlic well after planting. You can add a layer of organic mulch like straw or shredded leaves to help retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.


Growing garlic

Garlic is a hardy plant while it's growing, so you won't need to pay it too much attention. Make sure you water the garlic plants if it's dry and make sure you weed between them (garlic doesn't like to share). 

Feeding your garlic. Garlic can benefit from a balanced fertiliser application after planting and in early spring before growth starts. Use a fertiliser low in nitrogen and high in potassium to promote bulb development.

Make sure you keep an eye out for pests! Garlic isn't just delicious to us. 


Harvesting home-grown garlic

Garlic is usually ready to harvest when the leaves start to turn yellow and dry out. Depending on the variety and planting conditions, this can be anywhere from late November to early January.

Carefully dig up the bulbs using a fork or trowel and allow them to dry in a cool, airy place for a few weeks before storing them.

Once your garlic is dry, brush off any excess soil, trim the leaves and store in a cool, dark place with good airflow. If cured and stored properly your garlic can keep for months.

garlic growing in rows on the Kangaroo Island Fresh Garlic farm

Growing your own garlic is a long process but once they're in the ground it's relatively easy and very rewarding. By following our garlic growing guide you should be able to successfully grow healthy and flavourful Kangaroo Island Fresh Garlic in your garden. Once you've harvested your delicious plants you can check out our recipes for inspiration on how to use all your haul!