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Garlic (Fall)

Quick Garden Tips

  • Garlic is grown from cloves, not seeds. It is easy to grow—great for beginning gardeners.
  • Plant cloves so that the pointy tip—where the sprout comes out—is facing upward.
  • Space cloves 4 inches apart.
  • Fertilizing garlic helps bulbs reach full size. Add fertilizer about 2 to 4 inches from the side of the stem (also known as ‘side dressing’) in early spring, and then again as the day length starts to increase in May.
  • Although you can try planting garlic cloves from the grocery store, these have often been treated so that they won’t sprout new growth. Instead, plant cured garlic cloves from a local nursery, or that you saved from last year’s garlic crop.

Season and Location 

  • Garlic is a great crop to grow over the winter.
  • Plant garlic cloves in in a location that gets full sun.
  • Plant in soil with good drainage.

Container Gardening

  • Garlic can be grown in a container that is at least 8 inches deep.
  • Make sure your container has small holes near the bottom to allow water to drain.

How to Roast Garlic

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice the top off a garlic head, keeping the papery layers on. Lightly drizzle the head with oil and season it with salt and pepper. 
  3. Wrap the head in foil and place it on a pan.
  4. Roast the head for 40 minutes until it is soft and golden.
  5. Set it aside to cool. Squeeze the garlic from the cloves to use in cooking.

When to Plant and Harvest Garlic in Oregon

  • Central and Eastern Oregon: Plant late May to early July to harvest September through mid-November.
  • Willamette Valley: Plant late May through late July to harvest September through mid-November.
  • Coast: Plant late May through late July to harvest September through October.

3 regions of Oregon showing months to plant and harvest garlic.

Recommended Types to Grow


Full grown bulb has a soft neck with larger cloves around the outside and smaller cloves in the middle. Leaves can be braided after curing. Strong flavor. Stores well. Types to try: Inchelium Red*, Silver Rose*, Silverskin


Full grown bulb has a stiff central stem with a single ring of large cloves around it. Central stem curls into ‘scapes’ as it grows. Mild flavor. Cloves are easy to peel. Types to try: Dujanski, German Porcelain*, Killarny*, Korean Red*, Siberian, Spanish Roja*

* Good for Central/Eastern Oregon

When and How to to Harvest

  • Harvest bulbs in June or July when half of the leaves are yellow and drying out.
  • To harvest, loosen the soil around the stem, then pull the garlic up by the stem. Shake off excess dirt.

Storage and Cooking

  • After harvesting, spread garlic out in a shady, warm, dry area with good airflow for 2 to 3 weeks to ‘cure’ for better storage. Finally, trim off the roots and leaves close to the bulb and wipe off loose dirt.
  • Store garlic in a dark space with good airflow. Well cured bulbs can be stored for months, or can be used to plant next year’s crop.
  • Garlic adds flavor. Use it in soups, stews, casseroles, pasta sauces, salad dressings, marinades and more.
  • Roast whole heads of garlic to spread on bread or crackers. See the recipe on the other side of this page.
  • Try this Food Hero recipe: Garlic Bok Choy
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