Grow garlic from sets
Garlic is easy and rewarding to grow, and offers gardeners lots of interest and variety as well as considerable health benefits. Some garlic is mild in flavour whereas other kinds offer punchy aromatic flavours; some are suitable for storing while other types are best eaten fresh; and you can also choose between spring and autumn planting garlic – or go for both and enjoy an extended garlic season.
Spring vs autumn-planting garlic
Plant spring-planting garlic cloves from January to March and you will be able to harvest your garlic between June and August the following year. Get your autumn-planting garlic cloves into the ground from October to January and your garlic will be ready to dig from May to July the following year.
Soft neck vs hardneck varieties
Hardneck garlic features a solid stem growing from the centre of the clove whereas softneck garlic does not. In general softneck varieties store better than hardneck garlic which begins to go past its best after three to four months in storage. Having said that, hardneck garlic is hardier and suits colder climates which, depending where in the UK you live, will influence your decision as to what combination to grow. For help getting the most from your garlic, check out our how to grow garlic guide.
How to plant garlic sets
Garlic sets are best planted in well-drained soil so that the tips are just below the surface. Allow 10-15cm between sets and space rows 15-20cm apart. Individual growing instructions vary depending on the variety, so always be sure to check the packet beforehand.
For more information on growing garlic at home we recommend our guide which features the best expert advice on cultivating garlic from some of the most experienced growers online.