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Autumn Garlic Bulb

Autumn-planting garlic is a great way of adding a Mediterranean flavour to your vegetable harvest. Planting the cloves before winter gives them the cold spell they need to make good garlic bulbs. You'll find a number of varieties here – hardneck garlic varieties are very hardy but don’t store for long. They produce fewer bulbs with bigger cloves. Softneck varieties are less hardy but store well. The mature bulbs are smaller with tightly packed cloves. Browse our spring-planting garlic for a longer harvest period.

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Autumn planting garlic FAQs & information

Autumn planting garlic is an easy crop providing you give it a sunny spot and free-draining soil. It needs little care and can be grown in a small space or even containers.

It’s best to grow named varieties from a supplier rather than using supermarket garlic to ensure it’s disease-free.

When to plant autumn garlic

Plant your garlic in October or November when the soil is still easy to work and before cold weather sets in.

How to plant garlic in autumn

Make sure the ground is weed-free and add some garden lime if your soil is acidic. Break bulbs up into individual cloves and plant them with the pointed end up, about 15cm apart and with the tips just showing above the soil. Start them off in modules if your soil is heavy and prone to waterlogging and plant them out in spring. Keep the plants free of weeds and add some high potash feed in early spring.

When is autumn garlic ready?

Autumn planted garlic can be harvested from early summer – a good indicator is yellowing leaves. Lift hardneck varieties when the leaves start to change colour and softneck varieties when the leaves go floppy and lie on the ground. Leave your garlic to dry on the ground if the weather is fine but bring it into a greenhouse or shed to dry if rain threatens.

How much water do garlic plants need?

Ensure you keep your garlic well-watered, especially during spring and early summer or during dry spells. Stop watering once the bulbs are large as it may encourage them to rot.

What are good companion plants for autumn garlic?

Autumn garlic is a good companion for many other crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes, kale, cabbage and carrots. Avoid growing it near peas and beans as it may affect their growth.

Find out more about how to grow autumn planting garlic with our garlic growing guide.