Instructions for the Garlic Grow Bag

More information: Read Planting and Harvesting Garlic, an article with two slideshows.

Figure out where you want to place the Garlic Grow Bag. It will be difficult to move once it is full of soil. Garlic grows best if it gets full sun. Be sure you have access to water as well.

You will need 60 quarts of potting soil for the Garlic Grow Bag. We recommend Container Mix or Organic Container Mix. If you prefer the convenience of having the fertilizer already mixed into the soil, use Energized Potting Mix (lasts 9 months) or Organic Energized Potting Mix (lasts 1 month).

In a wheelbarrow or large tub, moisten the soil so that it is uniformly moist, but not wet.

Fill the Garlic Grow Bag to within several inches from the top.

If using granular fertilizer, mix it into the soil. We recommend All-Purpose Fertilizer.

In our tests, we found that each bag holds 18 to 20 cloves. You can buy garlic at a garden center or buy the Organic Garlic Collection.

Break bulbs into individual cloves and plant about 2 inches deep, root-end down (pointed end up). Space them 1.5 to 4 inches apart.

Smooth out the soil so just the tip of each clove shows above the soil.

Top-dress the bulbs with compost and or shredded bark mulch to retain moisture.

After the ground freezes, surround the bag with mulch to protect bulbs from the cold. If you live in zone 5 or colder, it’s important to protect bulbs from freezing. In late fall, surround your bag with 8 to 10 inches of bark mulch, compost or a similar insulating material. Add a 2-inch layer of material on the top, too. In spring, all the insulating material can be removed.

In spring, as the garlic grows and begins to produce greens, increase watering. Water thoroughly so that water penetrates down to the lowest portion of the bag each time you water. The goal is to keep the soil uniformly moist, but not wet.

When the garlic has finished growing green leaves, it is ready to become a bulbing plant. Taper off watering a bit at this time.


As harvest approaches, plant leaves begin to dry. We suggest harvesting when the top four leaves are still 50 percent green.

Loosen the soil to remove the bulbs; do not pull them out by the leaves.

Bundle in groups of five to 10 plants and hang inside, out of direct sunlight, in an area with good air circulation. The plants and bulbs cure completely in three to four weeks in dry climates, but may need fans or other drying sources in wet climates. When completely cured, the neck may be cut about a half-inch above the bulb.

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