Native: Possibly originated in Central Asia
Exposure: Full Sun
When to Sow Outside: In cold winter climates, sow individual cloves any time from mid-September through early November. Garlic is frost-hardy, but ideally should be planted 6-8 weeks before a hard freeze to give the roots time to get established. In mild climates of the south where the ground doesn't freeze, garlic can be planted from October-December. If you aren't able to get softneck garlic planted in the fall, store bulbs so that they don't dry out during the winter months and plant in the spring as soon as soil can be worked. Softneck garlic requires 90-100 days to form cloves.
When to Start Inside: Not recommended if you want to grow bulbs. If you don't get your garlic in the ground, the cloves can be planted indoors any time of year for the green tops that make tasty garlic-flavored raw greens or stir-fry ingredients.
Days to Emerge: Emerges in late winter, when sown in fall.
Seed Depth: 2"–3" deep with the narrow side pointed up
Seed Spacing: 3 clove every 6"–8"
Row Spacing: 6"–8"
Thinning: Not necessary
Special Instructions: Mulch with 3"–4" straw or leaves. On ocassion, softneck garlic may produce a scape (edible flower stalk) due to drought or cold stress. Remove any scapes so plants can focus their energy on bulb productions. Avoid watering garlic when you see the leaves begin to turn yellow and brown in late spring/early summer. Proper curing improves flavor and storage of garlic.
Special Care: Wait to separate cloves until planting and leave the skins intact.