Garlic: Fall vs Spring Planting - Frequently Asked Questions

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 Spring planting
  • Reduced risk of winter injury and plant survival
  • No over-wintering required
  • Bulbs must be chilled to break dormancy prior to planting
  • Poor spring conditions can delay planting, resulting in delayed plant development, poor bulbing and reduced yields
  • Some storage losses can occur
Fall planting
  • Bulb dormancy is overcome by cold winter temperatures
  • No spring-planting delays
  • Plant growth commences early in spring
  • Potential for higher yields and larger bulb sizes
  • Delayed fall planting can result in reduced clove survival due to winterkill
  • Winter protection is required if snowfall is not sufficient
Tips for fall planting:
  • Planting date is determined by the average date of the first fall frost
  • Delayed planting will reduce winter survival
  • Winter protection:
    • Cover with straw if snow cover is thin, winter thaws occur or if wind protection is not adequate
    • A minimum of 6 inches (15 cm) of snow is required for winter protection
For more information on garlic production:
Saskatchewan Garlic Agronomy Research
Garlic Production
Prepared by Robert Spencer, Ag-Info Centre, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This document is maintained by Marie Glover.
This information published to the web on September 19, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on December 9, 2016.