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 the Ag-Info Centre.
This information published to the web on September 19, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on December 9, 2016.