Garlic: Fall vs Spring Planting - FAQ

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

Growing Big Garlic

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The information has been posted with the intent that it be readily available for personal and public non-commercial or educational use and without charge or further permission from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.