How to Grow Garlic in the USA: Soil, Planting, Propagation, Care, and Farming Tips

Garlic farming in the USA is becoming popular as more people realize the health benefits of this beneficial herb. It belongs to the Allium family member, including Onions, Leeks, and Chives. As a result, the USA has become the world’s leading producer of Garlic, accounting for more than 60% of global production. In this article, we will explain to grow Garlic in the USA, from soil preparation to harvesting and storage tips.

How to Grow Garlic in the USA
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How to grow Garlic in the USA

Soil requirements for growing Garlic in the USA

  • Garlic needs moist, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. It prefers a pH range between 5.5 and 6.5 but can grow in soils as high as 8.0. Garlic does best in mostly sand or loam soils but can also grow in clay soils if they are amended with organic matter.
  • Garlic is a hardy plant that can grow in most soil types, but sandy soils are better suited. The heavier the soil, the more disease-resistance Garlic will have. For best results, use an organic fertilizer with Garlic when planting. Garlic should be planted early to mid-March and replanted every three to four years.
  • Keep the soil loose and avoid heavy soils that can run off during rainstorms, which will cause erosion and damage to the Garlic crop. Add organic matter such as hay, straw, or leaves to the soil before planting for the best results.

Garlic varieties in the USA

Many Garlic varieties are available in the United States, and they come in various colors, shapes, and sizes. For example, you can find red, yellow, white, or pink Garlic; hardneck or softneck Garlic; single or double Garlic heads; and even varietal Garlic. The most popular types of Garlic are the red and the hardneck varieties. Red Garlic is milder than the hardneck variety, but both have a strong flavor.

In addition, Hardneck Garlic has thick stalks that can stand up to cold weather better than the softneck variety. To choose the right type of Garlic for your garden, consider your climate and what you hope to achieve with it. For example, choose the red variety if you want a milder flavor. If you want a more intense flavor, choose the hardneck variety. Here are some of the most common Garlic varieties that can be grown in the US:

  • Texas Wonder: This variety is high in sulfur and has a milder flavor than other varieties. It is great for cooking because it doesn’t burn easily.
  • Virginia Longneck: This variety is known for its long neck, which makes it ideal for pickling or preserving. 
  • California Spanish: This variety is known for its thick skin and sweet flavor. It is best used in stir-fries or salsa recipes.
  • Spanish Rojo: This variety is hardy to Zone 6 and can grow up to 2.5 feet tall. It produces small bulbs that are red-orange and have a strong, pungent odor.
  • Russian Red: This variety is hardy to Zone 5 and will grow up to 3 feet tall. It produces large bulbs that are red-orange and have a milder, less pungent odor than Spanish Rojo.
  • Walla Walla: This variety is hardy to Zone 4 and will grow up to 2 feet tall. It produces small bulbs that are green-white and have a faint Garlic smell.

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Garlic Farming
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Garlic growing places in the USA 

Although there are many Garlic-growing areas in the USA, most are in the southern states. California and Texas are two of the most important Garlic-producing states. Garlic is a hardy, long-lived bulb that can be grown in most parts of the USA. Here are the Garlic planting regions in the USA:

  • The Pacific Northwest: In the Pacific Northwest, cloves of Garlic are harvested in late summer or early fall and eaten fresh or used in cooking. Garlic thrives in well-drained soils but requires full sun and warm temperatures to grow vigorously.
  • The Southeast: In the Southeast, Garlic is harvested from January through May. The climate is typically hotter and drier than in other parts of the country, so Garlic needs a lot of moisture to thrive. You’ll also need adequate irrigation to keep plants healthy. In addition, Garlic prefers fertile soil with plenty of organic matter.
  • The Midwest: In the Midwest, Garlic is usually planted in early spring as an annual bedding plant for flowering vegetables or fruit trees. Garlic grows best in rich, moist soil that’s well-aerated.

Garlic growing conditions in the USA

Commercial Garlic production in the USA typically occurs in areas with a warm, dry climate and good soil. In most cases, Garlic is grown as an annual crop. The best time to sow Garlic is in the early spring, and the crop should be harvested by late summer or early fall. Here are some tips for growing commercial Garlic in the USA:

  • Select a location that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Garlic prefers well-drained, slightly alkaline soil.
  • Prepare the soil by adding organic matter like compost and liming it if necessary. Garlic needs a sandy loam soil texture with plenty of organic matter to promote adequate root growth and drainage. Avoid excessive fertilizer or insecticides, as these can hamper Garlic’s growth potential.
  • Water liberally during germination and establishment; add more water once plants have started to grow. Mulch Garlic crops regularly to conserve moisture and help control weeds.
  • There are many commercial Garlic production areas in the USA, but the most common is around California. There are also areas in Texas, Florida, and New Mexico. 

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Garlic Harvest
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Garlic propagation methods in the USA

  • Garlic is a hardy perennial vegetable that can be grown in the US. It prefers well-drained soils and needs full sun or partial shade. Direct sowings, root cuttings, or division of clumps can propagate Garlic.
  • Garlic can be propagated from root cuttings or cloves only if taken immediately after harvesting. Cloves will store best at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. If you want to grow Garlic, there are a few methods you can use in the USA. One is to sow cloves of Garlic directly into the soil in the fall, winter, or early spring. You can also buy cloves of Garlic already sown and planted. Garlic can also be propagated from a clove taken from a growing plant with several good roots attached. You can then plant the clove in soil or water. Propagating Garlic this way takes more time, but it’s a less expensive option.
  • One of the best ways to propagate Garlic is by rooting cloves. This method is especially popular among gardeners who want a large quantity of Garlic, as cloves can be rooted easily from a clove cut off from a Garlic bulb. Place the clove in moist soil and wait several weeks until roots start to form. Once roots are visible, gently pull out the clove and plant in fresh soil. Garlic plants grown this way will typically produce more cloves than those grown from bulbs.
  • The downside to rooting cloves is that getting them to root properly can be difficult if they’re not purchased from a reputable source. Also, if you grow your cloves, dispose of them properly—most municipalities do not allow raw Garlic products into landfills.
  • Planting bulbs is another popular method for propagating Garlic in the USA. This method is used mostly by hobbyists or those who want fewer cloves per plant, as bulbs contain only one or two cloves each. To plant a bulb, peel off the onion’s outer skin until you reveal a white bulb filled with seeds. Plant the bulb at least 8 inches deep in moist soil and water regularly; Garlic plants grown this way will typically produce more.

How to grow Garlic in containers?

Garlic is a hardy bulb that can be grown in any region of the United States. Garlic can be propagated from cloves or root tips. To start propagation, remove the top few soil layers from a Garlic clove and insert the clove into moist sand or peat moss. Make sure the root ball is completely covered with soil. Water well and keep sand or moss moist. In about 6 to 8 weeks, new Garlic plants will grow from the roots.

Planting Garlic in containers is not difficult, but you do need to follow specific guidelines. Start with fresh, moist potting soil and gently place the cloves into the soil. Water the plant well and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Garlic does best in full sun or part shade, but avoid direct sunlight during peak growth (which can cause scorching).

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Harvesting Garlic
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Garlic fertilizer requirements in the USA

Garlic is a hardy and nutritious vegetable that can be grown in many parts of the United States. Garlic bulbs, used for cooking, can be planted directly in the ground or raised in a greenhouse. Fertilize sparingly during early growth, then begin feeding regularly once plants have started to grow vigorously. Garlic prefers a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, so try a home-brewed fertilizer made from equal parts fish emulsion and bone meal.

Water requirements for growing Garlic in the USA

Garlic is a hardy perennial that can be grown in most parts of the United States. The Garlic water requirements in the USA are variable depending on the location. In general, however, Garlic needs about 20 gallons of water per acre for optimum growth. Garlic should be planted in full sun or part shade and well-drained soil.

It prefers cool weather and should be transplanted in late autumn or early winter to avoid frost injury. Garlic plant needs a steady supply of moisture to develop market-sized bulbs. Therefore, apply 1 inch of water per week during dry periods. Avoid irrigating the plant after this period to encourage maturation and discourage bulb diseases. 

Garlic growing problems in the USA

  • Garlic has been grown in North America for centuries and is Mexico’s number one Garlic crop. However, Garlic growing in the United States has mainly been a backyard activity until recently. There are many reasons for this lack of Garlic production in the US, including inconsistent weather conditions and inadequate soil fertility. Inadequate soil fertility can be due to a lack of organic matter, excessive clay, or a high pH level.
  • It is also helpful to keep your Garlic plants weeded throughout their growth cycle; this will help reduce potential pests and diseases that may affect your crop. 
  • One of the main problems with Garlic production in the USA is inconsistent rainfall. This can cause problems with bulb formation because the plants need adequate moisture to thrive. Additionally, if there is not enough rainwater available, it can cause soil erosion which can damage the underlying soil fertility. In addition to weather conditions, other factors that can affect Garlic production include pests and diseases. 
  • Pests such as aphids and whiteflies can damage the plants, while diseases like onion yellow dwarf virus (OVD) can kill the plants outright. However, there are several strategies that Garlic producers can use to combat these threats, including using resistant varieties, proper soil management, crop rotation, and using organic methods when possible.

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Garlic Farm
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Garlic production in the USA

Annually 24,000 to 26,000 acres of Garlic are planted in the United States, with a total production of around 400 million pounds. US production is concentrated in California, with smaller acreages in Oregon, Nevada, Washington, and New York. About one-half of US Garlic production is sold in the fresh market; the other half is dehydrated. The average price of Garlic has been around $60 per cwt., but wholesale fresh-market prices have been consistently 3 to 4 times higher.

The USA is the world’s largest importer of Garlic, primarily from China, Argentina, and Mexico. Garlic production in the USA has steadily increased in recent years as consumers become more interested in incorporating Garlic into their culinary repertoire. Many factors contribute to this trend: the popularity of ethnic cuisine, celebrities promoting Garlic as a healthful food, and increasing awareness of the health benefits of Garlic.

In addition, it is one of the world’s oldest and most commonly used spices. To produce Garlic successfully in the USA, you will need access to a good soil mix rich in organic matter and proper drainage. You will also need to plant cloves at a depth of 2 inches to ensure they are well-rooted during planting time, water them well, and apply organic matter around the plants as desired.

Garlic pests, diseases and their control in the USA

Garlic is susceptible to several pests and diseases. These include nematodes, caterpillars, ergot fungus (a fungal infection), bacteria (including botrytis cinerea), fungi (such as Beauveria bassiana), and viruses (such as Garlic greening virus). The most common pests that attack Garlic include the Japanese beetle, thrips, leafhoppers, and mites.

In addition, several diseases can infect Garlic plants, including powdery mildew, black rot, rusts, Downy mildew, blights, and root rots. Garlic is a hardy perennial crop that can be grown in many parts of the United States. However, Garlic pests and diseases can be a problem in some areas. Some Garlic pests that can be a problem include the onion maggot, the Garlic fly, and the Spanish beetle.

Diseases that can affect Garlic include black rot, brown rot, and powdery mildew. You can control these problems using appropriate planting techniques, proper care for your plants, and proper pesticides or fungicides when needed. Onion thrips are the major insect pest of Garlic in the eastern United States and cause a bronzing or whitening of the Garlic foliage. 

Garlic plant care

  • Garlic needs plenty of water and fertilizer during its growing season; water deeply and wait until the surface layer of dirt has dried before watering again
  • Garlic requires little attention once it begins producing cloves; however, regular weeding is necessary to keep the plant free from competition and pests. Mulch around the plants every fall to protect them against frost damage and promote winter growth.
  • Garlic has no serious pests or diseases, but it needs careful cultural care to produce good yields. To plant Garlic, begin by preparing a seedbed by mixing organic matter (e.g., compost) into the soil before planting. 

Garlic yield in the USA

Garlic is a hardy, summer-hardy, cool-season annual that can be grown in many parts of the United States. The National Garlic Association (NGA) reports that Garlic yields vary depending on the location and variety of Garlic planted but average around 2 lbs/ft² (0.9 kg/m²) of planted Garlic.

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Garlic Plants
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When and how to harvest Garlic in the USA?

Harvesting time for Garlic in the USA is mid-July through early September, and the bulbs should be stored in a cool place away from direct light. Harvesting time varies depending on variety; some varieties, such as ‘Niger,’ require harvesting after 8-10 weeks, while others, like ‘King Louis’ may take up to 18 weeks to mature fully.


Garlic is a hardy vegetable that can tolerate various soil types and climates. In the USA, Garlic is most commonly found growing in the southeastern states (Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee). Garlic is planted in late winter or early spring and harvested in late summer or early fall. The cloves are peeled and then crushed to produce fresh Garlic.


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