Planting Garlic in the Spring

Spring is coming! Get ready to plant spring garlic!

Spring Garlic Sprouts
Spring Garlic Sprouts

Although garlic is typically planted in the fall, we have garlic available for spring planting to harvest as bulbs or green garlic. Mother Nature plays a big part in whether spring planted garlic will bulb up. A cool spring is ideal, with a warm early summer, and some hot temperatures a few weeks before harvest. When conditions are good, they should bulb up nicely. If you find that Mother Nature is not cooperating, the bulbs may be small. Even if they are small, they are very tasty and will store for many months from a summer harvest. 

Keene’s garlic for spring planting is certified organic and grown in the US. Cold-stratified following harvest. Our spring garlic is ready for planting upon arrival, although you can hold it in cool place until you are ready to plant. Once removed from the cold, your garlic will want to sprout & grow.

Spring Garlic Instructions


  • Plant garlic as soon as the soil can be worked. You can plant into frozen ground and top with compost if necessary.
    • For best results, use cold stratified bulbs, or bulbs held in cold storage ~40 degrees for at least 30-40 days. The spring garlic bulbs we offer have been cold stratified.


  1. Broadcast Keene Garlic’s Organic Garlic Fertilizer or an all-purpose fertilizer into the soil before planting. Garlic requires full sun & fertile soil.
    • Optional: Just like with fall planted garlic, for spring planted garlic we recommend performing a garlic fertilization soak to jump start root growth. See our Garlic Fertilization Soak page for full instructions.
  2. Separate garlic cloves from the bulbs.
Separate Cloves from Bulb
Separate Cloves from Bulb


  1. Plant 6” apart with root side facing down and the pointed end facing up. Cover with at least 1” of soil over the tip of the garlic. If space is limited, plant 4” apart. If you are growing for spring “green garlic”, plant individual cloves 1-2” apart. We tend to plant our biggest cloves to “bulb up” and the smaller cloves for “green garlic”.

2. Broadcast Keene Garlic’s Organic Garlic Fertilizer or an all-purpose fertilizer over the top of the garlic and apply water or compost tea for moisture.

  • Optional, yet recommended– Even in the spring, we apply about 4-6” of mulch like straw, grass clippings, chopped leaves or other good types of mulch that may be easy to obtain by region. Mulch will protect the garlic from temperature swings, retain moisture, and reduce weed pressure. 

After Sprouts Emerge:

  • Once the garlic sprouts, apply fertilizer every 10-14 days based on the application rate.
  • Watch the moisture levels. The goal is about 1” of water per week, making sure the soil is damp, but not saturated. Springtime rain can often be enough, but supplement more water when needed.
  • Keep garlic weeded as garlic does not compete well with weeds.
Spring Garlic Care - Weeding
Spring Garlic Care – Weeding

Green Garlic & Scape Harvest:

  • Green Garlic can be harvested once it is the size of a scallion until the garlic begins to bulb. This is usually a 2-3 week window. (In Southern Wisconsin, we typically harvest green garlic from early-mid June.)
    • The Green Garlic will be tender and mild. A lovely addition to your spring cooking! See our Green Garlic Pesto Blog for something fun to try.
  • For hard neck garlic, pick the scape as it starts to curl. Softneck garlic will not produce a scape. (In Southern Wisconsin, we usually see scapes around mid-June.) See our blog post for awesome garlic scape recipes!


  • Harvest when there are 5 green leaves remaining from the top. See our Harvesting Page for more information. Spring Garlic usually catches up to Fall Planted Garlic so harvest times should be similar. It is normal for spring planted bulbs to not size up as much as a fall planted bulb. The perk is smaller bulbs tend to store longer. (In Southern Wisconsin, we typically harvest mid-July, depending on the season.)


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