top of page

GARLIC GROWING GUIDE

The ten stages of growing garlic

01-basics1.jpg
02-planning2.jpg
Preparing Page
Planting Page
Maintaining Page
Harvesting page
Drying page
Storing page
eating page
garlic guru

Planning

It is important to determine your climate zone before choosing the type of garlic you wish to grow, and thereby knowing when to plant and when harvest. 

Climate

Climate

Climate has one of the greatest influences on growing garlic. While all ten global garlic groups can be grown in NZ, some grow better in different parts of the country than others. In general, garlic grows best in regions with cool to cold winters and hot summers.

NZ is in the mid-latitudes (between the tropics and polar), and has a temperate climate with rainfall spread across the entire year. We have mild to warm summers and cool to cold winters compared to other countries.

Wild garlic originates from the cold mountains of central Asia. The 10 garlic groups originate from this wild garlic and the chilling of winter is a natural p
art of the garlic growing cycle. Sprout and clove formation is quick when cool temperatures are 5-10°C for 1-2 months, otherwise, bulbs and cloves may not properly develop and you will harvest more leek-like garlic with stumpy rounds and no cloves.

As a result garlic needs a cold winter period to vernalise to initiate growth - which in warmer climates garlic bulbs can be tricked by putting them in the fridge at the pre-planting stage. The young cloves can survive -10°C and new shoots can survive -6°C without cellular damage. It would be rare for a bulb to be affected by cold NZ conditions unless the soil freezes very quickly and deeply. Garlic remains in dormancy with juvenile shoots only having up to four leaves until the temperatures rises above 12°C and they begin to grow secondary leaves.

As a result there are few places in NZ where people reside in which garlic cannot thrive. Also the colder the climate the hotter the garlic tends to taste and bulbs tend to be larger.

Climate Zone Map
NZ Garlic Climate Zone Map

NZ Garlic
Climatic Zones

MILD  WINTER
COOL WINTER
COLD WINTER

Those that live in the more northern coastal parts of our country with mild winters need not be disappointed. There are ways to artificially vernalise garlic in preparation for planting. Also consider planting garlic types like turbans, creole and asisatic garlic groups which grow well in areas with mild winters.

Our temperate climate can be divided into three main garlic growing zones of winters that are 'mild', 'cool' and 'cold'. Unlike most plants, garlic might not be as successful if collected from a local source. It is a fact that acclimatization for garlic is best when garlic bulbs come from a colder climate to a warmer one, and from a higher altitude 300+ to a lower one. The opposite will result in the garlic taking years to acclimatize.

Porcelain or rocambole prefer very cold wintersBefore choosing a type of garlic consider your garlic-growing climate zone or where best to source garlic from within the country.

Types

Garlic Diversity


Garlic is not just garlic. Between the different garlic groups there is a massive range in planting/harvesting times, storage and flavours.

There are ten global garlic grou
ps and each have a particular climate zone preference. Consider picking a few groups or try all of them so see what works in your zone and your unique home micro-climate. Try our
garlic group picker to help decide which garlic to grow. The ten garlic groups are:
 

Mild Climate Garlics
mild.jpg

MILD CLIMATE GARLICS
These five garlics are the best performing for mild winter zones

Creole
Mid Season | Long Storing | 5-10 cloves
The Flamboyant: this small one is hot, dresses in vibrant rosy clove skins, and is a real crowd-pleaser
 
Turban
Early Season | Short Storing |6-12 cloves
The Earlybird: Likes to arrive early at the garden party and prefers to be eaten first

Asiatic
Early Season | Med Storing |5-10 cloves
The Oriential: this one enjoys the warm humid climate of the north

Silverskin
Late Season | Long Storing | 10-30 cloves
The Keeper: A long storer that loves being braided, produces plentiful cloves, and is easy on the taste buds

Artichoke
Mid-season | Med Storing |10-20 cloves
The Reliable: The best all-rounder, loving most climate zones, is happy in a braid and has a clean taste

Cool Climate Garlics
cool.jpg

COOL CLIMATE GARLICS
These five garlics are the best performing for cool winter zones

Silverskin
Late Season | Long Storing | 10-30 cloves

The Keeper: A long storer that loves being braided, produces plentiful cloves, and is easy on the taste buds
 
Artichoke
Mid-season | Med Storing |10-20 cloves

The Reliable: The best all-rounder, loving most climate zones, is happy in a braid and has a clean taste

Standard Purple Stripe
Late-season | Med Storing |8-12 cloves
The Godfather: The easy-peeling garlic from which all other garlics originate ... best of all: this wild one's the sweetest

Marbled Purple Stripe
Late-season | Med Storing |4-9 cloves
The Baker: An easy-peeler is know for its tastiness when roasted

Glazed Purple Stripe
Late-season | Med Storing |6-12 cloves
The Dazzler - Has an easy-peeling glossy sheen of silver and gold ... it's a real head-turner

Cold Climate Garlics
cold.jpg

COLD CLIMATE GARLICS
These five garlics are the best performing for cold winter zones

Standard Purple Stripe
Late-season | Medium Storing |8-12 cloves

The Godfather: The easy-peeling garlic from which all other garlics originate ... best of all: this wild one's the sweetest

Marbled Purple Stripe
Late-season | Med Storing |4-9 cloves

The Baker: An easy-peeler is know for its tastiness when roasted

Glazed Purple Stripe
Late-season | Med Storing |6-12 cloves

The Dazzler - Has an easy-peeling glossy sheen of silver and gold ... it's a real head-turner

Porcelain
Late-season | Med Storing | 2-6 cloves
The Beauty: Large teardrop form, produces a few massive cloves, is at the top of its field

Rocambole
Late-season | Short Storing |7-14 cloves
The Chef: Culinary perfection and renowned as the tastiest with a sweet nutty flavour

Seasonal Plan

Seasonal Plan


Before preparing for, planting or harvesting garlic it is good to have an idea of the various timings needed to grow garlic. Based on your climate and the garlic groups you are planning to grow there will be different timeframes to plan around.

Planting garlic in NZ generally occurs from late autumn to winter (March to June) while harvesting takes place in late spring and into summer (November to February).
The old saying 'plant on the shortest day and harvest on the longest' is only a rough guide which doesnt account for the type of garlic nor the latitude at which it is planted.

Our calendar gives a practical method of determining when to plant each type of garlic
 and other key tasks.

calendar.jpg
01-basics1.jpg
02-planning2.jpg
Preparing Page
Planting Page
Maintaining Page
Harvesting page
Drying page
Storing page
eating page
garlic guru
bottom of page