Best 8 Steps For Growing Elephant Garlic

Elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) is a plant belonging to the onion


It has a tall, solid, flowering stalk and broad, flat leaves.

Growing Elephant Garlic involves several key steps to ensure a successful harvest.

Elephant Garlic plants require well-drained soil and should be planted in a sunny location.

Planting depth is crucial, and bulbs should be set about 2 inches deep with the pointed end

facing upwards.

Adequate spacing is essential, allowing roots to grow freely.

These plants are considered biennials, completing their life cycle in two growing seasons,

with fall planting and spring/summer harvest.

Regular watering is necessary, particularly during dry periods.

Elephant Garlic can be a rewarding addition to a garden, providing a milder flavor than

traditional garlic.

Growing elephant garlic can be a rewarding experience, providing you with flavorful, oversized

garlic bulbs.

Here’s a comprehensive outline of the 8 steps to successfully cultivate elephant


Best 8 Steps For Growing Elephant Garlic

Selecting Elephant Garlic Bulbs

Selecting the right elephant garlic bulbs is crucial for a successful harvest.

Follow these tips for choosing the best seed garlic bulbs:

Size and Quality:

Opt for large, healthy bulbs with firm cloves. The size of the bulb is an indicator of the potential

size of the cloves you’ll harvest.

Cloves and Bulb Structure:

Look for bulbs with well-defined cloves. Avoid bulbs with soft spots or signs of disease.

Healthy, plump cloves contribute to robust plant development.

Skin Color and Texture:

Choose bulbs with clean, papery skins. Avoid bulbs with mold, discoloration, or softness.

The skin protects the cloves during planting and early growth.


Aim for bulbs with uniform size and structure. This promotes consistent growth and development

in your garlic crop.

Purchase from Reliable Sources:

Buy garlic bulbs from reputable nurseries, farmers’ markets, or online suppliers.

Reliable sources ensure the quality and authenticity of the garlic varieties.

Hardneck vs. Softneck:

Consider whether you want hardneck or softneck garlic. Hardneck varieties are known for their

robust flavor and produce scapes, while softneck varieties store well and are often braidable.

Local Adaptation:

If possible, choose garlic varieties adapted to your local climate. Local varieties are more likely

to thrive in your specific growing conditions.

Consult Growing Guides:

Refer to growing guides and expert tips to understand the specific requirements and

characteristics of the elephant garlic varieties you are interested in.

Farmer is loosening soil around the green onions using hand garden rake Farmer in gloves is loosening soil around green onions using the small garden rake. Growing Elephant Garlic to watering stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
Choosing the Planting Location

Selecting the right planting location is essential for successful elephant garlic cultivation.

Follow these guidelines to choose an optimal planting site:

Sunlight Exposure:

Elephant garlic thrives in direct sunlight.

Choose a location that receives full sun exposure for at least six hours a day to promote

healthy growth and bulb development.

Well-Draining Soil:

Elephant garlic prefers well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to bulb rot.

Ensure the soil is loose, friable, and enriched with organic matter for optimal growth.

Planting Depth:

Plant elephant garlic cloves 4 to 6 inches deep. The cloves should be positioned with their

pointed ends facing upward. Adequate planting depth encourages strong root development.

Cold Tolerance:

Elephant garlic can tolerate cold temperatures. Plant cloves two weeks before the first frost date

in the fall, allowing them to overwinter through the spring.

Avoid Waterlogged Areas:

Avoid planting in areas prone to waterlogging, as this can lead to root diseases. Well-draining

soil helps prevent water accumulation around the garlic bulbs.

Consider Local Climate:

Take into account your local climate when choosing a planting location. Adapt the timing of

planting based on frost dates and temperature variations in your region.

Fall or Spring Planting:

Elephant garlic is typically planted in the fall before frost sets in. However, it can also be

planted in early spring.

Consider your local climate and soil conditions when deciding on the planting time.

Heavy Soil Considerations:

If you have heavy soils, adjust planting depth and consider incorporating organic matter to

improve soil structure and drainage.

growing garlic in the garden, harvesting garlic flower, garlic flower stalk, garlic growing in the backyard growing garlic in the garden, harvesting garlic flower, garlic flower stalk, garlic growing in the backyard at home Growing Elephant Garlic stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Preparing the Soil

Proper soil preparation is crucial for growing healthy elephant garlic.

Follow these steps to prepare the soil for elephant garlic cultivation:

Loose, Well-Draining Soil:

Elephant garlic thrives in loose, well-draining soil. Ensure the soil structure allows water to

permeate easily, preventing waterlogging that can lead to root diseases.

Organic Matter Enrichment:

Improve the soil structure by incorporating organic matter. Add a couple of inches of compost to

enhance fertility and provide essential nutrients for the garlic plants.

Compost Application:

Prior to planting, add a generous layer of compost to the soil.

This not only enriches the soil but also contributes to moisture retention and supports

microbial activity.

Soil Testing:

Consider conducting a soil test to assess nutrient levels. Adjust the soil pH and nutrient

content based on the specific needs of garlic for optimal growth.

Breaking Bulbs into Cloves

Break elephant garlic bulbs into individual cloves before planting. Plant these cloves with the

pointed end facing up for successful germination.


Consider applying a layer of mulch around the planted cloves to help regulate soil temperature,

retain moisture, and suppress weed growth.

Planting Depth:

Plant elephant garlic cloves 4 to 6 inches deep, allowing for proper root development. Ensure

adequate spacing between cloves to avoid overcrowding.

Repeat Soil Amendments:

Throughout the growing season, consider repeating soil amendments, especially if the soil

shows signs of nutrient depletion.

These steps will create an optimal environment for elephant garlic, promoting vigorous growth

and robust bulb development.

The dug-out garlic is dried on a garden bed on a summer day The dug-out garlic is dried on a garden bed on a summer day. Growing Elephant Garlic to watering stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Planting Depth and Timing

For successful elephant garlic cultivation, the planting depth and timing are

crucial factors to consider:

Planting Depth:

Create a planting furrow in the soil and plant elephant garlic cloves about 2-3 inches deep.

This depth allows for proper root development and helps protect the cloves during early growth.


Elephant garlic should be planted in the fall before the first frost date.

Planting earlier, around the beginning of October, is ideal for zones 5 and below, where the

ground freezes. In warmer climates, it can also be planted in early spring.

Planting Cloves:

Plant each clove into well-prepared, weed-free soil, with its pointed end up, approximately

10-15cm deep.

Adequate spacing between cloves, about 20-30cm apart, ensures proper growth and prevents



Elephant garlic can overwinter throughout the spring, and the cloves can tolerate cold

temperatures. This allows for a longer growing period and harvest after approximately 240

days if planted in the fall.

By following these guidelines for planting depth and timing, you can maximize the chances

of a successful elephant garlic harvest.

Watering Routine

Maintaining a proper watering routine is essential for the health and growth of elephant garlic.

Here’s a recommended watering routine based on the gathered information:

Watering Frequency:

Elephant garlic plants typically need at least 1 inch of water per week.

Ensure the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. Drip irrigation is recommended

to provide even moisture distribution.

Moisture Level:

Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during active growth periods.

Aim for a balance where the soil is neither too dry nor excessively wet to prevent root diseases

and encourage healthy development.

Avoid Waterlogging:

Ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogging. Well-draining soil helps maintain the right

moisture level and supports optimal root health.

Fertilization and Watering:

Fertilize the elephant garlic with a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.

However, avoid over-fertilizing to prevent stress on the plants. Adjust the watering routine

based on fertilization frequency and weather conditions.

By following this watering routine, you can provide the necessary hydration for elephant garlic,

supporting its growth and ensuring a successful harvest.

Fertilizing the Plants

Proper fertilization is crucial for the successful growth of elephant garlic.

Here’s a concise guide based on the gathered information:

Initial Fertilization:

Before planting, incorporate 1,000 lb of fertilizer with a 5-10-15 or similar analysis,

along with 5% sulfur, per acre. This provides a good starting point for soil enrichment.

Moderate Fertilization:

Fertilize moderately according to soil test results. Avoid fertilizing once bulbing has begun, as it

may hinder bulb development.

Use a balanced fertilizer to supply essential nutrients during the growth stages.

Timing Consideration:

Ensure fertilization aligns with the plant’s growth stages.

Apply fertilizer before setting the crop and adjust the frequency based on the plant’s needs,

avoiding interference with critical development phases.

Caution during Bulbing:

Be cautious not to fertilize once bulbing initiates to promote optimal bulb development.

By following these fertilization guidelines, you can provide the necessary nutrients for elephant

garlic, supporting healthy growth and ensuring a successful harvest.

Weeding and Mulching

Weeding and mulching are essential practices for successful elephant garlic


Weeding Regularly:

Remove weeds regularly, especially after mulching in the spring.

This prevents competition for nutrients, allowing elephant garlic to thrive.

Mulching Benefits:

Apply a layer of mulch around the plants. Mulching helps control weeds, retain soil moisture,

and regulate soil temperature, protecting the roots from extreme conditions.

Mulching Type and Caution:

Choose an appropriate mulch type to avoid suffocating the plants.

Ensure the mulch is not too heavy, as excessive mulching can lead to suffocation or pose a burden

on the plants.

Spring Mulch Removal:

In the spring, remove the mulch carefully to allow the garlic to emerge unobstructed.

Weed the area thoroughly to maintain a clean and nutrient-rich environment for optimal


By incorporating these practices into your elephant garlic care routine, you can create a

favorable environment for growth, minimize weed competition and enhance overall plant


two bundles of garlic lying on the ground two bundles of garlic lying on the ground on summer day Growing Elephant Garlic fertilizing stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
Harvesting Elephant Garlic

Harvesting elephant garlic involves observing the plant’s foliage and timing the harvest



Elephant garlic is typically ready for harvest 180-210 days after planting.

Harvesting is ideal when the bottom third of the tops turn brown, indicating maturity.

Foliage Signals:

Monitor the foliage; once it begins to turn yellow or brown, it signals the right time to harvest.

The top growth often dies back by late summer, providing a clear visual cue.

Harvesting Process:

Gently pull up the plants from the soil. Brush off excess soil from the bulbs, handling them


To facilitate drying, trim the roots and remove excess foliage, leaving a few inches above the


Bulb Breakdown:

After harvesting, break the bulb into individual cloves for culinary use or replanting.

Planting depth for cloves is typically 4-6 inches deep, with a spacing of at least 12 inches

between them.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure a successful and timely harvest of elephant garlic.

A Comprehensive Guide for Growing Elephant Plants

Growing elephant garlic is a rewarding endeavor, offering flavorful and oversized bulbs.

Follow these 8 steps for a successful cultivation journey:

Select Quality Bulbs:

Choose healthy elephant garlic bulbs from reputable sources.

Planting Depth and Timing:

Plant cloves in well-drained soil, 2-3 inches deep, during the appropriate season for your region.

Watering Routine:

Maintain consistent moisture, ensuring the soil remains lightly moist but not waterlogged.

Fertilizing the Plants:

Apply a balanced fertilizer moderately, avoiding fertilization once bulbing starts.

Weeding and Mulching:

Keep the growing area weed-free and apply mulch for moisture retention.

Harvesting Timing:

Harvest when foliage turns yellow or brown, typically 180-210 days after planting.

Careful Harvesting Process:

Gently pull up plants, brush off excess soil, and trim roots for optimal drying.

Bulb Breakdown:

After harvest, break bulbs into individual cloves, ready for culinary use or replanting.

Follow these steps for a bountiful harvest of this unique and flavorful garlic variety.


Growing Elephant Garlic requires careful attention to planting depth, spacing,

and environmental factors.

It is recommended to plant elephant garlic in the fall, allowing for a longer growing season and

optimal clove development.

The cultivation process involves providing well-drained soil, ensuring proper sunlight, and

regular watering.

Elephant garlic, a biennial plant, completes its life cycle in two growing seasons, with fall

planting and spring/summer harvest.

Valuable resources such as gardening guides and publications offer detailed insights for a

successful harvest.

Aqsa Kanwal

Aqsa Kanwal