Top 10 Garlic Tips

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Garlic is not only packed with flavour and health properties, it is easy to grow in the garden. Traditionally garlic is planted on the shortest day and harvested on the longest day, however it can be planted in both autumn and winter. Check out our top 10 tips for growing garlic this season. 


  1. Garlic thrives if given basics - food, water and plenty of sun!
  2. The better the soil, the better your plants will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like Tui Sheep Pellets and Tui Compost to your soil. Then add a layer of Tui Vegetable Mix
  3. Garlic bulbs are readily available in garden centres in winter, buy a whole bulb like you would at the supermarket. Avoid planting garlic from supermarkets as often it has been treated to stop it sprouting away in the supermarket.
  4. Break up each bulb into cloves, it is these cloves which you plant NOT the whole bulb.
  5. Plant garlic at least 5cm below the ground (twice as deep as the length of the clove).
  6. Garlic is happy growing in pots and containers, in a pot the size of a kitchen bucket you can plant about six cloves of garlic.
  7. For garlic planted in garden beds feed every four weeks during key growth periods. Tui Vegetable Food is a rich formulation of fertilisers including dolomite, blood and bone and sheep manure to encourage healthy vegetable growth. If planting in pots and containers use an all purpose variety, such as Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser. Apply Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic through the season to encourage larger cloves.
  8. Garlic needs to be kept well watered to produce large bulbs, particularly as the bulbs are starting to form in November and December.
  9. Protect your garlic plants from the elements with layers of Tui Pea Straw Mulch to keep the soil moist and cool when the garlic is actively growing.
  10. Harvest in summer once the tops start to die back. Don’t be tempted to pull the bulbs out by the leaves, dig up with a fork and leave to dry on the top of the ground for a week or so, then plait and store somewhere dry and away from direct sunlight.

Follow our Garlic Growing Guide here >

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Top 10 Garlic Tips Comments

  • Should we water our garlic plants every second day or more?

    Brady Ryan

    • Hi Brady, every few days at this time of year will suffice. It also depends how much rain you are getting as to how much water they require. Adding some Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic to your watering can give the plants a boost. Happy garlic growing 

      Tui team

  • I love garlic


  • I really enjoy receiving my newsletters as I know exactly what to buy next time I'm in town as we live rural and the recipes & information is are so helpful. Thank you.


  • Hello everyone, This is a fantastic site: it is easy to navigate, relevant to where l live in Australia re seasons (don't have to re interpret advice from the northern hemisphere); it is concise and to the point. I read a lot of sites with veggie and gardening advice and this is the best! I just love it

    Anne Marie Craine

  • Both myself and my friends find rust to be a major problem that makes growing garlic as well as onions, difficult. I have tried copper spray/soil drench. This year I have planted away from silver beet and broad beans that often show signs of rust and my feeling is that is the source. Can you help please?


    • Hi Brian, onions and garlic plants are susceptible to rust, which is hard to control once it establishes. Look for rust resistant varieties if they are available, as the rust spores can overwinter in the bulbs, plant fresh ones each season.  Rotate crops avoid planting in the same area of the garden each season and plant other vegetables that aren't susceptible to rust such as lettuce and brassicas. Good air circulation is important to prevent the conditions that rust enjoys - warm, moist and humid. Remove infected leaves and collect up fallen leaves to help slow the spread. Wet weather and heavy soils contribute to the rust problem, improve drainage by digging in plenty of organic matter, and raise garden beds if soils are heavy clay.  Don’t compost infected plant material, burn or dispose of in the rubbish. Space plants out to improve air circulation, avoid overhead watering, especially at night where the moisture stays on the plant until the morning, creating an ideal humid environment for rust to spread. There are sprays for rust, talk to your local garden centre or DIY store for a suitable control for food crops. Sulphur is a good natural rust deterrent, and some gardeners say bicarbonate of soda mixed with water and sprayed on the plants is effective, search the internet for home remedies for rust on plants.


    • Thank you. Lots of good tips I can use


  • I spent my childhood and early teens growing up in Northern Rhodesia and my parents grew all our vegetables for the family and shared them with friends. I would like to start growing vegetables for my family and friends here in NZ. My grandchildren have been asking my wife and I to teach them as well. I thought that joining the Tui Newsletter would be a great place to start. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Robin van Vuren

    Robin van Vuren

    • Hi Robin, thank you for your feedback. We hope you find lots of inspiration and ideas from our Tui Newsletter and website, go to our planting calendar on the website and enter your region to find out what to grow and when in your area. Here is the link to this page 



  • Thanks so much for these tips 😊 you will see my posts and hopefully we will have good harvest in 6 months time.

    Garth Guptill