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Grow Garlic in Grow Bags and Containers

If you are looking for an easy and effective way to grow garlic, Root Pouch grow bags are a great option because garlic does not like wet feet and the...

If you are looking for an easy and effective way to grow garlic, Root Pouch grow bags are a great option because garlic does not like wet feet and the excellent drainage in these bags ensures this. These lightweight and reusable bags are perfect for growing garlic in small spaces such as balconies, patios, and rooftops. In this blog, we'll cover the ideal growing conditions for garlic, the best soil mix for Root Pouch grow bags, and when to harvest your garlic.

Ideal Growing Conditions for Garlic

Garlic is a cool-season crop that prefers moderate temperatures and plenty of sunlight. It grows best in well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Garlic needs a long growing season, so it's important to plant it at the right time.

In Australia, garlic is typically planted in Autumn or early Winter (April to June) and harvested in late spring or early summer (November to December). Check your grow zone requirements for garlic as the exact timing will depend on your location and the weather conditions.

Don't know about "Grow Zones"? Check out the BLOG

Choose the Right Variety for Your Grow Zone

There are two main types of garlic that you can grow in containers. Hardneck bulbs are hardier than softnecks and will grow better in areas with cold winters. On the downside, the bulbs don't store as well as softnecks do. Softneck Garlics are best grown in areas with milder climates (temperate regions). This variety has a floppy stalk. It’s easy to grow, and the mature bulbs can be cured or dried to provide it with a long shelf life. 

The Right Soil

The right soil mix is crucial for growing garlic igrow bags and containers. We recommend using a high-quality potting mix that contains a good balance of nutrients and organic matter and complies with the Australian Standards as indicated by the red ticks on the side of the bag. It must drain well. You can also add some compost or aged manure to the mix to improve soil fertility and structure.

Want to know how to make Balcony or small space compost? Check out the BLOG 

When filling your Root Pouch grow bags or containers with soil, make sure to leave about 5cm of space at the top of the bag to allow for watering and root growth. You can also add some slow-release fertiliser or organic matter to the soil mix to provide nutrients throughout the growing season. 

Garlic is a bulb plant, which means the key to getting healthy, super-sized heads, is to use a high phosphorus fertiliser. for the new gardener, look  for organic fertilisers marketed specifically for bulb plants like daffodils, tulips, or hyacinths. Pellet-style, slow-release fertilisers works best. Add about 2 tablespoons for medium pots and mix well with the top few centimetres of soil.

Planting Garlic in Grow Bags and Containers

Once you have your soil mix ready, it's time to plant your garlic cloves. Separate the cloves from the garlic bulb and plant them about 2-3cm deep and 10-15cm apart in the Root Pouch grow bag or grow bag garden bag. 

This space is important if you want your garlic to form large, full heads. The base of the clove (where the roots will sprout) needs that depth.

The largest cloves will perform the best, so plant those and save any little pieces for cooking.  Make sure to plant them with the pointed end facing up and the flat end facing down.


Water the soil thoroughly after planting, and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged throughout the growing season. Garlic needs regular watering to develop healthy bulbs, but it's important not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. Root Pouch fabric grow bags are free draining so will prevent pooling of water. In other containers, ensure that there is adequate drainage at the bottom of the hard pot and the bags or pots do not sit in trays of water.

Harvesting Garlic

Garlic is ready to harvest when the leaves start to turn yellow and dry out. This usually happens in late Spring or early Summer, depending on your location and the weather conditions.

If you are growing hardneck varieties of garlic, it is recommended that you remove the curly flower stalk (known as the scape) that appears in early summer. By doing so, the plant's resources will be directed towards growing larger cloves and a bigger garlic head. After about four to six weeks from the appearance of scapes, your garlic will be ready for harvest.

Harvesting softneck garlic varieties can be a bit more challenging, as they do not produce scapes. However, one method to determine when they are ready for harvest is to monitor the leaves. When about half of the mature leaves have turned yellow, the garlic bulb is likely ready to be picked.

In case you forget to start the countdown after the scape has formed for hardneck varieties, the same trick of waiting for half of the leaves to die back will work. Typically, scapes form in mid-summer, and for softneck varieties, the leaves will start to die back sometime between mid-spring to mid-summer.

To harvest your garlic, gently pull the bulbs out of the soil and brush off any excess soil.

Allow the garlic bulbs to dry in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area for a few weeks before storing them. You can braid the leaves together and hang them up to dry, or you can spread them out on a tray or mesh rack. Once the garlic bulbs are fully dry, trim off the leaves and store them in a cool, dark, and dry place.



By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your garlic grows healthy and strong, and that you have a bountiful harvest to enjoy. Happy planting!


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