Home Vegetable Gardening Fertilizing Garlic: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing Bountiful Garlic

Fertilizing Garlic: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing Bountiful Garlic

by Gregory
3 minutes read

Fertilizing Garlic for a Bountiful Harvest


Garlic is a delicious and nutritious vegetable that is easy to grow in your own garden. However, garlic is a heavy feeder, meaning it requires a lot of nutrients to produce a good crop. Fertilizing your garlic plants is essential for ensuring they receive the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.

When to Fertilize Garlic

The best time to fertilize garlic is in the spring, after the plants have emerged from the ground. You can also fertilize garlic in the fall, before planting.

How to Fertilize Garlic

There are two main ways to fertilize garlic: side dressing and broadcasting.

  • Side dressing: This involves applying fertilizer directly to the soil around the base of the plants. Work the fertilizer into the soil to a depth of about 1 inch.
  • Broadcasting: This involves spreading fertilizer evenly over the entire bed. Water the fertilizer in well.

What to Use to Fertilize Garlic

The best fertilizer for garlic is one that is high in nitrogen. Nitrogen is essential for garlic growth and development. You can use a variety of fertilizers to provide nitrogen to your garlic plants, including:

  • Blood meal
  • Bone meal
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • All-purpose fertilizer

Fertilization Schedule

Fertilize your garlic plants every three to four weeks. Stop fertilizing with high nitrogen foods after May, as this can stunt the bulb size.

Other Tips for Growing Garlic

In addition to fertilizing, there are a few other things you can do to ensure a bountiful garlic harvest:

  • Keep the area around your garlic weed-free. Weeds compete with garlic plants for nutrients and water.
  • Water your garlic deeply every eight to 10 days. Garlic plants need about 1 inch of water per week.
  • Start checking for mature cloves at the end of June. Garlic is ready to harvest when the cloves are plump and covered with thick, dry papery skin.
  • Cure garlic bulbs in a shaded, warm, dry, and airy place for a week. This will help the bulbs to store better.
  • Store garlic in a cool, dry, dark area. Garlic can be stored for months in a cool, dry place.


If your garlic plants are not growing well, there may be a problem with fertilization. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

  • Yellowing leaves: This can be a sign of nitrogen deficiency. Increase the frequency of fertilization.
  • Stunted growth: This can be a sign of phosphorus deficiency. Add bone meal or another phosphorus-rich fertilizer to the soil.
  • Poor bulb development: This can be a sign of potassium deficiency. Add wood ash or another potassium-rich fertilizer to the soil.


Fertilizing your garlic plants is essential for ensuring a bountiful harvest. By following the tips in this article, you can provide your garlic plants with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.

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