When to Plant Garlic in Oklahoma: Your Helpful Guide

Are you looking to grow garlic in Oklahoma but not sure when to plant it? Look no further. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to have a successful garlic harvest.

The best time to plant garlic in Oklahoma is in the fall. Planting it in October or November will give the garlic enough time to establish its root system before winter sets in. By the time spring arrives, the garlic will be ready to take off and produce a bountiful harvest.

But planting garlic at the right time is just one part of the equation. To ensure a successful harvest, you need to have the right techniques and tips. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the garlic planting process in Oklahoma, including soil preparation, selecting the right garlic varieties, planting depth and spacing, and caring for the plants throughout the growing season.

So, if you’re ready to grow your own garlic in Oklahoma, let’s get started!

Understanding Garlic Planting Time in Oklahoma

Garlic is a cool-season crop that thrives in well-drained soil and cooler temperatures. The best time to plant garlic in Oklahoma is during the fall season, ideally between October and November, before the first hard freeze. This allows garlic to establish its roots before winter dormancy and ultimately leads to a better yield during summer.

It is essential to consider the frost dates in your region before planting garlic. Frost hardiness of garlic varies between cultivars, so suitable timing depends on the type of garlic you want to grow. To determine the right planting time, you can consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map or contact your local agricultural extension office for more information.

In addition to frost dates, it is also crucial to consider other environmental factors, such as soil temperature and moisture content. Garlic requires a soil temperature of around 50 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth, so make sure to plant when the soil temperature is cool enough. You can use a soil thermometer to monitor soil temperature. Moreover, proper soil moisture is necessary for garlic growth, but excessive dampness can lead to root rot, so make sure to choose a well-draining site.

Oklahoma Garlic Planting Guide

Garlic is a cool-weather crop, and planting it at the right time is crucial for a successful harvest. Here is a comprehensive guide to planting garlic in Oklahoma to ensure that you get the best results.

Step-by-Step Guide to Planting Garlic in Oklahoma

Follow these simple steps to plant garlic in Oklahoma:

Step Instructions
Step 1 Choose a planting site that gets full sun and has well-draining soil.
Step 2 Prepare the soil by removing any rocks or debris and adding organic matter such as compost or aged manure.
Step 3 Break apart the garlic bulbs into individual cloves and select the largest ones for planting.
Step 4 Plant the garlic cloves 2-3 inches deep and 6-8 inches apart, with their pointed end up.
Step 5 Cover the planted cloves with 2-4 inches of mulch, such as straw or leaves.
Step 6 Water the planted cloves thoroughly and then cover with a layer of straw or leaves to keep moisture in.

Soil Preparation for Planting Garlic in Oklahoma

The soil in Oklahoma requires some preparation before planting garlic. Here are some tips:

  • Test the soil to determine pH levels and nutrient deficiencies.
  • Add organic matter such as aged manure, compost, or leaf mold to improve soil health and fertility.
  • Ensure proper drainage by incorporating sand or other soil amendments if necessary.
  • Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer or bone meal in the fall or early spring before planting to provide nutrients to the garlic.

Spacing and Depth for Planting Garlic in Oklahoma

Garlic cloves should be planted 6-8 inches apart and 2-3 inches deep in Oklahoma. Planting too shallowly can result in frost damage and planting too deeply can result in lower yields.

Selecting the Right Garlic Varieties for Oklahoma

Garlic varieties suitable for Oklahoma include:

  • Softneck garlic, which grows well in milder climates and can be braided for storage.
  • Hardneck garlic, which is better suited for colder regions and produces flavorful scapes that can be used in cooking.
  • Elephant garlic, which produces large, mild bulbs and grows well in Oklahoma’s hot summers.

Choose a variety that is adapted to the climatic conditions and soil type in your area for the best results.

Factors to Consider for Growing Garlic in Oklahoma

When growing garlic in Oklahoma, there are several factors to consider to ensure a successful harvest. The climate and soil conditions in Oklahoma can be challenging for garlic growth, so it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared for potential issues.


Oklahoma’s climate is known for its hot summers and cold winters. Garlic prefers cool weather and can be damaged by excessive heat or dryness. To combat this, it’s best to plant garlic in the fall, when the weather is cooler and more favorable for growth. Additionally, it can be helpful to provide shade and mulch around the garlic plants during hot periods.

Soil Conditions

Oklahoma’s soil can be heavy, with a high clay content, which can make it difficult for garlic to grow. Garlic needs well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter to thrive. Before planting, it’s important to test the soil and amend it with compost or other organic materials as needed to improve the drainage and fertility.

Pest and Disease Management

Garlic is prone to several pests and diseases, including bulb mites, root rot, and white rot. To prevent these issues, it’s important to rotate garlic crops and avoid planting in the same location for several years. Additionally, practicing good sanitation and removing any infected plants or debris can help prevent the spread of disease.

By taking these factors into consideration and implementing appropriate strategies, garlic growers in Oklahoma can enjoy a successful harvest and delicious garlic crop.

Garlic Planting Schedule for Oklahoma

Timing is critical when planting garlic in Oklahoma. Planting at the wrong time could mean stunted growth or even no harvest at all. Here’s a seasonal guide for when to plant garlic in Oklahoma:

Planting Timeframe Garlic Variety
Mid-October to Early November Hardneck varieties
Mid-November to Early December Softneck varieties

Planting in October or early November is recommended for hardneck garlic varieties, as they need a longer growing season. Softneck varieties, on the other hand, can be planted in mid-November to early December.

It’s also important to note that the ideal planting time can vary depending on the region within Oklahoma and the particular conditions of a specific planting location. Gardeners should observe the weather and soil conditions to determine the best planting time in their area.

Preparing the Soil for Garlic Planting in Oklahoma

Preparing the soil is crucial for a successful garlic harvest in Oklahoma. Before planting, it is essential to test the soil’s pH level and nutrient content to ensure optimal growing conditions. The ideal pH level for garlic is between 6.0 and 7.5. If the soil is too acidic, add lime to raise the pH level, and if it is too alkaline, add sulfur to lower the pH level.

Garlic thrives in well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter. To improve soil quality, add compost, aged manure, or other organic materials before planting. Work these materials into the soil to a depth of at least six inches to enhance drainage and create a nutrient-rich growing environment for the garlic bulbs.

Pro tip: It’s best to prepare the soil about four weeks before planting garlic to allow the organic matter to decompose and the soil to stabilize.

Garlic bulbs need adequate spacing and depth for optimal growth. Plant each clove three to four inches deep and six inches apart in rows spaced one foot apart. It is essential to ensure that the pointed end of the garlic clove faces up while planting.

Remember, the quality of the garlic harvest largely depends on the soil’s preparation. Take time to prepare the soil adequately, and you’ll be rewarded with a bountiful harvest.

Selecting the Right Garlic Varieties for Oklahoma

If you’re looking to grow garlic in Oklahoma, it’s important to select the right variety for your growing conditions. Not all garlic varieties perform well in Oklahoma’s climate and soil, so it’s essential to choose a variety that can thrive in these conditions.

Some garlic varieties that are well-suited for Oklahoma include:

Variety Description
Chesnok Red A hardneck variety with a rich, complex flavor and purple-striped cloves.
Musik A hardneck variety with large, easy-to-peel cloves and a strong, spicy flavor.
California Early A softneck variety that produces large bulbs with a mild, sweet flavor.

When selecting a garlic variety, consider factors such as flavor profile, bulb size, and harvesting time. It’s also important to choose a variety that is disease-resistant and well-suited for your specific location in Oklahoma.

Planting Garlic in Oklahoma: Step-by-Step Guide

Planting garlic in Oklahoma requires attention to detail, but it’s a fairly straightforward process. Follow these step-by-step guidelines to ensure a successful garlic harvest:

Step Description
Step 1: Prepare the soil by loosening it with a garden fork or tiller, and remove any rocks, weeds or debris that may interfere with garlic growth.
Step 2: Test the soil. Garlic prefers a pH between 6 and 7, so adjust the soil pH, if necessary, with agricultural lime or sulfur. Incorporate organic matter, like compost or aged manure, for additional nutrients.
Step 3: Break apart the garlic bulbs into individual cloves, leaving the papery skin intact.
Step 4: Plant the garlic cloves, pointed end up, about two inches deep and six to eight inches apart in rows spaced 12 inches apart. Cover with soil and lightly tamp down.
Step 5: Water the garlic thoroughly but avoid overwatering, which can lead to fungal disease. Water regularly throughout the growing season, especially during dry spells.
Step 6: Apply a balanced fertilizer, like 10-10-10, at planting and then again in the spring, when the garlic begins to grow. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates.
Step 7: Mulch around the garlic plants with straw or leaves to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Keep the garlic bed well-mulched throughout the growing season.
Step 8: As the garlic grows, remove any scapes that form, the curled stems that emerge from the garlic bulbs, to encourage larger bulbs. Stop watering the garlic about two weeks before harvesting.
Step 9: Harvest the garlic when the leaves begin to turn yellow and dry out, usually around mid-July. Carefully dig around the bulbs with a fork and lift them out of the ground.
Step 10: Clean and dry the garlic bulbs by removing any excess dirt and then curing them in a cool, dry place with good ventilation for several weeks. Once the garlic bulbs are dry, trim the roots and stems and store them in a cool place.

By following these steps, garlic growers in Oklahoma can produce a bountiful and flavorful garlic harvest.

Caring for Garlic Plants in Oklahoma

Once your garlic plants have sprouted, it’s important to continue to care for them properly to ensure a successful harvest. Here are some tips for caring for garlic plants in Oklahoma:

  • Watering: Garlic plants require consistent moisture, especially during the growing season. Water your plants deeply once per week, or more often if the weather is particularly hot and dry.
  • Fertilizing: Garlic plants benefit from a balanced fertilizer applied in the early spring before the leaves begin to yellow. Use a fertilizer with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 10-10-10 or similar.
  • Pest and Disease Management: In Oklahoma, garlic plants may be susceptible to pests such as thrips, bulb mites, and nematodes. Keep an eye out for any signs of damage, and consider using organic pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap. Additionally, fungal diseases such as white rot and basal rot can be a problem in humid conditions. To prevent these diseases, avoid planting garlic in the same location year after year and make sure the soil is well-draining.

With proper care and attention, your garlic plants should thrive in Oklahoma’s climate and produce a bountiful harvest. Keep these tips in mind as you tend to your plants, and you’ll be rewarded with delicious, flavorful garlic in no time!

Harvesting Garlic in Oklahoma: When and How

Garlic is typically ready to harvest in Oklahoma in late spring to early summer, depending on when it was planted. It is important to watch for visual clues that indicate the garlic is ready for harvest, as harvesting too early or too late can affect the quality and flavor of the bulbs.

One sign that garlic is ready to harvest is when the leaves start to turn yellow and dry out. This indicates that the plant has stopped producing new growth and is starting to put all of its energy into the bulbs. Another way to check if garlic is ready to harvest is to dig a bulb out of the ground and examine it. If the cloves are fully formed and the outer skin of the bulb is dry and papery, it is ready to be harvested.

Step Description
1 Loosen the soil around the garlic bulbs with a garden fork or shovel, being careful not to damage the bulbs.
2 Gently pull the garlic bulbs out of the ground by the foliage, being careful not to break the stems or separate the cloves.
3 Brush off any excess dirt from the bulbs and trim the roots and foliage, leaving about an inch of stem attached to the bulb.
4 Cure the garlic bulbs by hanging them in a warm, dry, and well-ventilated area for 2-3 weeks. This will allow the outer skin of the bulbs to dry and harden, which will improve their storage life.

It is important to handle garlic bulbs carefully during the harvesting and curing process to avoid bruising or damaging the bulbs. Once the garlic has been cured, it can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place for several months.

By following these tips, you can ensure a successful garlic harvest in Oklahoma and enjoy the delicious flavor of homegrown garlic in your favorite dishes.

Troubleshooting Common Garlic Growing Issues in Oklahoma

As with any crop, garlic plants in Oklahoma can face a range of challenges that can impact growth and yield. Here are some common issues you may encounter and tips for addressing them:

Fungal Diseases

Garlic plants in Oklahoma can be susceptible to fungal diseases such as white rot, purple blotch, and downy mildew. To prevent these diseases, plant garlic in well-drained soil, avoid overcrowding plants, and rotate crops to different areas of the garden each year. If signs of disease appear, remove infected plants immediately and dispose of them far away from the garden area to prevent spreading. Fungicides may also be used to protect garlic plants from fungal diseases.

Insect Pests

Insects such as onion maggots, thrips, and mites can damage garlic plants and reduce yield. To prevent infestations, avoid planting garlic near other members of the allium family, keep the garden area free of weeds, and use row covers to protect plants. If insects do appear, consider using insecticidal sprays or natural predators like ladybugs to control pest populations.

Nutrient Deficiencies

If garlic plants in Oklahoma are not receiving adequate nutrients, they may exhibit signs of slow growth, yellowing leaves, or small bulbs. To prevent nutrient deficiencies, ensure that plants are receiving regular watering, fertilize with a balanced fertilizer before planting, and side-dress with nitrogen as needed throughout the growing season. A soil test can also help identify nutrient deficiencies and guide fertilizer application.


While growing garlic in Oklahoma may present some challenges, there are practical steps you can take to ensure a bountiful harvest. By paying attention to soil preparation, planting, and care, and addressing any issues that arise promptly, you can enjoy fresh, flavorful garlic straight from your own garden.


Growing garlic in Oklahoma can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, as long as you follow the proper techniques and tips. Remember, planting garlic at the right time is key to a successful harvest. By preparing the soil, selecting the right garlic varieties, and caring for your plants throughout the growing season, you can enjoy flavorful and healthy garlic bulbs come harvest time.

We hope that this guide has been helpful to you in understanding when to plant garlic in Oklahoma and the steps to take for successful growth. Don’t hesitate to reach out to local gardening resources for additional tips and guidance. Happy planting and harvesting!


Q: When is the best time to plant garlic in Oklahoma?

A: The ideal time to plant garlic in Oklahoma is in the fall, typically between mid-September and early November. Planting during this period allows the cloves to establish roots before the winter and ensures a healthy growth in the following spring.

Q: What are the key factors to consider for growing garlic in Oklahoma?

A: When growing garlic in Oklahoma, it’s important to consider the climate, soil conditions, and other environmental factors. Garlic thrives in well-drained soil and requires a cold winter for proper bulb development. It’s also essential to select garlic varieties that are well-suited to the region’s specific conditions.

Q: How do I prepare the soil for planting garlic in Oklahoma?

A: To prepare the soil for garlic planting in Oklahoma, start by testing the soil’s pH and nutrient levels. Amend the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve its structure and fertility. Ensure the soil has good drainage to prevent waterlogging, as garlic prefers well-drained soil.

Q: Which garlic varieties are suitable for growing in Oklahoma?

A: When selecting garlic varieties for Oklahoma, consider those that are well-adapted to the region’s climate and soil conditions. Some popular varieties include ‘Chesnok Red’, ‘Inchelium Red’, ‘German Extra Hardy’, and ‘Purple Glazer’.

Q: What is the recommended planting depth and spacing for garlic in Oklahoma?

A: Plant garlic cloves about 2-3 inches deep in Oklahoma. Space the cloves 4-6 inches apart within the row, with rows spaced 12-18 inches apart. Proper spacing allows the garlic plants to grow and develop without competing for nutrients and sunlight.

Q: How do I care for garlic plants in Oklahoma?

A: Caring for garlic plants in Oklahoma involves regular watering, especially during dry periods, to ensure the soil remains consistently moist. Avoid overwatering, as garlic bulbs can rot in waterlogged soil. Fertilize the plants with a balanced organic fertilizer in early spring and monitor for pests and diseases, applying appropriate measures if needed.

Q: When and how should I harvest garlic in Oklahoma?

A: Garlic is ready to be harvested in Oklahoma when the leaves start to turn yellow and dry out, usually in late spring or early summer. Carefully dig up the bulbs using a garden fork or shovel, being careful not to damage them. After harvest, allow the bulbs to dry in a warm, well-ventilated area to cure before storing.

Q: What are some common garlic growing issues in Oklahoma?

A: Some common garlic growing issues in Oklahoma include fungal diseases like white rot and bulb rot, as well as pests such as onion thrips and aphids. Nutrient deficiencies can also occur. Implementing good sanitation practices, proper crop rotation, and using organic pest and disease control methods can help prevent and manage these issues.