When to Plant Garlic Tennessee: A Growers Guide

Tennessee’s climate is generally well-suited for growing garlic, a popular staple for gardeners in the area. With warm days and cool nights, this state makes an ideal environment for growing garlic. Let’s look at when to plant garlic in Tennessee. We’ll provide some planting and harvesting tips and discuss what to consider before planting your crop. 

When to plant garlic in Tennessee

When to Plant Garlic Tennessee

Garlic is a cool-season crop that can be planted in the early fall and will grow throughout the winter and be ready to harvest in the spring. It’s best to plant garlic bulbs in the late summer or early fall to avoid the hottest part of the year.

Some gardeners plant their bulbs in the spring, but the weather in some areas of Tenessee gets too hot in the summer. For spring planting, ensure that you choose a garlic variety that can cope with the heat.

Garlic is generally considered a fall-to-spring crop in TN as the state has a transitional climate.

Things to consider before planting garlic

When to Plant Garlic Tennessee

When it comes to deciding the best time to plant garlic in Tennessee, several factors must be taken into consideration. The most important are soil temperatures, day length, and frost dates. 

Soil temperatures need to be at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit before planting garlic in the spring in Tennessee. Due to the warm days and cool nights typical of this state’s climate, soil temperatures often rise quickly after a few sunny days. However, bulbs grow best when the soil temperature is 70 or 80 degrees. 

Daylight is also an important factor in growing garlic in Tennessee. Garlic is a photoperiodic crop, requiring long days from the start of growth until flowering and bulb formation occurs. Day length should be monitored throughout the growing season to ensure that plants receive enough light for optimal growth. 

Finally, frost dates vary year-to-year in Tennessee, so gardeners should consider these when planning their planting schedule. Typically, garlic is planted in the early fall to become established before the cold winter weather sets in. This will help ensure bulbs have time to grow and are mature enough to store well after harvest.

Planting tips

When to Plant Garlic Tennessee

Choose a variety of garlic that does well in the Tenessee climate such as Creole garlic. These hard-neck varieties do well in warmer climates and can be planted in the spring in TN and other states with a USDA zone of 7 or higher. Some examples of hard-neck garlic include Ajo Rojo, and Burgundy.

For fall planting, choose a soft-neck garlic variety such as Artichoke garlic or Silverskin garlic. These varieties are often grown in south TN and do well in warmer weather. You can also store these varieties for longer if they are kept in a cool, dry place. 

Garlic bulbs can be planted in rows between 6 and 12 inches apart. You can grow several bulbs in each row, but they should be spaced at least 6 inches apart so that they have space to grow. Planting garlic bulbs too close together will result in an undersized harvest.


By following these tips and considering things like soil temperature, day length, and frost dates, farmers and gardeners can determine the best time to plant garlic in Tennessee. With proper planning and care, a successful crop of flavorful bulbs can be enjoyed throughout the year.