Gardening Plants

How To: Plant Bulbs and Garlic

In the late fall as soon as the weather chills and temperatures drop but just before the ground freezes it is time to plant bulbs that will grow in the spring.  Planting garlic and flowering bulbs is a fantastic way to see early blooms in your garden. They also provide pollen and nectar sources for honeybees that are beginning to emerge from their hives. Sometimes people overlook garlic, but truthfully, garlic is just as easy to plant as flowering bulbs.  It is also planted at the same time.  This morning, I planted Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths and garlic all with a new handy tool that made bulb planting more enjoyable. It took me about half of the time using the dibble verses a small garden trowel.  The old saying is true-Having the right tools for the job, make for smoother sailing.

Tilly's Nest- bulbs and garden dibblewp

This is my latest tool called a garden dibble.  Okay, I am in love here folks with this simple, elegant sleek bulb planting tool.  This is a large.  They come in small and medium too and are handcrafted by Bepa’s Garden in Connecticut.

Tilly's Nest-planting flower bulbwp
Regardless if you use a dibble or a small garden shovel to plant garlic and bulbs, dig a hole for your bulb at the appropriate depth found on the packing.
Tilly's Nest-flower bulb placementwp

Be sure to place your bulbs in the hole with the flatter roots side down and pointy side up pointing up to the sky.  If they are placed in upside down, they will not grow.  Cover with soil and continue on with the next bulb.  I like to plant a bunch of bulbs very close to each other.  This puts on a better show in the spring as clusters of bulbs make more of a visual impact. Next it was time to plant garlic.

Tilly's Nest-vegetable garden fallwp
So many of our cold weather crops are still producing in the garden.
It was almost difficult to find a place to plant the garlic!
Tilly's Nest-planting garlic cloveswp
Tilly's Nest- plant garlic
This is garlic that was harvested this past spring.  It’s easy to plant garlic. Split apart the garlic bulb into individual cloves.  You can also use supermarket garlic.  However, use organic only. Non-organic garlic can be treated, just like potatoes, to prevent eyes and stems from forming. These will never grow in your pantry or your garden.
Tilly's Nest-planted garlicwp

Using the dibble I made holes and popped a garlic clove into each hole and then covered each one with soil. Garlic is harvested in the spring, after their blooms die off. I hope you will try to plant some bulbs this year.  They are such a welcome sight in the spring.

 Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest


Hello friends, welcome! Follow along on our chicken, beekeeping, gardening, crafting and cooking adventures from Cape Cod.

  • Not being able to find room to plant your garlic is a great problem to have, isn't it? I never have luck with my garlic. It somehow always gets scattered around. I think I don't mark it well enough or something?

    • Yes, the last two fall/winters have been very unseasonably warm. Do you think critters could be eating the bulbs? Sprinkling cayenne pepper over freshly planted bulbs can deter them.

  • Kp

    I've never thought of planting garlic! I don't know why, we certainly eat enough of it here. Might have to take some time out in the yard today!

    • You will just love it. After it blooms and the bloom dies off, it is ready to harvest. Pull from the ground, brush off the dirt. Braid the leaves and let it dry. Simple and delicious!

  • I'm so glad you liked the dibble! Thanks so much for mentioning it!

    • I'm so glad you found me! This is one of my favorite items for the garden.

  • Good for you Melissa! I can't wait to try out my Bepas Garden Dibbles as well…Sharing a fun(( and timely) link from MaryJanesFarm today!

    • I can't wait to take a peek at the link. Thanks for stopping in today Deb.

  • Thanks for the reminder to link up! Great feature this week.

    • Thank you for stopping in and linking up. It is wonderful having you with us.

  • Great reminder… i totally forgot it is time to put my garlic in! I am enjoying some nice kale, so thankful for fall/winter bounty.

    thanks for hosting!


    • Oh Kale! How wonderful. I still have some swiss chard, mixed greens, leeks, onions, turnips and cardoons growing. We have had a wonderful growing season here. Hope you got that garlic in. Thanks Loni.

  • I have the small pointed dibble from Rob @ Bepa's Garden and I love it! I think everyone should have one 🙂

    • I agree! They are wonderful.

  • What a lovely blog you have! Thanks for inviting me over 🙂

  • Anna H

    just googled "planting bulbs on Cape cod" and Tilly's nest came up! Love the idea of the bipple- can I get one locally???

  • Anonymous

    Hi…Does garlic need to be in full Sun or how many hours of Sun. I would love to plant some but have so much shade.. Thanks!