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7 Steps to Transplanting Your Garlic So You Don’t Kill It

A collage of planting sprouted garlic.

There may be many reasons why you want to transplant your garlic. You may be moving to a new location. You may have planted them too close together and need some separation. No matter the reason, you can transplant your garlic. You must follow the correct method for moving it to ensure that your garlic will survive

Can I Transplant Garlic Once It Is Planted?

Garlic bulb with roots and stem.

Yes, you absolutely can transplant garlic once you have planted it. However, it is essential that you follow the proper steps and maintain appropriate care of the garlic. When transplanting, you want to keep as much soil around the root as possible. You also must replant in a location that is as deep as the place where it was. Finally, if you want your garlic plant to survive transplantation, you must give it enough water and mulch. 

Steps To Transplanting Garlic 

If you follow these steps, you will be able to move your garlic plant and ensure it gives you a good crop. It would be best if you focused on moving the plants one at a time. You also want to make sure that the soil is not frozen when you transplant.

Step One – Get Needed Tools 

Planting garlic bulb with sprouts.

There are some tools you will need to transplant your garlic. These tools include:

  • Bucket
  • Pitchfork
  • Hand Shovel
  • Dry Grass or Straw

When you have all your tools, you can prepare the soil.

Step Two – Prepare the Soil

Garlic cloves scattered on the soil for planting.

Your garlic wants loose, fertile, and well-draining soil so it can grow quickly. It also needs large amounts of sunlight. Garlic is a sensitive plant and does not always do well when it is transplanted. If you provide the proper amount of nutrients to the soil, you are more likely to have an abundant garlic harvest

In the beds where you want to plant the garlic, you should use 3 inches to 4 inches of organic soil to enhance your bed. You can use compost or some other type of substitute for vegetables. 

Step Three – Create A Hole In the New Location

Next, you need to create a hole for each clove in the soil. The distance between each clove of garlic should be a least 15 centimeters apart. This is about 5.91 inches. You also want the depth of the hole to be about 10 centimeters. This is equal to 3.94 inches. 

Step Four – Loosen The Soil Around the Garlic

You want to loosen the soil a little bit with a hand shovel. Next, you want to dig the ground around the garlic bulb. You want to make sure that you keep a good amount of distance from the garlic bulb. If you get too close to the bulb, you can damage it. 

You want to ensure that you dig a large mound of dirt around the garlic bulb. You also want to make sure that you do not disturb the roots. It would be best if you considered using a broad shovel. The soil can be damp or dry. 

Step Five – Pull Up the Garlic Plant

A man holding fresh garlic harvest.

You want to pull off the plant slowly. First, you must grab onto the long leaves of the garlic bulb. When you pull the plant, you want to ensure that you keep a good amount of soil with the garlic bulb. 

Step Six – Move the Plant To Its New Home

An old person planting garlic cloves on the soil.


You want to ensure that the garlic is deep in its new hole. You should sow it deeply. Once you have the garlic in the hole, add more soil and dry straw. 

Step Seven – Water The Ground

The last step is to water the ground. You only want to sprinkle the ground. Do not overwater it. 

When Is The Best Time To Transplant Garlic?

The best time to transplant garlic is early in the development period of the garlic plant. You want to transplant the plant on a cloudy day, early in the morning or in the evening. You want to be sure to check the weather and transplant the garlic right before it rains. 

Translating garlic in these weather conditions protects the garlic bulb from the direct sunlight while you are transitioning it to a new home. You want to ensure that the weather is on the warm side. If you planted the garlic during the winter, you could move it to its new home in the first week of April.

When you take the garlic out of its old space to transplant it, you can only keep it out for a maximum of two days.

Can I Transplant Garlic Once It Has Sprouted?

A person transplanting garlic on a pot.

When the garlic has sprouted, it is a sign that the garlic is protecting itself from bacteria. It does not mean there is anything wrong with the garlic. This means that you can transplant the garlic even once it has sprouted. 

You can transplant garlic regardless of where you got it. No matter if it was bought from the grocery store or from an expensive nursery.

It would be best if you considered transplanting the garlic into softer soil. You can easily use a pitchfork to loosen the soil in the bed. It will take roughly a month for the roots of the garlic to settle into its new space. The soil must remain moisturized and have the right amount of drainage.