If you love cooking with garlic, there’s good news! You can now easily grow this tasty bulb in pots indoors in your kitchen garden. Growing garlic indoors ensures that you are in control of all the elements and grow your garlic throughout the year if that is what you would like to do.
If you have always wanted to grow your own garlic indoors, then the good news that it will be considerably easier than you might think. It is something that you can do successfully even if you have no prior gardening experience.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
Growing garlic indoors successfully requires 3 key things:
The container or pot that you choose to plant your garlic in should be not less than 8-inches deep and wide. The more cloves that you plant, the larger the size of container you will need.
2. Garlic Bulbs
Store-bought garlic is less than ideal because it will not sprout since it is chemically tested. If your garlic bulbs cannot sprout, then they won’t grow. The best places to buy garlic bulbs are your local nursery, online retailer, or a local grocery store that sells organically grown garlic. It is advisable to choose the largest garlic bulb you can find with the most cloves.
3. Soil Mix
Garlic grows best in a soil mix that not only drains well but also retains some moisture. To achieve this consistency, it is advisable to mix 3 parts organic potting soil with 1 part horticultural sand and be sure to mix well.
Planting Season For Garlic
Fall is usually the ideal planting season if you plan to grow your garlic outdoors. However, since you want to grow garlic indoors, you can plant it at just about any time of the year. The great thing about garlic is that it doesn’t require any preparation before planting.
To plant your garlic, first fill your container or planting pot with the organic soil mixture. You should then remove individual cloves from the garlic bulbs and ensure that the flat end is pointing down in the soil because that’s where the roots will be coming from.
When you are filling the soil, it can also be a good idea to use some fertilizer. When it comes to the actual planting, you should push the cloves down at least 2 to 3 inches into the soil. Make sure that there’s at least 1 inch of soil between the top clove and top layer of the soil.
You can easily tell when your garlic sprouts since there will be green sprouts coming out the top of the garlic bulb.
Placement and Caring for Your Garlic Bulbs
You should always use the right soil that’s permeable and well-draining. Ideally, you should use soil-less potting medium. You can even make your own rather than buying. To do that, mix peat or coconut fiber, manure or compost, and either vermiculite or perlite in equal parts.
Once you have planted your cloves, the next step is to decide where to place the container/pot. If there’s a room in your home with a West or South facing window where the garlic will be receiving at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day, consider that. Alternatively, you can buy indoor grow lights that will allow you to grow your garlic even without sunlight.
If garlic is planted outdoors, it prefers evenly moist soil. However, because you are growing yours indoors, you should exercise caution. You must do your watering according to the proper conditions for indoor growing such as how much warmth and sunlight your potted plants are receiving. You should water the garlic regularly to ensure that the soil stays slightly moist.
Garlic requires a good amount of fertilizer to grow properly, both indoors and outdoors. Fertilize your garlic 2 times each month with general purpose fertilizer especially during the warm season. You can even use fish fertilizer or kelp meal to make sure that you garlic has sufficient nutrients for optimal growth.
Cut the Leaves
If your garlic plant start growing leaves during the first 6 months of growth, you should cut them off at the base. Clipping the base ensures that nutrients go towards growing the bulb. You should stop clipping off the green leaves after 6 months when the garlic is close to maturity.
If you are growing garlic indoors, note that it will be ready in about 8 to 10 months and you will know this once you start seeing the leaves turning brown. At this point, you will have to remove your garlic from the soil and hang them out to dry for at least 1 week. By this time, the garlic will be ready to include in your cooking or you can use some of them to grow another batch of garlic.