Home Growing Food Stop Buying Garlic At Supermarkets: Here’s How To Grow A Bountiful Harvest Of Garlic Indoors

Stop Buying Garlic At Supermarkets: Here’s How To Grow A Bountiful Harvest Of Garlic Indoors

by Jenny

Garlic, with its pungent aroma and rich flavor, is a staple in multiple culinary delights. Its healthy benefits are also countless, from boosting the immune system to reducing the risk of some types of cancers. But did you know that you can enjoy the satisfaction of growing your very own garlic right in the comfort of your home? No need to go to the supermarket or wait for a specific gardening season, you can kickstart your indoor garlic garden any time of the year, ensuring a steady supply of fresh garlic to elevate your culinary creations.

In this article, we’ll unravel the art of growing garlic indoors, from selecting the right varieties to nurturing them with care.

Garlic types to try

When choosing garlic varieties to plant indoors, it’s essential to consider those that are well-suited to container gardening and have shorter growing seasons.

  1. “Lorz Italian” Garlic (Softneck): Lorz Italian is a softneck garlic variety with excellent flavor and adaptability to container gardening. It produces large bulbs with plenty of cloves and has a relatively short growing season, making it a perfect choice for indoor cultivation.
  2. “Inchelium Red” Garlic (Softneck): Inchelium Red is another softneck garlic variety that grows well in pots or containers. It has a mild, sweet flavor and can adapt to various growing conditions.
  3. “Chesnok Red” Garlic (Hardneck): Chesnok Red is a hardneck garlic variety with beautiful purple-striped bulbs. It is famous for its rich, complex flavor and typically produces larger cloves. While hardneck garlic may have a slightly longer growing season than softneck varieties, it can still be successfully grown indoors with proper care.
  4. “Early Italian Purple” Garlic (Hardneck): This hardneck garlic variety matures early, making it ideal for indoor cultivation. It has a mild yet rich flavor and produces attractive purple-striped bulbs.
  5. “Music” Garlic (Hardneck): Music garlic is a popular hardneck variety known for its large, easy-to-peel cloves and bold flavor. It has a shorter growing season compared to some other hardneck varieties, making it suitable for indoor planting.
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What you’ll need to prepare for growing garlic indoors

  1. Containers: Select containers or pots with good drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Each garlic clove will need enough space, so you can individual pots or a larger container with adequate spacing between cloves. Before cultivating, you should clean the containers with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to sterilize them and reduce the risk of diseases.
  2. Soil: Garlic prefers loose, fertile soil, so use a well-draining potting mix or a mix of potting soil and perlite/vermiculite. If you plan to plant multiple cloves in one container, ensure the soil is deep enough to accommodate the root systems.
  3. Location: Place your garlic containers in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. If natural light is limited, consider using grow lights to supplement the lighting.
  4. Fertilizer: Once the garlic starts to sprout, you can apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every few weeks to provide essential nutrients.

Steps to plant garlic

  1. Break Apart the Bulbs: Carefully break apart the garlic bulb into individual cloves, but leave the papery skin intact. Only separate the cloves you intend to plant.
  2. Planting Depth and Spacing: Plant each garlic clove pointed end up, about 2 inches (5 cm) deep into the soil and let the flat base be at the bottom. Next, space the cloves about 6 inches (15 cm) apart in rows, with rows spaced about 12 inches (30 cm) apart. This spacing allows enough room for the garlic to grow and prevents crowding.
  3. Watering: Water the planted cloves thoroughly after planting. Remember to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged during the growing period.
  4. Mulch: You should add a layer of organic mulch, such as straw or shredded leaves, to insulate the soil and suppress weeds. Mulch also facilitates regulate soil moisture and temperature.
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Harvesting your garlic

After 8-10 months, your garlic will be ready to harvest and enhance your culinary creations. Unlike other vegetables, you can’t ensure whether garlic ripens or not. However, the visual appearance of the garlic plant is an essential indicator of its availability for harvest. When about half of the leaves have turned yellow and started to dry out, it’s usually time to harvest.

Avoid waiting too long to harvest, as leaving the garlic in the ground for too long can result in the cloves separating and the bulbs splitting open, reducing their storage life.

Once you’ve determined that the garlic is ready, carefully dig up the bulbs, and follow the curing and storing process to ensure your homegrown garlic stays fresh and flavorful.

Things to keep in mind

  1. Garlic bought in the supermarket can’t ensure the possibility of sprouting because it can be chemically treated to last longer. Therefore, some gardeners prefer soaking the garlic cloves in water for a few hours before planting. This can help stimulate root growth.
  2. Garlic grown indoors may mature earlier than those planted outdoors. Most varieties take around 4 to 8 months to mature, depending on the type and growing conditions.
  3. In winter, the garlic will go dormant for several months. If you plant garlic at that time, make sure that the planting area is protected from extreme temperature fluctuations and winter winds.
  4. After harvesting, let the garlic bulbs dry and cure in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area for a few weeks. Once cured, trim the roots and tops, and store the garlic in a cool, dark place for long-term storage.
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Whether you have a sprawling garden or a cozy apartment, planting garlic indoors is an enjoyable and rewarding experience that allows you to savor the taste of freshly harvested bulbs while adding a touch of nature to your home.

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