Garlic is a versatile plant with many health benefits. Not only does it add flavor to meals, but it’s also known for its medicinal properties. However, growing garlic can be a challenge, especially if you live in an area with a short growing season or limited outdoor space. That’s where indoor garlic growing comes in. With a few tips and tricks, you can easily grow garlic indoors and enjoy fresh garlic year-round.
Choosing the Right Garlic
The first step in growing garlic indoors is to choose the right garlic. Look for garlic bulbs that are firm, plump, and free of any mold or soft spots. Choose garlic varieties that are suited for indoor growing, such as Creole, Korean Red, or Siberian. These varieties are known for their ability to grow well in containers and produce large bulbs.
Preparing the Garlic
Once you have your garlic bulbs, it’s time to prepare them for planting. Separate the cloves from the bulb, being careful not to damage them. Leave the papery skin on the cloves intact. Soak the cloves in water for a few hours before planting to help them germinate.
Choosing a Container
When it comes to growing garlic indoors, the container you choose is important. Garlic needs well-draining soil, so choose a container with drainage holes. The container should be at least six inches deep and wide enough to accommodate several garlic cloves. You can use a variety of containers, including plastic pots, clay pots, or even a recycled container like a coffee can or yogurt container.
Soil and Fertilizer
Garlic needs well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. Use a high-quality potting mix or create your own by mixing equal parts of peat moss, vermiculite, and compost. Add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil before planting. You can also add a liquid fertilizer every two weeks to help promote growth.
Planting the Garlic
Plant each garlic clove with the pointed end facing up, about two inches deep into the soil. Space the cloves about four inches apart to give them room to grow. Water the soil well after planting.
Light and Temperature
Garlic needs plenty of light to grow, so place the container in a sunny window or under grow lights. Garlic also prefers cooler temperatures, between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the container in a cool location, away from heat sources like radiators or stoves.
Water the garlic regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Garlic doesn’t like to sit in water, so make sure the container has proper drainage. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water.
Garlic typically takes six to eight months to mature. You’ll know it’s ready to harvest when the leaves turn brown and start to dry out. Carefully dig up the bulbs, being careful not to damage them. Allow the bulbs to dry for several weeks in a cool, dry location before using or storing them.
Growing garlic indoors is a great way to enjoy fresh garlic year-round. With a few simple steps, you can easily grow garlic in containers and enjoy the many health benefits of this versatile plant.