Among any indoor plant around the world, garlic is one of the most popular plants to grow. It is both a culinary and medicinal super food that can be grown throughout the year in either gardens, or in containers. Today, we will discuss growing garlic indoors.
When to plant garlic
Whenever you are planting garlic just remember, generally garlic is planted in the late fall followed by a period of winter dormancy and regrowth in the spring. It is quite easy to grow, but you don’t need to follow the traditional time and method for growing garlic indoors. Planted indoors in containers at any time of year is another way to produce healthy yields of garlic. Here is what you do.
How to grow garlic indoors
To grow garlic in container, make sure you start with a nice big container that is at least eight inches deep. Large shoe boxes work really well or you can make your own box with four pieces of wood to any size you like. Cleaned out quart or gallon food cans will also do the trick. Just like an outdoor garden, drainage is very important so make sure you pierce holes in the bottom of your container before planting the garlic. It is a good idea to line the bottom with newspaper or something like a coffee filter in order to prevent soil from escaping.
Pick a nice light soil, potting soil, or even a soilless mix (commonly used for seed starting), as the base for your garlic container. Next take a couple of good sized garlic bulbs and separate the cloves. Keeping the paper on, plant the garlic cloves with the root end down and the pointed end up, just deep enough so that they are covered by about an inch of soil. Plant as many cloves as you can in each container or pot, leaving four or five inches between each clove.
As with seed starting, it is important to maintain moist soil from the very beginning, so after your initial planting and watering, cover the container with plastic wrap. The young garlic now requires a six to eight week cooling period either outside or in the refrigerator, which will pay handsome dividends with vibrant growth in the spring. Just make sure to keep an eye on the moisture…mist the surface whenever necessary.
After the cool period, place your container on a sunny window, or under grow lights if you have them, because at this point the garlic needs about 16 hours of daylight. Remove the plastic covering and the small garlic tips will emerge pretty soon. A dash of fertilizer every month will give them a nice boost and now all you need is a little patience.
In two or three months, your garlic will be ready to harvest. After most of the tall green leaves have died back, it will be time to gently dig up the new bulbs. Let them dry in an airy warm location for six weeks, remove the tops, and they will store nicely for many months.
Growing garlic in containers is a fun project for adults, children, people living in apartments, those who have limited time and space, or people who just want to experience gardening on a small scale before tackling a full-fledged garden project.
Indoor garlic growing…give it a try!