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More Than Just A Hobby: Growing Garlic Indoors

Posted by Katelyn Willoughby / garlicshaker.com on


More Than Just A Hobby: Growing Garlic Indoors

If you’re a garlic lover, then growing garlic will be a rewarding and money-saving experience. But does your home lack outdoor space or a garden? What about if you’re an urban-dweller? Grow those bulbs on a patio or in a window sill! More people than ever are growing foods indoors or outside traditional gardens, especially since a large percentage of the world’s population now live in cities. So get going – we’ll give you the rundown so you can start enjoying fresh garlic with your friends and family.

Some tips before you get started:

1.Growing garlic can take time, so be patient. Garlic typically takes between three and six months to mature, depending on the variety.

2.Fall is typically the best time to plant cloves in a garden. However, if you’re growing indoors, you can grow garlic any time of the year when using a sunny windowsill, and harvest the greens all winter long (which are fantastic for cooking and seasoning, by the way!).

3.Before you start growing, make sure to purchase a container or pot that is at least 6” in diameter and 12” deep – cloves need space to develop! Also – make sure you get a quality potting soil mixture. And fast fact: no need to worry about pests being attracted to your plant. Garlic naturally deters insects!

There are a number of ways to start the growing process, but here’s an easy, and economical, option for all our gardeners.

Gather

  • A head of garlic
  • Potting mix (again, feed your garlic right with a high quality mixture!)
  • A container, can, or pot that is at least 6” in diameter and 12” deep
  • An instrument to make holes in your container if it does not already have them (like a can opener or hammer and nail)

Get Growing!

  1. If you are using a container without drainage, start by making holes so that water can escape. If holes are particularly large, use screening, a coffee filter or even paper towels at the bottom of the container so that the soil won’t wash out.
  2. Fill your container with soil about 2 inches below the rim.
  3. Time to split open your garlic head! Pry open the garlic into cloves, while leaving as much of the skin attached as possible (it will help your garlic in the growing process).
  4. Plant your garlic in the soil, making sure the pointy part of the clove is facing up (with the side that was at the bottom of the head facing down). Poke cloves about halfway down into your soil.
  5. Cloves can be planted close together so long as they are not touching. Cover your cloves completely, by at least a half-inch of potting soil. Ensure all spaces between your cloves are covered. Pat gently (good garlic!).
  6. Find a spot where the plant will get a lot of sunshine. A south or west-facing window works best. Tip: if you don’t have a window, you can put your garlic under a fluorescent light.
  7. Water your container using a slow, gentle flow, until water is seen coming out of the bottom. Add soil if you see any sneaky cloves trying to poke through. Make sure to water just enough so that the soil stays moist, but not wet.

Enjoy!

In about a week or two your garlic shoots will emerge from the soil. Wait until they get to be a couple of inches tall before you snip them. Be sure to leave an inch of the shoot on each clove so that they will continue to mature. Shoots are delicious in salads, stews, soups, and are great for seasoning veggies and meats.

Remember, garlic typically takes between three and six months to mature. How do you know your garlic is ready to harvest? When you see its flowers deteriorating and the top of the garlic plant turns yellow! Once you see the bulbs emerge from the soil, you can use a fork or a pair of scissors to harvest the cloves so you don't damage the plant itself. To keep garlic fresh longest once it is harvested, store it in a dry, well-ventilated area. Send us a snap of your own indoor garlic growing stations, patios, or windowsills – and enjoy those tasty cloves all year round! Enjoy your delicious garlic more by learning how to peel garlic in 10, 20, or 30 seconds

Sources: http://containergardening.about.com/od/vegetablesandherbs/ss/Growing-Garlic-Indoors-In-Containers.htm

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