To grow garlic indoors and in a container is an ideal project for a beginner or seasoned gardener. The process usually requires planting a garlic clove into the soil and soon enough, it will produce the garlic.
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Some Facts About Garlic
Before you learn how to grow garlic indoors, it would be a good idea to learn some facts about garlic. First off, majority of the world’s garlic are grown in China. Bleached and sprayed with chemicals, these garlic’s may not be the healthiest and the safest to eat. Moreover, the garlic’s have to travel thousands of miles while in storage. As a matter of fact, some garlic growers in China are said to use human sewage to fertilize the crops. Thus, you might want to think twice before you decide to grab that perfect white bulb of garlic the next time you visit your local supermarket. It is for these reasons why many would choose to grow their garlic at home.
Choose the Garlic To Grow
Choose the variety of garlic you want to grow. There are around 15 different kinds of garlic that you can choose to grow, although not all varieties might be suitable for indoor growth. Do a bit of research before deciding on the variety to grow. Choose something that will not need to be fed with chemicals to grow. You can choose from the Lautrec Wight, White Pearl and the Purple Moldovan Wight. You can plant garlic indoors in containers where it can be possibly grown regardless of the season.
Garlic comes with so many benefits. It has amazing flavor and is good for the health. And when you choose to grow indoors, you can be sure that the garlic is safe to consume by your family.
Growing garlic in containers inside your house can also come with many benefits. One of these is that it helps to minimize exposure to various insects, pests and diseases. It does require attentive care however. Equip yourself with the right materials in order to grow a flavorful and healthy garlic plant.
Read on to learn how to grow garlic indoors in a container.
Also Read: How to Grow Succulents Indoors Easily
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Choose the right container to plant the garlic. The ideal one should be about 8 inches or 20 cm in depth. It must also have holes for proper water drainage. If you wanted to plant more than one bulb of garlic, then choose a container that’s big enough to accommodate all of the garlic cloves you will plant. Plant the cloves 4 inches or 10 cm apart from each other.
Obtain the garlic bulb that’s suitable for growing. Get them from any plant nursery or at any garden supplies store. The parts of the bulb to be planted are known as cloves while the entire garlic is called bulb.
Purchase the garlic bulbs from a gardening supply store instead of the supermarket. Using the garlic bulbs bought from a supermarket will lead to failure since these are often chemically treated to prevent them from sprouting and therefore, they may not be able to grow well enough.
Wear your gardening gloves. Mix the gardening sand with the potting soil. It must have a ratio of 1 is to 3. Fill the container entirely with soil and leave about an inch of space or about 2.54 cm from the top of the container.
Planting the Garlic Cloves
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Break the garlic cloves from the head of a fresh garlic. Be very careful not to damage the cloves at the base where its attached into the garlic plate. If the base gets damaged, the garlic will not be able to grow.
Push each of the garlic clove about 4 to 6 inches into the soil, or about 10 to 15 cm. There should be an inch of soil in between the top of the garlic clove as well as above the soil. Hold the garlic cloves at the flat end, or bottom part, facing down while the pointed end of the clove is facing up.
Plant the larger cloves since smaller cloves will take up just as much space in the container, yet, they produce smaller bulbs.
Prepare the mulch using leaves, hay, compost and well rotted manure or grass clippings. Fertilize the garlic plant with compost at the start of planting. Cover the cloves with mulch.
Caring for the Growing Garlic
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Place the container in such a way that it receives at least 8 hours of sunlight every single day. Placing the container on the kitchen windowsill is a good idea. You can also place it in your patio, balcony or any other place that will allow the water to drain. Water the plant regularly by sprinkling water evenly. Let the water to drain through the holes at the bottom of the container. Remember that the garlic plant needs a hot and dry weather in order for its bulbs to mature.
Just because you are growing garlic in containers indoors does not mean that you will not have to deal with pests. Mice as well as other small creatures in your house could nest in the mulch. If there are mice infestations in your kitchen, then you may want to consider placing the plant somewhere else.
Closely monitor the garlic as it begins to sprout the green chive like leaves.
Clip the flowers off at the base once the garlic plant starts to sprout. If you will do this, all the energy will go into making the garlic bulb even bigger.
Harvesting and Using the Garlic
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As your garlic plant starts to grow, you will notice long green stalks to emerge. These are called scapes and you can pull them off and eat them if you want. But this could damage the bulbs themselves so you have to be careful when doing this. Wear gloves when pulling the scapes off or your hands will smell garlic for several days.
Harvest your garlic bulbs about eight to ten months later once the leaves will start to die and will turn to brownish color. Dig the garlic gently and be careful not to bruise them.
Storing the Garlic
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Keep the plants unwashed and hang them to cure for at least two weeks. Hang the harvested garlic in a place that’s dry and cool such as your garage. Dry them for at least one week before you start using them.
The ideal temperature for curing garlic is at 80°F. Brush the flaky layers of the garlic bulb once it is fully cured to reveal the clean skin underneath. Trim the roots and tops and store in cool and dry place. Do not wash the garlic as it will prolong the curing process and will possibly cause the garlic to rot.
Store the garlic inside a cool and dry place. Keep the dried bulbs in a garlic keeper that’s made of pottery. Pull off individual cloves when needed. Store garlic in vinegar or oil. However, in order to avoid any growth of bacteria, keep it inside the fridge and consume as fast as you can.
Cook or eat the dried garlic. Save some of the cloves in order to plant them in the future and harvest more garlic.
Also Read: How to Grow Turmeric Indoors
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Exercise extreme care when preparing flavored oils with garlic and when storing the garlic in oil. Avoid storing garlic in oil at a room temperature as this can be a perfect condition for botulism toxin.
As you see, the process on how to grow garlic indoors is easy. But in order to ensure success, make sure that you follow the tips above.