8 Tips For Growing Garlic Indoors - Backyard Boss
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8 Tips For Growing Garlic Indoors

Growing garlic is a rewarding experience that anyone can enjoy, even those who live in apartment settings where outdoor gardening isn’t possible. Fresh, home-grown garlic makes any dish tastier and healthier, plus it’s satisfying to know exactly where your ingredients have come from. But, what if you don’t have room for a conventional garden? Fear not! With just a few tips and tricks, you can grow delicious and fragrant garlic indoors all year round, no yard required.

Here are eight tips for growing garlic indoors that will make this task easier, more enjoyable, and ultimately more successful!

Choose Your Variety of Garlic

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When it comes to garlic, you may have noticed two different types in the grocery store, hardnecks, and softnecks.

Hardneck garlic is closer to its wild relatives with complex flavors, while softneck has a milder flavor familiar to most people. The skins of some varieties of hardneck garlic can slip off easily, making them easier to prepare for cooking. However, one downside is that hardnecks don’t store as long as softnecks. You’ll need to use them within six to 10 months after curing them.

For those looking for a milder flavor and longer shelf life, softneck garlic is probably the right choice. But if you’re feeling adventurous and want something different, try a hardneck variety. Its complex flavors are sure to take your cooking to the next level!

Preparing the Garlic

fresh garlic bubls inside a white cloth bag
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For maximum yield, give the cloves a period of cool weather before planting. This process is called vernalization, which exposes them to temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for four to eight weeks. It helps promote proper bulb development when planted indoors.

Prepare the Soil

Coconut Coir Fibers
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For optimal results, use a 50/50 mix of coconut fiber and compost sand to give your garlic plants the necessary nutrients. Add in some sand for drainage. If you use potting soil, ensure the soil has a neutral pH, is free of pests such as spider mites, and has good drainage.

Additionally, you may want to consider adding some mulch around the base of your plants to help keep the soil moist.

Planting Your Garlic Cloves

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After the vernalization period, prepare the bulbs for planting.

Separate the cloves from the main bulb and remove all the covering, apart from the main one around the raw clove. Plant them in containers in clusters about an inch deep into the soil with their tips pointing upwards. 

Space out each cluster about 4 inches apart from one another for best results. It ensures plenty of room to grow and allows your plants can get plenty of air circulation.

Pinch the tops of the soil closed and add some more mix on top. Your cloves should be planted five inches deep.

Watering Your Plants

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Water your garlic well after planting. If you soak the soil deeply, you won’t need to water it again for another six to eight weeks. Doing this will also help prevent diseases or pests from taking hold of the soil. If you are using an irrigation system, keep the flow of water steady and consistent for the best results.

Roughly two months later, use a soil meter or your finger to check the moisture in the soil. With planting garlic indoors, drier is better.

In the winter you can drastically reduce watering, but come spring your garlic will need water every three to five days depending on its condition.

Monitor Temperature and Light Conditions

Hand planting in soil
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Garlic can tolerate temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, provide enough light for your plants to thrive. Six hours per day should suffice but check with your local nursery for specific recommendations.

Monitor for Pests and Diseases

Pot with a flower covered with mold. High humidity in the soil of a home plant. Close-up of white spores of the fungus. Too much water and improper watering of the plants. Pieces of mold and mildew
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Garlic attracts a variety of pests, such as mites and downy mildew, so keep an eye out for any signs of infestation or disease. If you detect any problems early on, take steps to remedy the situation as soon as possible. Regularly checking your plants will help ensure they remain healthy and productive all season long!

Harvesting Your Garlic

hands harvesting garlic
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Within a month, you will see stem shoots. Continue keeping it in a warm and sunny spot for another month or so. In the springtime, you can replant it outdoors or continue growing it indoors.

Harvesting outdoor garlic typically takes place in late summer or early fall when the leaves have yellowed and die back. It can take up to nine months for a garlic plant to mature, however, garlic grown indoors can be ready for harvest three months beforehand.

To harvest, simply dig up each bulb carefully, being sure not to damage the cloves. After harvest, you can hang your garlic up in a cool and dry area until ready for use.

Clove Is In The Air!

With these eight tips for growing garlic indoors, you’ll soon have your delicious home-grown garlic at hand! Whether for a special dish or just livening up everyday meals, fresh garlic can give your cooking an extra boost of flavor and nutrition. Get growing today and enjoy the rewards of fresh, flavorful garlic all year long!

Leave a comment below and share this article with your family and friends so they can learn how to grow their garlic, too.