Garlic can be grown easily indoors so you can harvest the tubers for seasoning and chop the leaves for a delicious garnish. Start by choosing the right pot or container and filling it with planting media that does not contain soil. Next, buy good organic garlic at a nursery or online seller, break the bulbs, and plant the largest cloves in a pot. When the leaves have grown tall enough, you can cut them and use them as garnishes for cooking. About 10 months later, harvest the garlic by removing the bulbs from the pot, and allowing the bulbs to dry. Now you've got your own garlic!
Part 1 of 4: Putting Planting Media into Pots
Step 1. Choose a container that is at least 20 cm deep
You should use a container deep enough for the roots to grow so the plant can produce thick leaves and large tubers. Use a container that is deep and wide enough to accommodate all of the garlic cloves that will be planted.
- You can use flower pots, wooden crates, or other containers to grow garlic indoors. However, make sure the container is deep enough for the onion roots to grow properly.
- If you want to plant 3 cloves of garlic, use a container with a width of at least 30 cm so that the plant has sufficient growth space.
- Purchase pots at a garden supply store, farm store, or the internet. You can also buy attractive looking pots at craft stores.
You can use any container for growing garlic. Choose a container that looks good and fits your home, such as a wooden barrel or an unused aluminum tin can. You can also paint the container in a color that matches the design of the room in which the container is placed.
Step 2. Make sure the container has drainage holes at the bottom
Check the bottom of the container for drainage holes. If you don't have one, make a hole to allow excess water to drain to the bottom of the container so the onion plant doesn't rot.
- Almost all plant pots made of plastic, clay, and other materials have drainage holes at the bottom.
- If using a plastic container, make a drainage hole in the center with a sharp knife.
- Make a small hole in the glass or clay container with a special drill to make holes in the glass and ceramic floor.
Step 3. Fill the container with soil-free planting medium to improve drainage
This soilless growing medium allows excess water to drain easily so the garlic cloves don't rot. Use a good quality planting medium that contains vermiculite or perlite and coco fiber (coconut fiber) or coco peat (coconut coir powder) so that the media can maintain sufficient moisture for the garlic to grow well. Enter the planting medium until it reaches 5 cm below the top of the pot.
- Garlic is very susceptible to fungal root disease so it must be planted in a medium that easily drains water.
- This soilless planting medium can be found at agricultural stores, nurseries, plant seed sellers, and the internet.
- You can make your own growing medium by mixing vermiculite or perlite and coco fiber or coco peat to help retain moisture.
Step 4. Flush the planting medium in the pot until it settles and solidifies
Before the garlic is planted in the container, water the planting medium well so that it settles, and to ensure that the water flows well. Use a gembor or a 240 ml glass to pour water on the planting medium.
Check the drainage holes at the bottom of the container to see if the water is draining properly
Part 2 of 4: Growing Garlic Cloves
Step 1. Purchase organic garlic at a seed shop or the internet
Most of the garlic bulbs sold in supermarkets are chemically treated to make them last longer so they can't grow when planted. So, you have to buy garlic bulbs at nurseries, plant seed sellers, or the internet.
- You may also be able to find unprocessed organic garlic at some grocery stores. This type of onion can grow if planted.
- Ask your local nurseries if they have organically grown garlic.
- Order organic garlic online to have it delivered to your door.
If green shoots appear on the top of the garlic bulb, it means the onion can grow if planted.
Step 2. Break the bulb of the onion, but leave the skin on the clove
Open the onion bulb with your hands until it is divided into several cloves. Choose the largest cloves to plant because these cloves are more likely to grow. Do not peel the epidermis that is attached to each clove.
- Open the cloves 1 or 2 days before planting. If you open them well in advance, the garlic cloves will dry out and not grow.
- The epidermis will protect the cloves, and the garlic won't grow if you peel it.
Step 3. Make holes 5-8 cm deep and about 13 cm apart
Make a hole to plant each onion with your fingers or a small stick. Make sure the holes are deep enough and spaced far enough for the onions to grow properly without any obstructions.
The hole should be wide enough to accommodate the cloves of garlic
Step 4. Add the onion and cover it with 3 cm high planting medium
Insert 1 clove in each hole with the flat end down. Next, sprinkle the planting medium on it until the onion cloves sink into the hole.
- Add 1 clove of onion for each hole made.
- Gently tap the planting medium over the cloves to compact them.
Step 5. Place the container in a location that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight
A window facing east or west that gets a lot of sunlight is perfect for garlic to grow and thrive. Place the container on or near a windowsill to get at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
If you don't have a window that gets a lot of sunlight, you can place the container under a fluorescent light to keep the onions growing well indoors
Step 6. Water the planting medium until the water flows from the drainage hole
Water the planting medium regularly so that it blends with the onion cloves and so that the onions get enough water. The moisture in the growing medium will help the onions sprout and penetrate the protective epidermis. Pour water slowly into the pot until the water flows out of the hole in the bottom of the pot.
Do not over-water the garlic
Part 3 of 4: Caring for Garlic Plants
Step 1. Fertilize garlic every 3 weeks using liquid fertilizer
Add liquid organic fertilizer to the water used for watering plants. Every month or 3 weeks is an ideal time to apply fertilizer to garlic plants.
- Read the instructions on the product packaging to find out how to dissolve the fertilizer in the water.
- Liquid organic fertilizer can be found at farm stores, nurseries, or the internet.
Step 2. Keep the growing medium moist, but not soaking wet
How often you should water will vary, depending on the temperature in your home, the amount of sunlight your plants are getting, and the humidity of the air. Water the plant regularly, but don't overdo it. Pour enough water to let the excess water drain from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
If you live in an area with a warm climate and lots of sun, you may need to water your plants 2-3 times a week for the garlic to thrive
Step 3. Look for pests and rodents that attack plants
Rats can be attracted to the smell of garlic, and may eat the new shoots, or even pluck them out of the pot. So, check for any bite marks on the plant. Some small insects such as mites and aphids can also be attracted to this plant and potentially kill it. So, immediately get rid of plant pests if you see them.
- Get rid of mice using a trap if there are bite marks on the garlic leaves.
- Make a natural insecticide to get rid of pests so that the garlic remains safe to eat when harvested.
Check for pests that attack the plant every time you water it so you can do it regularly and not forget it.
Part 4 of 4: Harvesting Garlic Leaves and Bulbs
Step 1. Wait until the leaves are about 15 cm high before you harvest them
You can take garlic leaves when they grow tall enough without damaging the plant. The longer you wait, the healthier the plant will be, and you will be able to harvest fresh garlic leaves continuously.
In the first 6 months, the garlic will continue to grow leaves
Step 2. Cut the garlic cloves using scissors and leave about 3 cm at the base of the stem
Cut the leaves at the base of the plant, but leave a few leaves for the plant to recover and continue growing. By cutting the leaves, the garlic plant will divert its energy to grow the bulbs.
If you want fast tuber growth, prune the leaves when they are about 10 cm high to allow the plant to focus on growing the bulbs.
Step 3. Chop the scallions and use them as a flavorful garnish
Chop the scallions into small pieces using a sharp knife. You can use garlic chives as a light and delicious condiment or garnish on dishes.
- Use fresh garlic chives in soups to add a garlic flavor.
- Sprinkle chopped chives on ready-to-serve dishes to add a fresh and tangy aroma.
Step 4. Remove the garlic cloves from the container 10 months later and allow the bulbs to dry
After 8-10 months have passed, the garlic leaves will start to turn brown and die. This means the garlic is ready to be harvested. Remove the onion bulbs from the pot and clean the adhering planting media. Next, hang the garlic in a dry, well-ventilated place until the bulbs are completely dry. After that, you can use the garlic as you wish.