If you are like me, when you get ready to plant some new vegetables the…
Supermarket garlic Can you grow garlic indoors? Yes! Growing garlic is easy in the garden. It can be just as easy in an indoor garden. And you can start with garlic you buy at the grocery store.
All you need are nice garlic cloves you can buy any time of the year at the supermarket or farmers markets.
The question is can you grow garlic in a container?
Yes! Garlic is easy to grow indoors too. Many people grow container garlic for greens. Martha Stewart Living does a good posting about growing garlic on the windowsill.
However I disagree with her conclusion that you can only grow garlic greens.
Garlic greens are tasty but I was looking to grow full size garlic indoors.
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I had trouble finding anyone who grows full garlic bulbs indoors. Lots of indoor gardeners grow garlic greens however no one harvests full size bulbs. So I had to ask why?
The first key to growing supermarket garlic
It is best to buy organic garlic. I always buy organic because some companies spray produce with growth inhibitors so they don’t sprout on the shelf.
If you can’t get organic or don’t want to spend the extra money you can still grow garlic from what you buy at the supermarket. Make sure that you rinse the garlic thoroughly in cool water for several minutes. This will rinse off any growth inhibitors.
How can you have full size garlic indoors
The secret to full size garlic indoors not just garlic shoots is mimicking the outdoor.
So I started by investigating what the differences between indoor and outdoor planting of garlic.
Can you grow garlic indoors? Indoor planting is mostly done in ideal conditions.
The air temperature and soil temperature typically in the 70s. Nice sunny window or even a grow light. Will give your plants a great environment to grow.
So what’s the difference?
Typically outdoor garlic is planted in the fall for early summer harvest. It spends a couple of months or more under snow.
Why? Garlic needs vernalization
What is vernalization?
Vernalization is the process of exposing plants to prolonged cold of winter. This is required to give some plants seasonal cues. Vernalization is used for plants that need a dormant period to then re-emerge from that dormancy period to flower.
Garlic needs to go through vernalization to successfully grow a full garlic bulb.
This is why garlic is typically planted in the fall.
If you are an indoor gardener you have to mimic that situation.
The secret to growing garlic
The secret is to put the garlic in the back of the refrigerator for at least 30 days to let the garlic go dormant.
Place the garlic bulbs in a plastic container. Put a date on the container so you will remember when you put it there.
- After at least 30 days, plant your garlic bulbs as you normally would
- About 6″ apart
- Point up, old roots down
- 1/2 deep
- Rich well drained potting mix or soil less potting mix
Growing garlic indoors under lights
Garlic needs at least 6 hours of direct sun…or grow light. Grow lighting is a simple way to insure that you give the garlic plants the right about of light.
Garlic will grow a couple of feet tall because of that the windowsill may not be the best spot. A great place to put garlic is in a container on the floor with a grow light that can be raised as the garlic grows.
For more about grow lighting read Making sense of grow lights
The garlic will emerge in about 10 days after planting.
Your garlic cloves are ready to harvest when the greens start to brown and fall over. The time to harvest will depend on variety but you should plan on at least 90 days.
Best grown in small spaces and indoors will add an attractive plant to your space. And now that you know the secret to growing garlic starting with supermarket garlic I hope you give it a try.
Try planting a fewer bulbs more often. This secession planting will insure a steady supply and take little space.
Wiki how also does a good article on grow garlic greens in containers indoors. Check it out here if you are interested in growing garlic greens.
Thank you for read. As always Please comment and share!
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