If you want to garden but don’t have the space you should try gardening indoors. A sunny window and a little time and patience are all you need to start growing your own indoor herb or vegetable garden. You can grow many vegetables indoors, and it will help keep your plants free from the dangers of insects and pesticides. One of the most popular items that beginner and seasoned gardeners like to grow with their indoor gardens is garlic. Garlic is easy to grow and maintain and makes a great starter plant for your indoor garden. It’s also a fun way to include your children and teach them the basics of gardening and will give them an idea of where their food comes from. Take a look at these simple and easy steps to learn how to grow garlic indoors:
- Use a pot that is at least 8 inches deep. Make sure you buy one that has holes for drainage. Keep in mind, if you are planting more than one garlic bulb, your pot should be big enough to plant cloves 4 inches away from the side of the pot and 4 inches apart. If you don’t want to spend money on a pot, you can make your own container. Use an old coffee can or other container and drill your own drainage holes. Just remember, if you have larger drainage holes you will need to place a coffee filter or screen at the bottom of the can to make sure the soil doesn’t come out of the drainage holes.
- Purchase a suitable garlic bulb. You can find these at your local plant nursery or gardening supply store. The majority of supermarket bulbs are treated with chemicals to prevent sprouting and may not grow well in your indoor garden.
- Put on your gardening gloves and mix some potting soil with gardening sand. This mix should be about 3 parts soil to 1 part sand.
- Fill your container with your soil mixture. Make sure you leave an inch of space from the top. This will give your garlic plenty of room to grow.
- Get your garlic bulb ready by separating the cloves.
Planting Your Cloves
- Instead of digging a hole, simply push each clove down into the soil about 4 to 6 inches. You need to leave at least 1 inch of soil between the top of the clove to the soil.
- Plant each of your garlic cloves 4 inches apart to ensure maximum growth.
- Once you have your garlic cloves planted place your pot in a windowsill. Make sure the pot gets at least 7 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. You can rotate windowsills to ensure proper sun exposure.
Growing Your Garlic
- Make sure to always keep your soil moist without letting it get too wet. How often you have to water your garlic will depend on the temperature of your home and the amount of sunlight your plant receives. The hotter it is, the more often you will need to water.
- When it’s time to water your garlic, you can place your pot in the sink or bathtub. Anywhere that will allow the water to drain. Some of you may want to do this on your balcony or patio. Just don’t leave your garlic outside for too long.
- Gently water your soil by evenly sprinkling it with water. Don’t drench the soil. If you are unsure of how much water to use, add it in small increments to ensure you do not overwater your plant. When watering in the kitchen sink, using the sprayer nozzle works great!
- You will quickly notice the garlic starting to sprout. They produce green chive-like leaves. These are called ‘flowers.’
- You can clip off the flowers when they begin to sprout. Make sure to clip them at the base. This will make the bulb bigger, and you can use the flowers as topping on potatoes, in soups and more.
Harvesting Your Garlic
- When the leaves begin to turn brown and die, usually 8 to 10 months after planting, it’s time to harvest your garlic.
- Once you have pulled the garlic from the soil, you will need to hang it and allow it to dry for at least a week. You should hang your garlic in a cool, dry place, like your pantry or your garage.
- Once your garlic is dried completely, you can start cooking with it or eating it immediately. You will love the taste of freshly grown garlic, and you can plant some more cloves to start the growing process all over again.