Indoor Garlic Growing Made Easy! Did you forget to plant your Garlic this fall? Or maybe you didn’t plant enough and you want more, but the ground is frozen or covered in snow? Well, fear not my temperate friends… You can grow Garlic indoors and it’s super easy. Provided you observe a couple of key steps, I’ll cover it all from beginning to end and it starts right now.
Vernalization process to grow Garlic indoors
Before we can do anything we have to subject our garlic bulbs to a process called vernalization, sounds overly complicated but it really isn’t.
It just means that we have to artificially expose the garlic to cooler temperatures for a defined period of time. That is stick it in the fridge for a month to six weeks.
With our garlic chilling let’s go over its life cycle so as to understand why we grow it like we do.
Garlic plant Calendar
In cool regions, garlic cloves are planted anywhere from four to eight weeks before the first fall frost.
The goal here is to get established root development with minimal shoot growth before the plants go dormant for up to three months.
In the spring the garlic has grown for another three to four months until the bulbs reach full size and the shoots begin to fail. It’s at this time that garlic is harvested and cured for extended storage.
Great now that we know how garlic is traditionally grown we can now see that need for that artificial cooling period for the indoor version.
Planting your chilled garlic is going to be identical to how we’d be planting it outside. That is we are going to need a rich well-drained ph neutral potting soil and your container of choice.
Soil & Container requirement to grow Garlic indoors
Indoor garlic growing usually defaults into container garlic growing, simply because most people don’t have raised beds or garden plots inside.
You can grab any of the commercial mixes from the store, add in about 10 percent sand and you’re good to go. I myself have been having a run of bad luck lately with any of the indoor mixes that I bought, you know be it from spider mites or just poor growth altogether, so I’ve resorted to making my own.
It’s essentially a 50 50 mixture of compost and coconut fiber, add in that 10 sand as we talked about before, and then some optional amendments.
Garlic needs a spacing of about four inches minimum between each clove. Without that spacing, you can definitely stunt the size of the bulbs that you’re trying to grow so it’s really important, keep them at least four inches apart.
With garlic being quite a shallow-rooted plant the depth of the pot really doesn’t matter. Anything six inches or so and above you’ll be perfectly fine.
Fill your potter container all the way to the top with that soil mix that we talked about before and then compress it down about an inch.
We’re now ready to plant, so let’s go prep that garlic.
Prepare the Garlic
Prepping a garlic bulb for planting only takes a few seconds. New garlic bulbs are grown from the singular cloves of an existing bulb. This is what makes them so easy to grow.
All we do is separate the individual cloves from the main bulb and remove all the paper coverings except the inner one that’s covering the clove itself, leave that intact.
Try not to overly pry off those cloves that seem stuck, simply move around the bulb to find an easier one. Eventually, they’re all going to loosen up and be able to pop off almost on their own.
I should note that for many of you, your garlic may have sprouted at this time. Don’t worry, that’s completely normal. I have some that do, some that don’t, it’s not an indicator of a good crop or a bad one.
Now that the garlic cloves are prepped we’re ready to plant. Intuitively garlic is planted root side down, that is pointy end up and blunt end into the soil.
Plant your cloves by pushing them into that wonderful soil mix that we have about an inch deep, with no worry of frost indoors there’s no need to plant any deeper.
Again observe that four-inch plus spacing. Pinch the holes closed and our garlic is fully planted, fantastic.
I do tend to mulch my garlic at this point, it’s an optional step but really it’s good gardening practice indoors or out and it does help with mitigating water loss due to evaporation.
Watering tips to grow Garlic indoors
Speaking of water go ahead and complete this celebratory last step and water your garlic. One good soaking should last your garlic for six to eight weeks.
Roughly two months later use the finger test to see how moist the soil is or if you have a moisture meter use that too.
Too dry is better than too wet, especially with indoor garlic. So keep that in mind.
3-5 Weeks Later
Within a month you’ll likely see your garlic start to sprout if it hasn’t already. This is great and a sure sign that your cloves are viable.
At this point the planted garlic will be hanging out with you indoors all winter long.
5 Weeks of growth
As such it’s going to advance far faster than its outdoor counterparts who will likely be in a growth stasis until the spring thaw.
You can continue to grow it indoors or move it outside once the spring truly hits and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when your indoor garlic is actually ready for harvest upwards of three months before the outside stuff.
Your growing buddies will wonder how the heck you’re getting garlic bulbs ready for harvest in April.
A lot of times with gardening growing crops indoors can be more trouble than they’re worth. It’s sometimes easier to simply take the loss and plant the crop on the next go-round of its cycle.
Fortunately, with garlic, the opposite seems to be true. It’s an easy and low-maintenance crop to grow indoors that’s actually coupled with an earlier harvest.
It really makes you wonder if growing garlic indoors isn’t actually the superior method in the first place. I could literally list the ins and outs of garlic growing all article long. If you’re a garlic lover like me make sure to leave a comment down below and also share it with all your garlic-loving friends.
Hey thanks for reading guys. Happy Gardening!