Garlic is a staple spice in savory foods and there is no kitchen in the world that does have a stash of it. But did you know that you can grow your own garlic to have a steady supply?
And did you also know that aside from it being a kitchen staple, it is also one of the easiest spices to propagate? Yup, you read that right so today, we will show you how to grow garlic and shall also give you a rundown about all the growing essentials you have to know about our favorite spice.
When to grow garlic?
It is typically planted or grown during colder seasons like mid-fall, early winter or early spring.
Regardless, the best season to grow garlic should always be during mid-fall for the bulbs to develop roots before the winter frost and for foliage to appear by early spring. But here are some further considerations though.
For areas with harsh winters, growing is usually between September to November. In areas with milder winters, in between February to March is still okay.
What type of garlic should you grow?
The type of garlic you should grow depends on the regional climate that your place has.
There are two major types of garlic to grow: the soft neck and the hard neck. Soft necks are the most common and they are the ones grown in milder climates.
On the other hand, hard necks, as their name implies, have harder stems and they refuse to grow cloves in warm climates so that are the best garlic to grow in harsh climates.
Planting, growing and cultivating garlic
The default way to grow garlic is through cloves but the first step is to prepare the soil bed. You need to mix the soil with the compost and then spread them evenly in the garden bed.
Dig the planting holes and make sure that they are at least 15cm apart. Place the cloves at two to three inches deep in the soil. Make sure that as you plant them, the pointy end of the clove is up top. Cover the entire bed with compost (or mulch) and spray in fertilizer right away.
After this one, water as necessary as possible. Water them heavily during bulbing which normally takes place between May to June. Do it five times a week.
After that watering should be done for three to four times a week until they grow their foliage and twice a week when the stems stem and scape sprout.
Fertilizer spray or vegetable feed may be needed once a month or every three weeks. If it is colder in your region or when it rains, watering should be done infrequently. Just check the soil if it is already dry (if it has dry cracks there, water it).
Watch out for weeds and de-weed every now and then since they compromise the growth of your garlic. You will also need to take off the garlic scape because they compete with the nutrients and they cramp up the growing space.
Growing garlic indoors
Using the basic steps in growing garlic, you can also propagate them indoors in small spots. This is good for those who are living in cities with no space to transform as soil beds.
You still need to mix soil with compost, dig two three inches of planting hole and 15centimeters in between planted cloves. Cover the pots in mulch after and water them lightly. Fertilizer may not be advisable since they will grow sprouts after seven to ten days. Place them in a spot where they would get enough sunlight like in windows.
Do not expect to harvest garlic cloves after though because indoor or potted garlic shall only grow greens and sprouts.
Growing garlic in water
Garlic is so easy to grow that you can do it even without soil, compost and fertilizer. As a matter of fact, you can grow garlic in water.
Here is what you will need for this: small containers preferably plastic shot glass, unpeeled garlic clove and water. So you just have to put the unpeeled garlic clove in a shot glass with just enough water to moisten the bottom of the clove.
Change the water every day until it grows sprouts and put the glasses in the windowsill for it to receive enough light. You will see sprouts after three days and scape after a week.
Grow the garlic until it is at least five inches tall before harvesting. But like the garlic grow in pots and indoors, do not expect cloves to be produced. They will only supply you with greens and sprouts.
An important thing to acknowledge about growing garlic in water though: it could stink so you might need an indoor greenery like the outback or a spare room to grow it on.
To conclude, growing garlic is easy as long as you follow the steps mentioned here and as long as the soil bed is manageable (not that wide). It is easier to grow garlic indoors and in water but of course, it will not give you cloves so you will still have to master growing them outdoors.