Why grow your own garlic? It is easy to just buy it at the market. Homegrown garlic is delicious! Once you have grown your own, you will never buy it again! You can easily grow it at home by learning how to grow garlic in pots!
A little about Garlic
Garlic has a reputation for preventing illnesses ranging from the common cold and flu through to the plague! However, it’s best known today for its use in enhancing the taste of food. It can be used in many recipes to bring out the flavor of other ingredients.
If you’ve used garlic before, you probably bought it from your local market. The garlic you buy at the store is inferior compared to garlic grown at home. Garlic grown at home has a fuller and better flavor.
Do you want to grow your own garlic?
You can do it! You don’t need a huge garden to do it because it’s actually quite easy to grow in pots.
How to grow garlic in pots
Growing garlic in containers is quite easy if you follow these simple steps on how to grow garlic in pots.
Step 1 – Pick your containers
There are hundreds of different options to use for your container garden. Anything from used tires, rubber boots and old livestock water tanks can be used for container gardening. I recommend using a container that is at least 5 gallon. This size at minimal provides enough space for 6-8 garlic plants.
The overall size of the container makes a difference in growing fresh produce. First off, the width of the container. A larger width means you can get more cloves in the container which impacts your overall harvest. The deeper the container, the more moisture it holds which cuts down on watering the garden.
Step 2 – Prepare and fertilize your soil.
The soil that you choose is very important to the overall health of your container. The soil should have plenty of organic matter in it along with some perlite to aid with drainage. You want a nice loose, fluffy mix for garlic. Garlic is a root crop which means it need to be able to expand to fill in the bulbs.
Step 3 – Pick the location
The location that you put your pot of garlic in is very important to the health of your harvest. Garlic likes to have full sun. Giving your garlic the correct amount of sun will help develop good sized bulbs.
Tip: The beauty of growing vegetables in pots is that you can move it around your garden to get the best sun exposure.
Step 4 – Plant your garlic cloves
Split the garlic bulb into cloves, plant the garlic in a sunny, well drained spot with spacing about 3 or 4 inches (10-12 cm) cloves approximately 2 inches (5 cm) deep with root (flat part of the clove) facing down and the point facing up.
Step 5 – Water
Water well and fertilize throughout the seasons. Mulch with grass clippings lightly following planting to maintain moisture in the soil and reduce the potential for weeds to grow.
Step 6 – Harvesting
Garlic is harvested from 17 to 25 weeks from planting. We normally plant our garlic in October (zone 8a) and then harvest in June. The leaves will typically turn brown, and the flower stems (if present) will begin to soften. One bulb can be inspected by removing the soil around it while looking for clearly defined cloves and bulbs should be full size. Any bulbs that have split are still fine to eat but won’t be able to be stored for long.
Tip: The garlic greens can be harvested and used much like green onions throughout the growing season. They are amazing!
Step 7 – Storage:
Harvest time! Allow garlic to dry by hanging in a dark and dry room for approximately one week. Once dry, remove all leaves and stems leaving a remaining length of approximately 3/4 inch (2cm) from the bulb. Do not wash off dirt or separate cloves as this reduces the life of the clove. Store bulbs in any way that allows air circulation around each bulb at room temperature away from direct sunlight.
Growing your own garlic is one of the simplest things you can do. Once you have the hang of it, you will never buy garlic again at the store.
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