Garlic is one of those amazing plants that once purchased, you may never have to buy another clove again! Why? You ask? Because garlic is a plant that regrows itself from cuttings or cloves. Seriously! Next time you’re adding a delicious infusion to your baking, keep an extra clove. You’ll have home-grown garlic before you know it.
Before you sow your cloves, you have to decide what type of climate you have to work with? Are you planting your garlic on a window sill, or do you have a few rows of extra space to work with in your garden? Since it’s December, and I have more snow than I do gardening space, I’ve decided to plant my garlic on my kitchen windowsill.
Tip: If planting outdoors, it’s best to plant your garlic in the fall. But garlic does well planted outdoors in any other season, as well. It might take a little longer to harvest, but it is possible to grow it whenever!
It’s important to separate your garlic cloves prior to planting (keep the papery protection on them, though) and it’s even more important to give your garlic enough room to grow. Typically, I’ve grown two cloves each in 6 inch terra cotta pots. I’ve only had to transplant my crop once throughout the years, so I think I’m doing pretty well! 😉
With the pointy end facing upward, plant your cloves in rich soil. Make sure the pointy end is facing upwards, or your garlic will grow in the wrong direction.
Immediately after planting, give your garlic a hearty watering, but then only water it about once weekly after that. Depending on the temperature of your home, or your region, you may find that you need to water more often. Use your best judgement, and discontinue water usage when you near the harvest date.
It’s time to harvest your garlic when you notice the tops of the greens turning yellow. When your tops start to slump and become discolored, it’s time to harvest your plants. Use a fork, or a small rake, to dig into the soil, and lift them up by the garlic root.
Plants grown indoors will be less susceptible to pests and diseases, but that doesn’t mean it never happens. Keep an eye out for areas of white rot.
White rot is a fungus that will kill your existing garlic, and will infect your soil for years to come. If you suspect your plants have fallen ill, it’s best to remove and recplace the soil. If you suspect white rot, throw away your plant, and replace the soil it grew in.
Purchase specialized garlic cloves at Garden Hills Nursery.