You can grow garlic indoors in a pot, but you won’t get heads of garlic as you would when you plant cloves in the garden. Instead, what you’ll get will be garlic greens – the green tops of a garlic bulb.
These greens are not the same as green garlic. Those are early spring garlic or immature garlic bulbs and their edible green stalks.
Garlic greens are quite delicious, though. They can be used as a seasoning or garnish. Their flavor is lighter and milder than that of fresh garlic.
Growing Garlic Greens in Containers
You can easily grow garlic greens indoors or outdoors from the garlic cloves you already have in your kitchen. For best results, however, you can buy cloves from a local farmer or get organic garlic bulbs from your nearest gardening store.
Here’s how you grow garlic greens in a container.
Choosing a Pot
You’ll need a pot around 6-8 inches deep, minimum. Your container can be as wide as you want, with adequate drainage holes.
Fill the pot with a commercial potting mix or DIY some. Work some compost or aged manure into the mix for a healthy crop.
Planting Your Garlic Cloves
Make 2-3 inches deep holes into the growing medium and insert your garlic cloves root side facing down. Make sure there’s a minimum of one inch of potting mix on the top of the cloves.
Maintain 2 inches of spacing between each clove while planting. The plants won’t mind growing closely, though, as you’re growing them for greens.
Place the container near a window where it receives at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. You can also use indoor grow lights if you don’t have access to that much direct light in your home.
Caring for Garlic Greens
Watering depends on how much sunlight the plants receive. You should water the plants regularly to keep the soil moist.
If the plants get enough sunlight, you need to be a little more careful with the watering. You will need to water more frequently as the pots might dry out sooner.
Use an organic fertilizer twice a month during the warm growing season to ensure the proper growth of your garlic greens.
You can also use compost or fish or kelp meal fertilizer to provide your plants with the nutrients they need.
Harvesting Garlic Greens
Green shoots will begin to appear within a week or two of planting. You can start picking them when they’re dense and 8 to15 inches high.
Trim the greens with scissors but leave about one inch of shoots above the soil line to ensure continued growth.
If you plan to have garlic greens on hand, you’ll need to plant new cloves in succession. The cloves will be exhausted once they have grown the greens.
Use garlic greens the way you use green onions and chives. You can use them to garnish your salads, pasta, and soups.
You can finely chop them to add in scrambled eggs and omelets or make Italian style spring garlic risotto.
You can also use the tops as an ingredient in Indian chutneys or spicy curries, says Balcony Garden Web.
Here’s a quick video…