4 Different Ways to Grow Garlic

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Favored by farmers and amateur gardeners alike because of its hardiness, high yield, and delightful flavor, garlic is one of the best crops to grow either indoors or outside. However, deciding exactly where and how to grow your garlic depends on several different things, including what type of garlic you’ll be growing and what your climate is. Understanding how garlic grows and learning about the different options available can make your garlic yield more successful and the growing experience more enjoyable.

Click here to learn more about the details of how to grow garlic from our complete care guide. In this article, we will review different ways to grow garlic.

Watering allium plants

In a Garden

More often than not, garlic is grown outside in a garden. This offers gardeners a good deal of space and gives the plants ready access to plenty of sunlight. Garlic prefers to have between six and 10 hours of full sun each day, so planting in a sunny area is a huge benefit to growing outside.

When planting outdoors, be sure to choose a variety that’s suitable for your hardiness zone. Most softneck varieties can tolerate warmer weather, so they’re a perfect choice for zones eight and above. Hardneck varieties, on the other hand, tend to prefer colder weather and thrive in 30 to 50 degree Fahrenheit temperatures. Therefore, they grow best in zones seven and below.

Another benefit of growing garlic in a larger garden is that you often have more control over soil drainage. Soil that doesn’t drain well or stays too moist can cause rot, which is one of the most common issues gardeners face. With the space offered by a garden, you can create small mounds to plant your garlic, which can help drain away excess water.

planting and harvesting in a greenhouse

In a Greenhouse

Growing in a greenhouse is another good way to grow garlic. Softneck varieties tends to be a bit easier to raise in greenhouse conditions, as it tolerates warm temperatures better. However, a well-ventilated greenhouse is a good option for hardneck as well.

Garlic naturally grows through the fall, winter, and spring months, and will actually stop growing if the temperature becomes too hot. For hardneck varieties, this means staying within the 30 to 50 degree range. Softneck varieties prefers temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

As long as the temperature is within the correct range, however, a greenhouse can help to ensure that garlic plants aren’t disturbed by animals throughout the growing season. It also lets gardeners control how much water the plants receive. Again, excess moisture is the enemy of garlic, so plants should only receive about an inch of water each week, and the soil near the bulbs should dry out almost completely before watering again.

If you choose to raise it in a greenhouse, make sure that your garlic is receiving the proper amount of sunlight.

Allium plants sprouting in a container

In Containers

Because allium plants aren’t generally too large, they are often a good option for growing in containers. Garlic doesn’t even need too much room to grow. As long as the cloves are spaced about three inches apart, they should be fine.

Many people choose containers as this allows gardeners to control the soil consistency and fertilizer mix easily. Gardeners can also choose to start garlic sprouts in a container before transferring the plants to an outside garden, which helps to ensure that the plants are protected through their most delicate stage.

Smaller pots also give gardeners the option to move the plants to a sunnier area or pull them inside during inclement weather.

Some people choose to keep their garlic plants inside all the time, which offers the plants a great deal of protection from animals and the elements and allows gardeners the maximum amount of control when it comes to watering, fertilizer, and soil consistency. However, it’s important to remember that garlic plants smell nearly as strong as the bulbs and cloves, so gardeners may want to grow it in a shed, greenhouse, or porch instead of in the house.

Make sure that you if you choose to grow your garlic indoors that you put it in an area where it receives enough sun. If you need more light, you can also potentially supplement with a grow light.

Garlic growing hydroponically in water.

In Water

Despite the fact that too much moisture can be damaging to bulbs, cloves can be started in water alone. To do this, simply place a clove in a cup, jar, or glass with the sharp point up, and submerge the other half in water. A clear container will allow you to watch as the garlic sprouts and the roots elongate.

Garlic should not be left in water indefinitely, however. Once the roots have sprouted and are a few inches long, the plant should be removed from the water and transferred either to a pot or a garden.

Garlic is not only a hardy plant but a versatile one. No matter what the growing situation, whether it’s inside or out, in a pot or in a garden, it is almost sure to grow. Choosing the best growth method for your situation can help to ensure that you will not only have a good harvest, but that the entire process will be as easy as possible.

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About the author: Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at TheGreenPinky. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.

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