Garlic in containers?

smiles317(7)February 13, 2006

I was just reading a bunch of bulletins in the Allium forum, and I could not find one on growing garlic in containers. I was just thinking of planting one small clove in a decent size container on my balcony just to see what happened (and the flowers are pretty). Would this work? I face NE, and am on the top floor so I get decent light.

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luv2gro(z3a AB)

I started 18 cloves in January in a long deckrail planter. They have all sprouted very nicely (about 10" high) and seem to be establishing themselves very well in the bulb area. If they just sit there by May, I will plant them into the garden.

This was just an experiment for me, too. I've never tried garlic in a planter before. Any advice from someone that has would be really appreciated.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 3:49AM
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I planted five cloves last spring, with my Japanese Maple. They weren't really all that decorative, I have to say. I used one of them in December, when I needed garlic for a lentil-soup. It hadn't had time enough to produce new cloves (that takes two seasons), but was simply one big clove... tasty though. I noticed that they had sprouted in January, and we still have snow now, so I doubt they'll come around again this summer...
But I think it's worth a try.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 7:20PM
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girlndocs(8 WA)

If nothing else, tender garlic sprouts make good greens: like chives, but garlicky. I think they have to get quite tall to bloom, and would need staking.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2006 at 12:39AM
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In Edward C. Smith's new book, "Incredible Vegetables From Self-Watering Containers", he advocates growing garlic in containers for the greens. In any container with at least 6" of soil depth, punch a finger hole, drop in a clove (pointy end up)- thats it. In 4-5 weeks, harvest the entire plant, or just the leaves, which can grow back four or five times. Any variety will do - he likes 'German Extra Hardy'. Soup, salsas, stir-fries, - any dish where you enjoy garlic. Enjoyable book.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 11:24PM
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Amino_X(z7b AR)

I had some store-bought garlic that sat on top of the microwave a little too long and sprouted (lol).

Now I've tried in the past to plant store-bought garlic before without any success but I thought "what the heck" so I went ahead and planted it and to my surprise it sprouted! (It must have been originally grown in a similar zone to be compatible with our reigon) This was about the first part of January so it got it's needed cold-treatment in February.

I also downloaded a bulletin from the conservation service on how to grow it. Now it said that garlic matures in 8 months but that might just be for our zone, I don't know, I've never heard of it taking 2 seasons but then this is my first year with it too. :)

Best Wishes

    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 8:35PM
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Amino_X(z7b AR)

P.S. Remember to fertilize well. They're heavy feeders. I mixed in the reccomended amount of Osmocoat into the container before I planted.

Also, don't over-water. They seem to like their soil slightly moist but not damp.

Best Wishes

    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 8:41PM
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squeeziemonkey(z5 Chicago)

I tried growing garlic in a pot when I lived in Arizona and it grew profusely! The only problem I had with it was that it seemed to need a LOT of pot room! I grew it on my windowsill for a while then moved it to a shady spot in my back yard then at the end of the season it went from one large clove to a small bulb!

It tasted great! I want to do it again but I do not think I have the space here in my Chicago apartment so I am gonna see about planting them downstairs in the parking lot's box.

Oh, and NEVER buy garlic or small onions as "Seed Bulbs" from nurseries. It is a total scam. Just go to your grocery store and get what you can from the produce department and leave them in paper bags on your counter for a while till they sprout, then plant.

Either way you buy, there is a chance that your onions will get that nasty black powder mold so keep them in separate paper bags to stop cross contamination. Done!

Use rich soil and fertilize regularly they really like that!

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 1:40PM
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I found this thread useful last year and planted some garlic as a result. I wanted to add to the thread with my experiences in case it helps someone else.

I planted both German extra-hardy porcelain and store-bought garlic. Most were planted in the ground, but some were also planted in containers. Therefore, I could compare the results directly.

I used two types of containers. I used the large self-watering container from Gardeners (actually the same type Ed Smith uses), and the large tall decorative planters people use for their front doors.

The garlic never took off in the self-watering container. It was probably too wet and rotted.

The garlic in the front door planters did as well as the garlic in the ground -- same size, multiple cloves. The grocery store garlic ended up being about a quarter smaller than the original bulb. The German porcelain is still growing, but they're currently the size of the original grocery store bulbs (they are supposed to get bigger.)

I pulled the grocery store garlic when the tops turned brown. The German garlic is still almost completely green. As per advice I heard elsewhere, I chopped off the flowers before they bloomed, so the plant would focus its energy on the bulb.

None of the plants ever needed support, but they do get pretty tall. So yes, it is possible to grow garlic in containers. It's pretty easy care -- I watered only when the soil looked very dry (there were also strawberries in the planter, so enough water that they didn't die.) I didn't water at all during the winter. I also didn't fertilize much. I started with a good potting soil, and hit it with a water-based fertilizer only twice (when the strawberries first started blooming, and when the berries appeared.)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 8:11AM
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I've never actually grown garlic before, unless you count the garlic chives and the plethora of Allium that bloom in the bulb garden every year... but this spring, I found some interesting garlic varieties at the local garden center, and I potted them up because they were too pretty to just plant in the vegetable beds... the lavender flowers are really nice, and the leaves, themselves, are interesting... one type is variegated! They're called "Society Garlic", and although I'm not sure if it's the best type for cooking, it's definitely an interesting addition to the container garden!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 9:06AM
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Greetings to all,
I am in Malaysia. Can I plant garlic and onion here???

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 11:04PM
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I have no idea what growing conditions are like in Malaysia, particularly climate. Garlic requires a cold winter to bulb (it originated in the mountains of Afghanistan). You can probably do onions, particularly in containers, if your soil isn't suitable.
Can you get the bulbs or seeds locally? If so, the supplier may be able to give you hints. I looked up Malaysia and noticed there are no obvious onion or garlic farms. That could simply mean that Malaysia isn't suitable for large-scale allium growing, but you might swing it in a small controlled environment like a container. I don't think garlic is an option, but it's cheap to try (just plant a clove instead of eating it.)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 8:41AM
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Garlic is easy to grown, even down here in Florida. Just buy some elephant garlic, and you will have plenty of bulbs to plant. The bulbs never seem to survive long, so I just harvest the leaves. They do seem to sprout as predictable as weeds though. As far as society garlic goes, supposedly its easy to grow, but its not a true allium, but close enough for results.

I planted chive seeds, but they seem to be taking their sweet time growing. Maybe I should fertilize them more, unlike other typical herbs.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 5:01AM
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