Most people mistake garlic for a herb or spice due to its tasty and spicy flavor. But like onions, chives, and leeks, garlic is a vegetable. Its long stem, leaves, and bulbs attest to this. Aside from that, it boasts of a wide array of health benefits. So, eating it frequently can strengthen your immune system.
If you love to grow plants, the good news is that growing garlic greens is quite easy. It is much easier than growing other plants in soil. But can you grow garlic plants indoors? The answer is a resounding YES! It only takes a few weeks, and your garlic chives are ready for harvesting. Moreover, growing it indoors can save you a lot of trips to the grocery store, and you don’t need pots or soil. If you’d like a fresh supply of garlic all year round, forget about potting soil; growing garlic sprouts in water is a superb solution. So, how can you do it? read on to find out.
What You Need to Grow Garlic in Water
If you love fresh garlic to a great extent, the chances are that you will relish growing garlic scapes. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about space constrictions, the quality of the soil, and good drainage. All you need is a drinking glass or a clear container, water, a sunny window, a warm location, and garlic bulbs. However, do not expect to grow entirely new garlic bulbs in water as they do in soil. It is only possible to grow garlic greens from the clove. Using these sprouts, you can still prepare garlic scrambled eggs, baked potato, and all the other savory dishes auspiciously.
When you grow garlic indoors in water, you’ll also need to source suitable cloves. Sprouted cloves are the best. Why? A sprouted clove has a high growth rate when compared to a clove that’s yet to sprout. If you don’t have these in your pantry, try to get them at your local grocery store. The other alternative is making your ordinary garlic clove sprout.
What Are Garlic Sprouts?
Growing garlic in water is different from planting garlic in soil. When you plant garlic in water, you are targeting the green shoots that stem from the bulbs. These are known as garlic scapes, and they look like green onions. Although they are quite tasty, they are not as strong as the traditional garlic.
The silver lining is that the green shoots not only taste good but are also super healthy. Garlic sprouted within a few days has high levels of anti-oxidants. Furthermore, sprouting garlic is super easy.
Part 1 of 3
How to Make Your Garlic Cloves Sprout
Sometimes, you’ll not find sprouted garlic cloves. However, you can sprout your cloves. Sprouting garlic requires three components. These are; clear cups, the usual garlic bulbs, and clean water. Experts recommend using clear glass because you will know when the water gets dirty. During this process, ensure that the water is clean. Any signs of dirt mean that you have to change the water.
Pour water into the clear glass. The water level should rise to the base of your garlic clove. The objective is to prevent the whole bulb from getting wet. If your garlic clove is completely submerged, it will rot.
Proceed to place your garlic clove into the water glass. To sprout, the garlic cloves will need natural light. Therefore, you should find a perfect location. A south-facing window will come in handy. Full or partial sunlight exposure should be enough for your garlic cloves to sprout. After a few days, green buds will start sprouting from the cloves. This is an indication that the garlic cloves are ready for planting in water. Large-sized and medium garlic cloves are the best if you intend to sprout your cloves.
Part 2 of 3
Growing Garlic in Water
1. Place the Sprouted Garlic Clove in a Glass Jar
Put the garlic clove in a shot glass or a glass jar. Make sure the sprouting shoot is pointing upwards. Add clean water until it covers the base of the glass. Half an inch high is the ideal water level. You don’t want to submerge your garlic cloves because they will rot or die.
Using toothpicks can help you avoid submerging your garlic bulb and keep it facing upward. To keep it in the right position, insert three toothpicks on the sides of the garlic bulb strategically and hoist on the rim of the glass. The objective is to ensure that the three toothpicks hold the garlic bulb in position.
2. Place the Jar Next to a Window Sill
Once your set is ready, place next to a sunny windowsill. The goal is to ensure that your growing plant is getting adequate sunlight. Leave it for about 4 to 7 days. After that, the garlic will start sprouting.
3. Remove the Jar From Sunlight
Move the glass jar away from sunlight once the garlic sprouts begin to wilt or turn brown.
4. Change the Dirty Water
Murky or dirty brown water will make the growing conditions for your garlic health. So, remove the garlic carefully with your hands whenever the water gets dirty. Proceed to empty the small container. Clean it and place the sprouting garlic back. Fill the shot glass with water to a safe level. Be ready to change the water at least two or three times before the garlic is mature enough.
Part 3 of 3
Harvesting Garlic Sprouts
1. Allow the Garlic Sprouts to Grow to About 3 Inches
Once the garlic sprouts attain a height of 7.6-17.8 centimeters or 3 to 7 inches, they are ready for harvesting. By this time they should be healthy and green color. It would be best if you got the signs of maturity right. If you harvest the sprouts before they are ready, they will taste bitter and undesirable.
2. Use Kitchen Scissors to Cut 1/3 of the Green Garlic Sprouts
You want to get the tastiest part of the garlic sprouts for recipes. So, if they are about 6 inches tall, cut the top 2 inches. Unfortunately, garlic sprouts may not continue to grow after harvesting. Therefore, you are only going to harvest once. Besides that, you cannot keep the harvested sprouts fresh for long. Only harvest enough garlic sprouts for the dish you intend to prepare.
3. Cook the Garlic With Savory Dishes
Use your kitchen scissors to cut the garlic sprout tops into small pieces. The size will be perfect for savory dishes such as scrambled eggs, baked potatoes, and so on.
The Best Garlic Varieties to Grow in Water
Grown garlic differs in several ways. Botanists attribute this to the contrasting varieties of garlic. If you go to the local farmer’s market, they can help you point out the differences. As you embark on growing garlic in water, it is important to go for the best variety. Read on to find out the most suitable garlic to grow in water.
From a gardening point of view, the elephant garlic variety, also known as the bighorn garlic, is not the best. Of course, you can blame this on its somewhat mild flavor. However, for many culinary experts, it’s a favorite.
As they grow, softneck garlic varieties have soft stems. These include the Spanish ruga, Silverskin, Dujanski, German red, and Korean red. If you want garlic leaves, this is the perfect variety. Garlic farmers have touted Silverskin as the most yielding garlic. Although most of them grow it in gardens and farms with well-drained soil, it will certainly do well in water. It also produces lots of healthy green tops and with 5 to 6 clove layers, it the highly recommended for planting in water.
Hardneck varieties have tough stems. Besides that, they withstand harsh growing conditions. Some people say they are more pungent and have a stronger taste. However, if you examine them closely, you will notice that they have much more layered pods.
How to Choose the Best Cloves for Sprouting in Water
If you plan on planting garlic in water, it’s paramount to choose the best cloves. It is the only way you can achieve an optimal harvest. So, can you do it? Start by picking blemishless garlic bulbs. Then, examine the entire bulb to ensure that it doesn’t have signs of diseases or rot. Holes, brown spots, cracks, cuts, and mold could be signals of underlying problems. Besides having wrappers intact, the garlic clove plant in water should be large.
Do’s and Dont’s When Growing Garlic in Water.
1. Do put your garlic clove in a clear plastic or glass container. Then, when the water gets dirty, the container will show.
2. Do change the water as soon as it gets dirty. Murky water will undermine your harvest.
3. while emptying the dirty water from the clear cup, start by carefully removing the garlic bulbs. Ensure that they don’t get soaked because the wetness will compromise your harvest.
4. Once you put the garlic bulbs in a glass jar, do place them on the window ledge. Light is a prerequisite to planting garlic in water.
Benefits of Growing Garlic in Water
When you grow garlic greens at home, you get a regular supply of garlic for all your recipes. On top of that, you can do it all year round. This is because you don’t have to worry about rains, snow, and so on.
Growing garlic in water is super easy and less messy. For instance, you do not need potting soil or to worry about good drainage. So, where do the garlic cloves get nutrients when not grown in soil? Garlic greens get all their nutrients from the cloves. You only need a clear cup, water, garlic cloves, and a windowsill. Controlling these elements increases your chances of getting a good harvest.
Growing garlic in water reduces the chances of bulb and stem nematodes ravaging the plant. However, these pests spread fast in a garden and under wet conditions. And they could sabotage your garlic scapes growth rendering your efforts useless.
Garden space or a container to hold moist soil is not needed when planting garlic in water. You can work with minimum space.
Drawbacks of Growing Garlic in Water
While growing garlic in water is a great idea, it also comes with a few challenges. For example, if you do not get the right softneck garlic or hardneck garlic variety, you may not have a good yield.
When sourcing garlic cloves in your local farmers’ market, there is always a chance of unknowingly getting substandard or pest-laden garlic bulbs. These cloves might rot before they even sprout.
Planting garlic in water is delicate at times. You have to adhere to all the conditions we have listed above. Mistakes such as soaking the garlic cloves or leaving the sprouting garlic in dirty water for long could kill the plant.
Growing garlic in water is only ideal if you only want the garlic greens. These resemble green onions. But if you want to grow entirely new bulbs, you’d have to grow in the garden.
Once you grow garlic in water, you can only harvest one time. So to have a supply of fresh garlic throughout the year, then you have to grow the garlic regularly. This could be tremendously tasking and much harder than buying at the grocery store.
Growing garlic indoors is a great idea if you relish adding some garlic grapes to your baked potatoes or salad. As you have seen, growing garlic in water is straightforward and super easy. If you don’t get it right the first time, you can keep trying. After all, garlic scapes only take a few days to grow, and practice makes perfect.
People Also Ask
How Long Can You Grow Garlic in Water?
You grow garlic cloves in water for a month, but the garlic scapes will lose flavor and nutrients afterward. So, it’s better to use them for cooking as soon as possible.
How Do You Grow Garlic in Just Water?
If you want to grow garlic in water, you’ll need to get either softneck or hardneck garlic bulbs. After that, put the bulbs in a clear cup that has enough space for the cloves to grow and sprout. Remember to change the water frequently and place the cup on a windowsill to get some light.
Can You Put a Garlic Clove in Water to Grow?
To grow garlic cloves, fill a clear cup with enough water and leave some space for the cloves to sprout. Remember to change the water every few days and place the cup on a windowsill with access to light. By taking care of it consistently, you can expect a bountiful harvest.
Can You Grow Garlic in a Water Bottle?
To clarify, you can grow garlic in a water bottle by cutting off the top of the bottle and keeping the bottom part. It is important to ensure that the garlic cloves are submerged in enough water but not floating around. Put the bottle on a windowsill where there is access to light, and make sure to change the water regularly. This process should yield a good harvest.