Each garlic bulb can grow into multiple plants.

How to Grow Garlic on the Balcony

by Jenny Harrington

Garlic (Allium sativum) doesn't require much space to grow, nor does it need a lot of daily care, making it an excellent choice for a small balcony garden. Garlic grows from cloves, which are sections of a large bulb. You can plant these cloves in a pot in late fall and they will grow into full-size bulbs by the following summer. The garlic requires little more care than regular watering and the plants rarely suffer from pests or diseases.

Mix one-third cup dolomite lime and one-third cup 5-10-10 fertilizer with 5 gallons of soil. Fill a 5-gallon pot with the prepared soil and water the mixture until the excess drains from the bottom drainage holes in the pot.

Break the garlic bulb apart into separate cloves, leaving the paper skin around each clove. Use the larger outer cloves for planting. Push the cloves into the soil with the pointed ends facing up, until the clove tips are 1 to 3 inches beneath the soil surface. Plant six cloves in a 5-gallon pot, spacing them equally apart.

Set the pot in an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight, but preferably all day sun. Water the garlic when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry, allowing the excess moisture to drain from the bottom of the container.

Cover the soil surface in the pot with a 2-inch layer of mulch to protect the emerging plants during winter. If the soil freezes, refrain from watering until it thaws out, then resume regular irrigation.

Reduce watering when the foliage begins to yellow in midsummer, providing only enough water so the soil doesn't dry completely. Harvest the garlic when the foliage yellows and dies back completely.

Items you will need

  • Dolomite lime
  • 5-10-10 fertilizer
  • Potting soil
  • 5-gallon pot
  • Mulch

About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo Credits

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