Garlic isn’t one of the most popular hydroponic crops, owing to the fact that it’s a little more difficult to produce in a hydroponic system than other plants.
However, with a little forethought and knowledge of how garlic grows, you can grow excellent heads of garlic in a hydroponic system.
- 1 CAN GARLIC BE GROWN IN A HYDROPONIC SYSTEM?
- 1.1 IS IT POSSIBLE TO GROW GARLIC IN WATER?
- 1.2 GARLIC GROWN IN A HYDROPONIC SYSTEM AND LIGHTING
- 1.3 GARLIC WITH FERTILIZER IN HYDROPONICS
- 1.4 GARLIC AND SUBSTRATES IN HYDROPONICS
- 1.5 TEMPERATURE AND HYDROPONIC GARLIC
- 1.6 GARLIC HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS
- 1.7 HOW TO HARVEST GARLIC IN HYDROPONIC SYSTEM?
- 1.8 HOW TO PRESERVE HYDROPONIC GARLIC AFTER HARVEST
- 1.9 ADVANTAGES OF HYDROPONIC GARLIC
- 1.10 DISADVANTAGES OF HYDROPONIC GARLIC
- 1.11 GARLIC GROWN IN HYDROPONICS IS WORTH THE EFFORT
- 1.12 SUMMARY
CAN GARLIC BE GROWN IN A HYDROPONIC SYSTEM?
So, what’s the best way to cultivate garlic in hydroponics? Garlic can be grown in a hydroponic system if the plants are given the proper substrate, have strong artificial illumination, and the gardener knows how to break them out of their natural life cycle.
Garlic also needs additional nutrients to keep growing long enough to produce.
You’ll have enough basic knowledge at the end of this lesson to go out and start finding out how to produce your own hydroponic garlic. Continue reading to find out how to do it flawlessly.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO GROW GARLIC IN WATER?
If you’ve ever left a few garlic cloves on a sunny tabletop and returned to discover them sprouting branches, you may have wondered if they would grow if you put them in water.
Yes, you can grow culinary garlic scapes or the green sprouting tips of a garlic clove in a shallow glass of water if your garlic has begun to establish roots.
Read Also: HOW TO PREPARE THE SOIL FOR GROWING GARLIC
A sprouting clove of garlic, on the other hand, will not have the energy to do more than put up a scape without lights and a nutrient source.
Because there isn’t enough energy stored in the garlic clove for that much growth, it will not grow into a larger head of garlic.
Garlic may be cultivated as a crop in a suitable hydroponic garden, as long as the plant is given strong artificial light, a substrate, and a fertilizer solution to help it thrive.
This means that if you want to grow garlic in your hydroponic garden, you’ll be able to grow as much as you want (though local vampires may not approve).
GARLIC GROWN IN A HYDROPONIC SYSTEM AND LIGHTING
Because the amount of light that the garlic bulb receives stimulates the clove of garlic to develop into a bulb, the artificial lighting system for hydroponic garlic is critical.
The clove will not grow in size if it does not receive enough light.
Related Guide: HOW TO PLANT GARLIC IN THE FALL
Garlic cultivated hydroponically should be exposed to 14 to 16 hours of strong artificial lighting every day at the very least. Instead of going dormant, this amount of intense light will cause the bulb to expand into a larger garlic bulb.
While artificial illumination is necessary for garlic, it is also necessary for the garlic to rest in complete darkness for part of each day. Photoperiodism is the effect of light and darkness on a plant’s pace of growth.
In a hydroponic arrangement, there are numerous types of artificial lights that are commonly utilized, including the following:
- Lighting with HID (high-intensity discharge)
- Lighting with LEDs (light-emitting diodes)
- The use of fluorescent lights
- MH (metal halide) lighting
- Lighting using high-pressure sodium (HPS)
Personal taste and the size of your grow room or greenhouse will determine the sort of lighting you employ to cultivate your hydroponic garlic.
Lighting is also more expensive in some cases than in others. LED lighting is becoming more popular since, in compared to other lights, it remains very cool, making it a suitable choice for enclosed spaces or grow rooms where the illumination is close to the plants.
GARLIC WITH FERTILIZER IN HYDROPONICS
When growing garlic or any other type of food in a hydroponic system, water-soluble fertilizer solutions are a must. Whatever plant you choose to cultivate, if you’re growing it in water with a neutral substrate, it’ll need a nutrition source from someplace to deliver the minerals it needs to thrive. Plants cannot survive solely on water and sunlight, contrary to popular assumption.
A plant in a hydroponic system that doesn’t have access to real soil must be given outside access to nutrients in the water reservoir that its root system is drawing from, or it won’t be able to sustain itself.
In practice, there isn’t much of a difference between that and giving an animal only water and no food. You can’t anticipate a wonderful result or a high yield if you don’t offer fertilizer for your hydroponic plants.
Because garlic requires so much energy to develop into a bulb, it will likely not create a bulb at all if it does not receive outside assistance in the form of fertilizer.
Hydroponic fertilizers are concentrated nutrients that can be fed straight to your hydroponic system’s water reservoir.
The plants can access the nutrients in the fertilizer once it has been diluted in water. In this approach, hydroponic fertilizer replaces moist soil with the same minerals in a soil-less environment.
GARLIC AND SUBSTRATES IN HYDROPONICS
A soil-less substrate, in addition to nutrients, is another feature of a hydroponic setup that garlic requires to thrive.
A garlic bulb cannot develop correctly unless it is supported by some kind of substance.
The substrate also keeps the garlic plant’s root system from drying out while simultaneously providing adequate aeration to prevent rotting.
There are a variety of hydroponic mediums that can be used to grow garlic in soilless setups.
In a hydroponic system, you can grow garlic in a variety of mediums, including:
- Coconut fiber: Coconut fiber is an excellent hydroponic substrate for water retention, but it works best when combined with a lighter substrate like perlite.
Coconut fiber is strong in nutrients for growing plants to sustain themselves, unlike certain hydroponic substrates that are nutrient-neutral.
- Rockwool: Rockwool is made by superheating rocks and chalk together and then drawing out small fibers to make a porous, lightweight substance that may be used to grow plants.
While Rockwool has long been a popular hydroponic substrate, it is not ecologically friendly and can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system.
- Perlite: Perlite is a lightweight “popcorn” material made from a volcanic mineral that is superheated until it expands to almost twenty times its original size, making heavy soils more friable.
It can also be used as a stand-alone hydroponic substrate in most hydroponic systems that do not involve fish or other water-breathing animals, such as aquaponics.
- Vermiculite: Vermiculite, like perlite, is a natural mineral that is heated until it swells and has many of the same qualities.
The most significant distinction between vermiculite and perlite is that vermiculite retains water better than perlite, which dries out quickly.
- Hydroton: Another sort of superheated material, Hydroton (also known as LECA or clay pebbles) is made from clay that is rolled around in a rotary kiln at extremely high temperatures until it produces round water-absorbent pellets.
While clay pellets are not ideal for cold-weather hydroponic installations, they are simple to utilize and one of the most widely used hydroponic substrates today.
Hydroponic garlic can be grown on any of these substrates. The most important thing to know is that in order to get garlic to successfully form a bulb in a hydroponic arrangement, you’ll need at least some kind of substrate.
Rockwool is one of the most commonly used substrates for growing hydroponic garlic, owing to its capacity to hold water while keeping the garlic dry.
Garlic grows best in somewhat dry circumstances, so achieving the correct combination of water retention and aeration is crucial.
Starting hydroponic garlic with rooting cubes is also a popular choice, as they can provide a strong base for powerful growth patterns later in the season. Riot Cubes and Oasis Cubes are two more names for these types of cubes.
TEMPERATURE AND HYDROPONIC GARLIC
Growing garlic, whether indoors or outdoors, has several advantages. It is a crop that thrives in lower temperatures and is more tolerant of temperature swings in general.
Garlic produced in a hydroponic system, unlike some other greenhouse plants, does not require any additional heat.
Garlic grows best in temperatures between 32 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The most difficult aspect of growing garlic in a hydroponic system (at least if it’s inside) is that many types prefer chilly conditions to thrive.
This is especially true with hardneck garlic species, making them an unsuitable choice for indoor hydroponic systems.
Instead, if you’re going to grow garlic in a hydroponic system, a softneck type would be a preferable choice.
Softneck garlic types are more tolerant of warmer growth circumstances, and while they should still be kept out of direct sunlight, they are better at tolerating indoor hydroponic systems without bolting.
GARLIC HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS
Garlic can be cultivated in a variety of hydroponic systems, including the ones listed below:
- Systems for wick irrigation
- Irrigation drip systems
- Cultures that float in deep water, such as this raft system
When choosing a hydroponic system for garlic, make sure the garlic receives enough water to keep its root system moist but isn’t overwatered to the point where the bulb is always soaked. Garlic grows best in a dry atmosphere.
HOW TO HARVEST GARLIC IN HYDROPONIC SYSTEM?
Garlic is a slow-growing plant, so it will take at least three months (90 days) to grow large enough to harvest.
Harvesting garlic from a hydroponic arrangement is simple after enough time has passed.
When you see green sprouts, also known as scapes, forming on the garlic tops, you’ll know it’s almost time to harvest.
After another week or so, the garlic should be ready to harvest. The garlic scapes will appear to wither slightly and turn brown in color at this time.
In contrast to a soil-based growing technique, there is no digging and grubbing. Simply take the garlic head by the “hair” and pull it out of the growing medium.
HOW TO PRESERVE HYDROPONIC GARLIC AFTER HARVEST
Garlic can be washed and used fresh in the kitchen right away, or it can be cured and stored for a longer period of time.
Brush the garlic to remove any debris that may have clung to it. It’s also crucial that the garlic isn’t handled harshly at this point, as any bruising will lead it to rot more quickly. Once garlic is harvested, it takes a few days for the protective outer shell to form.
Garlic should be strung and hung in a shady area with plenty of ventilation during the curing process.
In humid climates, it’s critical to clip the garlic roots carefully to decrease moisture absorption and prevent fungus from forming. Curing garlic takes three to four weeks.
Garlic can be plaited into braids for pantry decorating or hung in bunches once it has been cured.
If the tops are removed, tying the garlic bulbs into stockings is a wonderful way to preserve them.
This protects the garlic while still allowing it to breathe. Garlic can be kept for up to a year if properly stored.
Another method for storing garlic for several months is to peel each clove individually, soak the cloves in oil, then freeze the oil in a tight jar.
ADVANTAGES OF HYDROPONIC GARLIC
Garlic grown hydroponically has a number of advantages.
There are a few drawbacks to growing garlic hydroponically, but there are also some benefits to doing so.
Here are a few advantages to growing garlic in a hydroponic system:
- Garlic pairs well with a variety of plants. Garlic planted alongside fragile greens like lettuce and spinach in a hydroponic system can help protect those plants from insect infestations.
It’s especially good at warding off spider mites, which can wreak havoc on hydroponic tomatoes.
- Garlic has a low natural pest population. There aren’t many creepy-crawlies that will bother your garlic harvest thanks to the aforementioned pest-repelling characteristics.
The only fungus you should be concerned about with garlic is white rot, which can be avoided by utilizing a sterilized hydroponic substrate like perlite.
- Garlic keeps nicely in the refrigerator. Garlic can survive up to a year in good condition if properly cured and stored in the shade.
This makes it a terrific pantry staple, and growing it in your hydroponic setup is well worth the effort.
- It can be used as a food additive or as an alternative medicine. Garlic, like its cousin the onion, is one of the most well-known culinary herbs on the earth, and it is utilized in culinary traditions all across the world.
Not only that, but garlic has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol, making it a medicine as well as a food.
Even though harvest day stinks, a good crop of garlic can be a treasure for both the kitchen and the medicine cabinet, and it lasts long enough to make it worthwhile to plant it at least once a year.
DISADVANTAGES OF HYDROPONIC GARLIC
There are many advantages to growing garlic in a hydroponic system, but there are also some disadvantages to consider before getting started. Here are a few things you should think about:
- The odor. The fragrance of a group of garlic plants in an enclosed environment under artificial lighting is quite strong, and some gardeners find garlic to be particularly irritating.
Alliinase, a garlic enzyme, is responsible for the odor. When plants are growing, this odor isn’t as strong unless they’re disturbed or their cells are crushed in some way.
Garlic harvesting and cutting down to cure can be an unpleasant affair.
- Requirements for illumination are stringent. Garlic necessitates a lot of bright artificial light, far more than some other indoor plants.
This means you can forget about growing a decent yield of garlic in a hydroponic windowsill setup—the amount of light available indoors is unlikely to suffice. Garlic won’t produce bulbs if there isn’t enough light.
Although there aren’t many drawbacks to growing garlic in hydroponics, they may be enough to put some people off.
That’s why it’s a good idea to conduct some study on any plant you plan to cultivate before you buy it, so there are no shocks later on when you discover you don’t know how to grow it properly and the growing season is squandered.
GARLIC GROWN IN HYDROPONICS IS WORTH THE EFFORT
Garlic is a little more difficult to grow in a hydroponic system than some other crops or herbs, but the work is well worth it.
A hydroponic system can keep you up to your neck with this pungent, precious root vegetable for the remainder of the year with just a few basic gardening tools and continuous day-to-day maintenance.
Garlic isn’t one of the most popular hydroponic crops, owing to the fact that it’s a little more difficult to produce.
With a little forethought and knowledge of how garlic grows, you can grow excellent heads of garlic in a soil-free system.
Garlic cultivated hydroponically should be exposed to 14 to 16 hours of strong artificial lighting every day at the very least.
Personal taste and the size of your grow room or greenhouse will determine the sort of lighting you employ for growing garlic in a hydroponic system.
Garlic is grown in a hydroponic system, which replaces moist soil with the same minerals in a soil-less environment.
Rockwool is not ecologically friendly and can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and respiratory system. Rockwool is one of the most commonly used substrates for growing hydroponic garlic.
Garlic grows best in somewhat dry circumstances, so achieving the correct combination of water retention and aeration is crucial.
Garlic can be grown in a hydroponic system, but there are some disadvantages to consider before getting started.
The fragrance of a group of garlic plants in an enclosed environment under artificial lighting is quite strong.
Some gardeners find garlic’s odors particularly irritating. Garlic grown hydroponically has a number of advantages.
Garlic planted alongside fragile greens like lettuce and spinach can help protect those plants from insect infestations.
The only fungus you should be concerned about with garlic is white rot, which can be avoided by utilizing a sterilized hydroponic substrate.
Garlic, like its cousin the onion, is one of the most well-known culinary herbs on the earth.
Garlic has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Growing garlic in a hydroponic setup is well worth the effort.