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Garlic: an easy and fun vegetable for kids to grow

Simple and easy to grow, garlic can be great fun for kids.

You don’t need a garden to grow garlic!

Garlic leaves can be chopped like chives and sprinkled onto a salad, an omelette or cottage cheese. Enjoy garlic leaves all year round by placing a garlic bulb on top of a pitcher filled with water (change water regularly). Leaves will start growing, and you will be able to cut these and use them for cooking.

Growing garlic in trough planters

Use a trough planter without a self watering system. Fill with a mixture of peat compost. Place outside on a window sill exposed to sunlight. Bring inside if you wish to harvest a few days earlier. However the plant needs to be kept outside until the end of January as garlic bulbs and young plantlets need cold weather to develop.

Garlic is not exclusive to southern countries

Garlic can be grown just about anywhere. Garlic is a hardy plant which grows in all types of soil, except soil that stays very humid throughout the winter. Choose a piece of land in a nice sunny spot. Prepare soil by turning it over with a spade or pitchfork before planting.

A fertilizer for flower bulbs can be used. If planting in rich garden soil, no fertilizer is required.

Garlic is a ‘ready-to-plant’ vegetable!

Separate the cloves which make up the bulb (or garlic head) just before planting. Plant only the largest, healthiest and well-shaped cloves. Plant cloves in soil, 3 cm deep, point upwards. Plant in rows spaced 30 cm apart, and allow for 10 cm between each clove.

Harvest and enjoy!

Harvesting whole fresh garlic

Kids will have great fun picking fresh garlic: simply harvest before the bulb has formed. For a delicious snack, sprinkle with a bit of salt, chop in a salad, or use as a topping for cottage cheese…
Harvest fresh garlic from the beginning of May: eat freshly picked as fresh garlic does not store well.

Harvesting garlic at maturity

For mature garlic with good storage qualities, harvest from mid-June when the upper leaves are dry. Leave bulbs to dry in the shade for a couple of days. Kids will have great fun making garlic braids, and these will look lovely in the kitchen!

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