I planted garlic cloves evenly spaced out in pots with Daltons potting mix and positioned them in plenty of sunlight. The shoots were healthy, watering was pretty generous and I fed them with a balanced NPK mix. A week ago, when some of the lower leaves were browning, I harvested a few stalks, but the bulbs were pretty tiny. What did I do wrong?
This can be frustrating, especially after waiting so patiently! It’s possible that growing garlic in the container is the actual problem. If the container is not deep enough to allow for the full development of the bulbs or there is a lack of nutrients, then either of these can cause the problems you have described.
While it’s not impossible to successfully cultivate garlic in large containers, all the requirements for them to thrive in containers must be met. These are; choose a large enough container with adequate drainage holes, replace the growing medium after each successive crop and position the container in full sun.
This coming winter, try planting some garlic in your garden in an area that has been well cultivated before planting. Garlic growing in a rich organic soil is invariably healthier and stronger.
It would be worth feeding your garlic with a specific bulb fertiliser like Daltons Premium Bulb Fertiliser.