Hydroponic garlic is a bit tricky to grow due to the fact that it has special requirements. One of the disadvantages is that it comes with a big odor that it is hard to stand. Both roots and the final crops have it, which means you will have to prepare yourself.
Garlic is a pretty tall plant, so you will have to take into consideration this small aspect. You will need grow lights that can be moved for the different stages of growing. Furthermore, due to its dimensions it is best to make use of a reflective material like aluminum. This will help in better propagating the light and ensuring the plant will grow happy.
You can plant seeds or you can opt for cloves. Experts say that for indoors and hydroponic systems the cloves are the perfect point to start from. For the growing media you can opt for perlite or a mixture of perlite and vermiculture. Coco coir can do the job too, but this is prone to floating away, which can have a lack of stability for the future plant. Also, it is said that by placing the seed closely to the surface it will be able to better germinate. Cloves too need to be placed closer to the surface. Keep in mind that when the roots finally appear, you will have to adjust the water. Excess water can cause immediately rooting due to the sensitivity of this crop.
Garlic needs more than 10 hours of light a day. This is why you should opt for reflective surfaces as said above. You can paint the walls of your greenhouse in white, which will make your job easier. Do not fool yourself into thinking that if you let the lights on for the entire day the plant will be happier. Excess lighting can kill garlic. When it comes to temperature, you will have no headaches. Garlic enjoys lower temperature levels, which can eliminate the need of a heating source. This is the reason why light sources should be placed at a safe distance in order to avoid extra heating.
The proper pH levels for garlic go around 6.0 and 6.5. It needs a variety of nutrients, which means you will have to carefully set up the nutrient mixture. Keep in mind that the excess of nutrients can kill the plant. Aim for creating a balance in the system.
In other words, garlic is not so sensitive and if you can stand the smell, everything will be just fine. You will have to take care of certain aspects like growing lights and reflective surfaces. Be careful when it comes to opting for a certain growing media. If you do not choose it properly, you will end up with a garlic plant that is wobbly and does not have the proper nutrient balance. Opt for sustainability mixed with a growing media that slowly releases nutrients.