Hey. Are you excited to learn “how to grow garlic” effectively in your home garden, if yes then you are on the right page. After reading this article on how to grow garlic, you will be able to grow garlic in your home very easily.
Before knowing how to grow garlic let us read few lines about garlic. This will help us to understand and learn few basic points about garlic.
|How to grow garlic|
Garlic or Allium sativum is a perennial flowering plant that grows from a bulb. The erect flowering stem of garlic can grow up to 1 metres or 3 feet. The colour of the flower ranges from purple to pink. A single bulb can have 10 to 20 cloves that are asymmetric in shape.
The word “Garlic” originates from older English in which the word garlic means ‘spear shaped leek’. Growing garlic is quite easy and in mild climate it can be grown at any time in a year. Garlic is used as a common seasoning worldwide from several thousands of years.
Garlic also have medicinal uses in Cardiovascular problems, treating cancer, and common cold. But we should avoid excessive use of garlic in food because it can cause bad breath and body odour.
How to grow garlic?
If you are wishing to start growing healthy and fresh organic or inorganic garlic in your garden then this article is especially for you. Do not miss any step if you want to grow this vegetable plant in your home garden successfully.
Growing season for garlic depends on the place where you are living, if you are living in temperate or hilly regions then you can start growing garlic in spring season.
If you are living in tropical regions where summer temperature is relatively high then fall is the best season to grow garlic. But if you are living in areas that have mild climate then congratulations, you have won a lottery in growing garlic. You can start growing anytime in the year.
Mature garlic plant doesn’t get much affected by heat but newly grown plant doesn’t love heat, that is why it is advisable to plant garlic during the months that have relatively low temperature.
To grow a plant perfectly, a good potting mix can do wonders. Garlic plant loves loose, humus rich soil that is well drained and have soil pH in the range of 6.0 to 7.0. If you do not have pH meter to check the pH of your soil then you can take help of search engines like google.
You can prepare potting mix with 60% normal garden soil + 40% any organic compost like vermicompost. In this potting mix you can add, one spoon of bone meal and neem cake fertilizer. Mix them thoroughly.
If your soil is heavy and clayey soil then you can add 20% cocopeat and 10% river sand to the mixture. But if you have sandy loam soil then you do not need to add cocopeat or river sand in your potting mix.
After preparing the potting mix, pour it in the growing pot while ensuring that the drainage holes at the bottom doesn’t get blocked. Leave at least one to two inch space at the top for watering and fertilizer application purposes.
For growing garlic in pots you can select medium to large sized containers that have depth of at least 15 inch. Size of the pot depends on the number of plants that you want to grow but depth is necessary. I will suggest you to have a rectangular earthen, cemented or plastic pots with three to four drainage holes.
One simple tip, if you are growing for harvesting garlic greens then you can grow them closely without giving much space but if you are growing for harvesting bulbs then you have to maintain at least 4 inch distance between the plants.
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You can grow garlic from cloves or bulblets.You may have seen many youtubers or people suggesting to grow garlic from the ones we use in the Kitchen but I will not suggest that, the reason is that:
Garlic in the food market can be treated with growth inhibitor, that can reduce the change of successful seedling growth from the cloves, however sometimes it can be successful if the garlic bulb is not treated.
I will suggest you to purchase healthy and disease free garlic bulb or cloves from the nearest plant nursery or you can also use the previously grown bulbs in your garden.
To grow garlic you will need to separate cloves from the bulb very carefully without damaging the outer skin of the clove. Select the healthy cloves for plantation and remove the damaged or small cloves or you can use it for cooking if it is not treated with any fungicide.
Make holes of one to two inch depth with the help of your thumb at a distance of 4 inch to each other and place the plump side of clove downwards and the pointed side upwards. The plump side develop roots and the pointed side develops the foliar parts.
Cover the holes in which cloves are planted with a half an inch layer of potting mix. Water the pot gently after plantation to moist the soil. Do not over water. You can keep the growing pot in full sun after plantation.
Keep applying water regularly whenever you notice that the top layer of soil is drying up, but do not fill the pot completely with water, just water enough so that the soil becomes wet.
Within 5 to 10 days you will notice that the seedlings development have started.
Garlic Plant Care
If you want grow garlic for foliage then do not pinch out the flowers, but if you want to grow garlic for bulbs then keep pinching out flowers time to time. Do not let any weed to grow in the pot as it can reduce the growth of the main plant.
If the winter temperature goes very low i.e. less that 16 degree celcius then apply a layer of straw mulch to prevent your plant roots from the frost. Do not grow garlic on the same soil that have been used to grow garlic or onions in the previous season.
Garlic plant requires at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily to grow properly. Even if you are growing indoors, your plant requires sunlight to develop properly, if your home does not receive enough sunlight then you can use grow light to grow them indoors.
For watering I will not suggest any time table, Different places have different environmental conditions and according to that watering frequency changes.
The best way is to keep checking your soil, if it feels wet after touching with hand then do not apply water, if it is dry then water gently enough so that only little amount of water comes out of the pot.
Once your plant has well established and looks healthy then you can start applying fertilizer or feeding your plants. If you want to grow in inorganic way then then you can add half tea spoon of NPK in the ratio 5:10:10 once in every month.
If you are growing in organic way then you can add one to two handful of bulk organic manure like vermicompost or cow dung manure twice in a month. You can also add one tea spoon of bone meal once in a month.
Avoid adding nitrogen rich fertilizer if you want grow for the purpose of getting bulbs as it can reduce the flavour of the bulb. Also reduce the amount of fertilizers during winters than the normal.
Pest and Disease
Garlic plant is not generally affected by pest but in severe cases it can get affected by Onion thrips, onion maggots or wireworms. Applying heavy jet stream of water can help you to get rid from onion thrips.
Diseases like Downy mildew, Purple blotch, Stemphylium blight, Bulb rot, Garlic mosaic and neck rot can cause damage to your plants. To save your plants from these diseases use healthy and disease free bulbs.
You can also add a handful of neem cake fertilizer in the soil along with potting mix to prevent your plant from most of the fungal diseases. You can also prepare these sprays in your home and keep applying it once in every month to prevent your plants from any kind of pest and disease.
READ MORE: HOW TO PREPARE AND USE ORGANIC FUNGICIDE?
Lodging is a very important step if you want to harvest healthy bulbs. You will need to bend to stems to the ground when they start to becoming yellow in colour. This step will promote the formation of bulb in the soil.
If you are growing garlic to harvest the green foliage then you can start harvesting the green part once your plant has reached 6 inch high. Harvest the foliar green part with the help of garden scissors while leaving one inch growth of the plant at the bottom.
You can keep harvesting it again and again. But if you are growing garlic plants for harvesting bulbs then it can take six to eight months depending on the variety and season in which you grow.
When about 75% of the top growth seems to be brown in colour then it is the right time for harvesting. This stage is achieved two to three weeks after lodging.
For harvesting you can pull out the plants along with bulbs after loosening the soil with the help of the fork so that the bulbs do not get damaged. Do not apply water from few day before harvesting.
Enjoy the fresh grown garlic from your home garden, you can also save the healthy bulbs to be grown in the next season.
FAQ for Growing Garlic
Q1. Is garlic easy to grow?
Yes growing garlic is quite easy if you follow few important steps given in agriculture review’s article. If you are growing for foliar part of garlic then it will take very less time to get ready to be harvested, but if you are growing for bulbs then you have to wait for long duration.
Q2. How long does garlic take to sprout?
Garlic cloves take about 5 to 10 days to sprout if the cloves are of good quality.
Q3. How do you regrow garlic?
I regrow garlic by saving the healthy bulbs from my previous harvest, I sow the cloves in the next season and they grow again.
Aditya Abhishek is an Agriculture Science student who focuses on learning and delivering knowledge on Agriculture and Home Gardening. He created Agriculture Review as a common platform for all nature enthusiast to learn better practices of agriculture and gardening.