A garlic plant is related to onion and native to central Asia. The bulbous plant grows 4 ft. and has many cultivars. Propagation is generally through asexual means however sexual means s achievable.
In cold climates the cloves are grown closely together and planted deep to prevent freezing. To start a garlic farm you need arable land, infrastructure, labor and raw material.
Economic Benefit of Garlic
A garlic plant is important due to its many culinary and medical applications. It is used as a spice in many dishes, drinks and food. Garlic consists of cloves and has compounds that feature antibiotic properties.
Uses of A Garlic Plant
Gallic plant bulb is used as a condiment, eaten raw or cooked. It is used in the preparation of traditional medicine, stir fried or roasted.
- A condiment
- Eaten raw
- Used in traditional medicine
- Stir fried
- how to plant garlic commercially
How to Grow Garlic
Garlic Cultivation requires mid climate, well-drained soil, sunlight. The soil should be loose, dry high in organic matter.
It can grow in different types of soil from loamy, silt, sandy or clay loam. Commercial production requires presence of good organic matter, soil fertility and well-drained soil.
The soil should support growth of garlic and moist. Avoid soil that retains water or waterlogged areas.
- Clay loam
- Good organic matter
- Soil fertility
- Well-drained soil
Climate and Land Preparation
The climate requirements are adequate sunlight or partial shade. It will not do well in frosty or dry areas and it requires moderate rainfall. Land preparation is either by tillage or no tillage.
The farmer plows the land and harrow twice every seven days. The investor might consider hand tiling or mechanized. Hand tillage is labor intensive while mechanize is more efficient.
The equipment you need for mechanized farming is a rotavator mounted tractor. Highland areas require tillage while low land areas do not.
Types of Garlic
Crops are planted august to December and seed rate is 315 to 500 cloves pre/ha. There are different types of garlic based on your demography. The subgroup are softneck and hardneck.
Clove Seed Preparation Method
The preparation of clove seed involves separating the clove from each other. An average clove consists of 10 to 15 cloves. Therefore select only the cloves on the outer part for planting.
This is because they are the best planting material among the lot. Some farmers soak the planting material in insecticide and fungicide solution for 1 to 2 hours. This process is required to eliminate seed borne pests and diseases.
The next step is to spread to dry naturally. The best season for planting depends on your geographical location, weather conditions and soil. Avoid planting in rainy or completely dry season. Areas with moderate amounts of rainfall is ideal for fast growth.
Use a pointed stick or dibble and insert 2 to 3 cm deep. The farmer should loosen the soil and weed appropriately. The loose soil will encourage big, well-formed bulbs to grow.
Plant each clove to allow space for growth and development. Plant the cloves 20cm x 20 cm distance from each other. Make sure you apply mulching before and after planting.
Mulch evenly with a thickness not exceeding 6cm. common mulching material are grass, saw dust, polyethylene, weeds and hull.
Irrigate field a day before planting. Make sure the soil is moist and avoid waterlogging. Make sure the soil moisture is sufficient.
Best soil is clay loam soil that is well-drained and supports growth. Use compost while preparing the soil at a rate of 25 cart loads per hectare.
Pests and Diseases
The hardy plant is resistant to different pests and diseases. Common enemy are moles, rabbits, rat. It is susceptible to wood-decay fungus, nematodes, pathogens, leek moth larvae, downy mildew and pink root.
- Wood-decay fungus
- Leek moth larvae
- Downy mildew
- Pink root
It takes 5 months to grow a garlic plant to full maturity. Harvest a garlic plant when the leaves start turning brownish or yellow. The plant is harvested with a plough by pulling out or uprooting.
They are allowed to dry and cure in 3 days. Dry them in a well-ventilated area on dry sand. it is braided, refrigerated or sored in 64F warm, 32F low humidity.