Garlic cultivation is a very good agribusiness if done well. Growing garlic can be very profitable as garlic is one of the most profitable crop to grow. Garlic farming is a viable business in many ways. Discover how to grow garlic in India.s
Like Ginger and Turmeric, garlic has been a popular ingredient both as a spice and medicine since ancient times. Whether it is Asia, Europe or Australia, people eat garlic throughout the world for various reasons ranging from food to medical benefits. It contains different nutrients and nutritional matter that function as antibiotics in the body. In other words, it helps boost immunity.
Information on Garlic
Garlic is a bulbous plant belonging to Amaryllidaceae family. Shallots, onion, leek etc. belong to this family. Scientific name of garlic is Allium sativum. Garlic plant grows to a height of 4 ft. and produces flowers.
It can be propagated both sexually as well as vegetatively. For cultivation purposes, garlic is propagated asexually by sowing the cloves. There are different varieties of garlic for different use.
Ideal Conditions for Garlic Cultivation
Garlic is cultivated in India in states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. The ideal conditions for growing garlic are as below:
Climate for Garlic Farming
Garlic cultivation needs a combination of different types of climate. It needs a cool and moist climate for bulb development and vegetative growth while for maturity the climate must be warm and dry. However, it cannot tolerate extreme cold or hot conditions. Exposing the young plants to temperatures lower than 20⁰C for 1 or 2 months would hasten the bulb formation. Prolonged exposure to lower temperature would however reduce the yield of the bulbs. Bulbs maybe produced at the axil of the leaves. A cooler growing period gives higher yield than warmer growth conditions. The optimal day length requirement for bulb formation is 13-14 hours for long day garlic and 10-12 hours for short day garlic.
Season of Garlic Cultivation
In India, garlic is planted as both Kharif (June-July) and rabi (October-November) crop- it depends on the regions. It is planted as a rabi crop in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Bengal and hilly regions. It is both Kharif and rabi crop in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Soil for Growing Garlic
Although garlic can grow in different types of soil, loamy soil with natural drainage is optimum for this crop. It grows at an altitude of 1200 to 2000 m above sea level. It is sensitive to acidic and alkaline soils, hence, a pH of 6-8 is suitable for optimal growth of garlic. A clayey, water-logging type soil is also not suitable for garlic growing. Soils with rich organic content, good moisture, high amount of nutrients aid in proper bulb formation. A heavy soil with less moisture and more water logging would result in deformed bulbs. Soils with poor drainage capacity causes discolored bulbs.
Garlic is a bulb crop producing shallow roots. It therefore, requires a good amount of moisture- more than water. Perhaps the biggest challenge in garlic cultivation is being able to ‘moisture it right’. In other words, there should be enough water to maintain a good level of moisture in soil. However, too much water would result in water stress and thus splitting of the bulbs. Too little water or moisture level again means under-developed bulbs. The best way is to irrigate the crop frequently. It must be irrigated:
Immediately after planting