How to Start Commercial Garlic Farming – Package of Practices

Introduction to Garlic Farming – Package of Practices:

            Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is a widely cultivated vegetable crop that is used as a flavour component in foods. It is propagated exclusively by vegetative means called bulbs. Garlic is one of the important bulb crops grown and is used as a spice or condiment throughout India and also the world. It is also an important crop as a foreign exchange earner for India.

In this post, we will let you know about Garlic farming, Garlic cultivation in India, Garlic Package of Practices, list of Garlic varieties, Insect pests of Garlic, Diseases of Garlic and their management, Garlic growing states in India, the economic importance of Garlic cultivation in India, health benefits of Garlic, harvesting of Garlic and yield in Garlic farming.

Health Benefits of Garlic:

Garlic has a higher nutritive value than other bulb crops grown. It is highly rich in proteins, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and carbohydrates with ascorbic acid content high in Green garlic. Healthy garlic bulbs contain allicin, colourless, odourless and water-soluble amino acids as its components. Garlic contains about 0.1% volatile oil in which the chief constituents of the oil are diallyl disulfide (60%), diallyl trisulfide (20%), allyl propyl disulfide (6%), a small quantity of diallyl Polysulfide.

The major garlic growing states in India are Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Orissa and Maharashtra.

Economic importance of Garlic:

It is generally used as a flavoring agent. It has many anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Garlic is also used as a raw material in pharmaceutical industries. Garlic is also grown as herbal medicine.

Climatic requirements of Garlic farming: Garlic is a frost hardy plant requiring a cool and moist climate during growth of plants and the dry periods during the maturity of bulbs.

Seasons for Garlic cultivation: In hilly regions of India, garlic is generally grown in two seasons. The first season is between June-July and the second season is between October-November.

Soil conditions for Garlic production: Garlic can be grown on a wide range of soils but it grows well on fertile, well-drained loamy soils. The pH of the soil is between six and seven is suitable for good garlic crop. Highly alkaline and saline-sodic soils are not suitable for garlic cultivation.

Preparation of land for Garlic farming:

The land must be well fertile with high organic content. Highly free from volunteer plants with good drainage facilities is recommended. Good irrigation facilities are also needed. Plough the land to a fine tilth and form ridges and furrows at 30 cm spacing, or beds of convenient sizes. Cloves are planted at 15 x 10 cm spacing.

Seed rate of Garlic for sowing: Cloves of 8-10 mm diameter are selected as it gives the increased yield of better quality. About 500 to 600 kg cloves of 8-10 mm, diameter is required to plant one hectare.

List of Garlic varieties:

  • Agrifound White,
  • Yamuna Safed,
  • Godavari,
  • Shwetha,
  • Phule Beswant,
  • Ooty 1,
  • VL Garlic 1, Agrifound Parvati.

Fertilizer application/Fertilizer dosage in Garlic farming: Garlic responds very well to organic manures especially compost and vermin compost. For a normal fertile soil 50 ton of farmyard manure, 100 kg N, 50 kg P and 50 kg K/ha through chemical fertilizers is recommended. Micronutrients also increase its growth and yield potential.

Control of rubberisation in Garlic farming: Excessive application of N is avoided to minimize rubberisation. N is not applied in the form of Urea. Using Ammonium sulfate is advisable. Spraying of 1500 ppm of CCC on 30th day of planting. Application of 0.2 % Boron 0.1 % Sodium molybdate on the 30th, 60th and 90th days after planting is also recommended.

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Weed management in Garlic cultivation: First, weeding is done 30 days after planting and the second 30 days after the first weeding. Hand hoeing the crop just before the formation of bulbs helps in the setting of bigger sized well-filled bulbs. Pendimethalin @ 3.5 litres +1 hand-weeding gives good control of broadleaved weeds.

Irrigation/ Water management for garlic cultivation: Garlic needs irrigation at one-week interval during vegetative growth and 10-15 days at maturation. Irrigation after the longspell of water scarcity results in the splitting of bulbs. Excessive irrigation results in sprouting of garlic.

Plant protection/Insect pest and disease management in Garlic cultivation:

Insect pests of Garlic, their symptoms, and different management practices:

Onion thrips in Garlic: Thrips tabaci (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) 

Symptoms: Adults as well as by the nymphs lacerate the leaf tissue and feed. They usually congregate at leaf base or in the flower. Leaves of plants turn silvery-white, curl, wrinkle and gradually dry from the tip. Leaf discolouration is the major symptom.

Chemical management: Installation of sky blue color sticky traps 25/ha. Spraying of 625 ml of malathion 50 EC or methyl demeton 25 EC or dimethoate 30 EC or monocrotophos 36 SL 500 ml-750 ml in 500-750 L of water per ha immediately as pests appear.

Nonchemical Management/Natural control/Organic control: Spraying with the Entrust formulation of spinosad, azadirachtin, and entomopathogenic fungi such as Beauveria bassiana are also advisable. Some organic mulches are recommended for the control of this pest.

Onion Maggot: Delia antiqua (Anthomyiidae: Diptera) 

Symptoms: The maggots bore into the bulbs, leading the plants to become flabby and yellowish. It also causes withering in the field and rotting in storage conditions.

Chemical Management: Growing of Allium fistulosum because it is more tolerant than A. cepa. Spraying of methyl demeton 25 EC or dimethoate 30 EC 1.0 L in 500 – 750 L of water per ha is also advisable.

Non-chemical management/ Natural control/ Organic control: Sprinkling the onion planted areas with ground pepper, ginger, or chili powder to repel females from laying eggs. Summer plowing is also advisable.


Diseases of Garlic cultivation, their symptoms and different management practices:

Basal Rot disease of Garlic: Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cepae

Symptoms: The leaves turn yellow and then dry up. The whole plant shows the complete drying of the leaves. The bulb of the affected plant shows soft rotting and there will be a whitish moldy growth on the scale of infection.

Chemical Management: Crop rotation is recommended. Soil drenching with Copper oxychloride 0.25 % is also advisable.

Non-chemical management/ Natural control/ Organic control: Using disease-free seeds and bulbs. Crop rotation for 3 years is recommended for heavy disease incidence. Removing and destroying material of any Allium plants, including residue from the previous crop, volunteer plants from storage.

Downy mildew disease of Garlic: Peronospora destructor

Symptoms: White downy moldy growth appears on the surface of the leaves. Finally, the infected leaves are dried up and drop down.

Chemical Management: Three sprays with Mancozeb 0.2 % is always effective. Spraying starts at 20 days after transplanting and repeats at 10-12 days interval.

Non-chemical management/ Natural control/ Organic control: Plant resistant onion cultivars. Crop rotation is also recommended.

Purple blotch disease of Garlic: Alternaria porri

Symptoms: It mainly occurs at the top of the leaves, the infection starts with whitish minute dots and develops as lesions on the leaves with irregular chlorotic areas on the tip portion of the leaves. The lesions develop towards the base of the leaf. The leaves gradually die from the tip downwards.

Chemical Management:  Seeds are treated with Thiram @4 g/kg seed. Three foliar sprays with Copper oxychloride (COC) 0.25% or Chlorothalonil 0.2% or Zineb 0.2% is recommended.

Non-chemical management/ Natural control/ Organic control: Optimum spacing of plants and regular weeding and proper watering will increase air circulation and decrease the duration of leaf wetness. Avoiding excessive nitrogen applications in fields. Crop rotation without onion for at least three years.

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Botrytis Neck Rot disease of Garlic: Botrytis porri

Symptoms: Initially, symptoms appear in spring in the form of water-soaked neck rot near the soil line. After infecting, the fungus grows downward towards the bulb attacking the inner axis. After curing, the outer wrappers of affected bulbs have intense purplish discolouration and deterioration.

Chemical management: Spray ziram @ 2.0 g/liter of water or copper oxychloride @ 3.0 g /liter of water at fortnightly intervals gives efficient control.

Non-chemical management/ Natural control/ Organic control: Harvesting the garlic only when it is matured and necks are well cured. Minimizing the damage to bulbs from pests and diseases during the growing season. Avoiding excessive or late applications of nitrogen fertilizer to garlic crop.

Maturity indices/ Harvesting indices of Garlic:

Garlic gets ready for harvest when its tops turn yellowish or brownish with signs of drying up and bend over. High-quality garlic bulbs are clean, white and well cured (dried neck and outer skins). The cloves become firm to the touch.

Harvesting and yield in Garlic Farming:

Harvesting of Garlic: In harvesting of Garlic farming, bulbs are taken out along with tops and windrowed gathering several rows in each row for curing and drying.

Yield of Garlic: The yields of Garlic bulbs vary from 100 to 200q/ha depending upon variety and places.

Conclusion: Garlic cultivation is a boon to farmers with high yield and income.

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