SPICES & CONDIMENTS : Garlic Cultivation
Garlic, a native of
Southern Europe is one of the important bulb crops grown and used as a spice or condiment
throughout India. Gujarat followed by Orissa are the largest producing states. It
possesses a high natritive value, its preparations are administered as a cure against
stomach disease, sore eyes and ear ache. It is commonly used in the preparation of various
dishes. Allicin, the principle amoebic dysentry and is also having many other medicinal
Climate and Soil
It is grown under a
wide range of climatic conditions. However, it cannot stand too hot or too cold weather.
It prefers moderate temperature in summer as well as in winter. Short days are very
favourable for the formation of bulbs. It can be grown well at elevations of 1000 to 1300
m above MSL. Garlic requires well drained loamy soils, rich in humus, with fairly good
content of potash. The crop raised on sandy or loose soil does soils, the bulbs produced
are deformed and during harvesting, many bulbs are broken and bruised and so they do not
keep well in storage.
There is no distinct
variety of garlic. Local varieties are either white in colour and have fairly big bulbs
with a better keeping quality and a higher yield or red in colour with pungency. Tamil
Nadu Agricultural University has recently released one improved variety by clonal
selection viz., Ooty 1 Garlic. It is a high yielder (17t/ha) with a shorter duration of
120 to 130 days. The bulbs are big sized weighing 20 to 30g and each bulb has 22 to 25
cloves, which are dull white in colour.
Garlic is propagated
by cloves. All the cloves are planted except the long slender once in the centre of the
bulb. Bulbs with side growth should be discarded. Healthy cloves or bulbils free from
disease and injuries should be used for sowing and about 150 to 200 kg cloves are required
to plant one hectare. They are sown by dibbling or furrow planting.
- Dibbling: The
field is divided into small plots convenient for irrigation Cloves may be dibbled 5 to
7.5cm deep, keeping their growing ends upwards. They are laced 7.5cm apart from each other
in rows of 15cm apart and then they are covered with loose soil. June-July and
October-November are the normal planting seasons for garlic.
- Furrow planting: The
furrows are made 15 cm with hand how or a cotton drill. In these furrows, cloves are
dropped by hand 7.5 to 10 cm apart. They are covered lightly with loose soil and a light
irrigation is given.
Manures and fertilisers
About 25 tonnes of
farm yard manure is applied as a basal dose along with 60kg Nitrogen and 50 kg in each of
Phosphorus and Potash. Forty five days after planting 60kg Nitrogen is applied again as
First irrigation is
given after sowing and then field is irrigated every 10 to 15 days depending upon the soil
moisture availability. There should not be any scarcity of moisture in the growing season,
otherwise, the development of the bulbs will be affected. The last irrigation should be
given 2 to 3 before harvesting for making it easy without damaging the bulbs. In South
India hills, they are mostly grown as a rainfed crop.
First interculture is
given with hand hoe one month after sowing. Second weeding is given one month after the
first (about two and half months from sowing) loosens the soil and helps in the setting of
bigger and well filled bulbs. The crop should not be weeding out or hoed at a later stage
because this may damage the stem and impair the keeping quality.
Garlic is a crop of 4
½ to 5 months duration. When the leaves start turning yellowish or brownish and show
signs of drying up, the crop is ready for harvest. The plants are then pulled out or
uprooted with a country plough and are tied into small bundles which are then kept in the
field or in the shade or 2-3 days for curing and drying so that the bulbs become hard and
their keeping quality is improved. The bulbs may be stored by hanging them on bamboo
sticks or by keeping them on dry sand on the market, the dried stalks are removed and
bulbs are cleaned. Well cured garlic bulbs can be kept for 1 to 1 ½ months in an ordinary
well ventilated room. If dust smoke is given to it, the bulbs can be stored for 8 to 10
months. They can also be stored at 320F with 60% R.H. Average yield level is 6
to 8 t/ha.
Thrips cause withering
of the leaves. Application of methyl demeton 25EC 1 ml/litre will check the incidence.
Leaf spot is the most important disease. Spraying Dithane M-45 at fortnightly intervals at
2.5g in one litre of water is recommended.