This is the Complete garlic farming guide to enable you start and grow your garlic for domestic or commercial purposes. Garlic is a species of bulbous flowering plant in the onion genus Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, Welsh onion and Chinese onion. Wikipedia Before venturing into garlic farming in Kenya or anywhere there are a variety of questions you have asked yourselves, we intend to guide you on garlic farming and answer all these questions here.
- How long does it take for garlic to grow and mature?
- Which is the best fertilizer for garlic?
- How to grow garlic in Kenya?
- How profitable is garlic farming in Kenya
- How long does it take for garlic seedlings to germinate?
- Garlic market in Kenya
- Garlic pest and diseases
- How much garlic do you plant per acre
HOW TO GROW GARLIC IN KENYA
garlic farming requires well-drained fertile soils. You need to conduct a soil test to ensure that soil-borne diseases are not present. A PH of 6.5-6.7 is ideal for your garlic. Proper site assessment and adequate crop rotations are crucial in maintaining a healthy farm. Garlic farming performs well in medium to high attitudes of 500- 200 Metres above sea level. Additionally, garlic plant requires high temperatures of 30ºC to aid in proper bulb development. However, during the preliminary stages, cooler temperatures are preferred as they assist in vegetative growth needed for plant establishment. For this reason, ideal temperatures for growing garlic range between 12-24ºC.
Garlic growing is done using seed cloves; hence, as an aspiring garlic grower, you must procure certified garlic seeds that have fully matured cloves and are free from any diseases.
Planting of garlic is done by a spacing of 30 cm between the rows and 15 cm or 6 inches from each plant. Using a hoe, dig and create trenches that are 25 cm deep. Sow single garlic with its root down, and its point is facing up the hole. After doing this, cover the clove with loose and airy soils. Ensure you have done proper land preparation on the area to grow your garlic.
After planting your garlic regulars farm practices continues which include;
FARM PRACTICES FOR GARLIC FARMING
Weeding of garlic is done by uprooting unwanted plants that grows with the garlic to ensure that pest and diseases are prevented and also competition for nutrients with plants are reduced and discouraged.
Light watering of garlic that is one inch deep is adequate. Nevertheless, if there are reasonable rains in every 10 to 14 days, then no watering is required.
GARLIC PESTS AND DISEASES
Your garlic crop may be affected by pests such as wireworms, stem and bulb nematodes also known as roundworms, leek moth, bulb mites and blister beetles. Most garlic diseases are soil-borne. You need to properly assess your farm before planting. Common garlic diseases include downy mildew, basal rot, white rot, penicillium decay and rust.
The appearance of foliage gives you an indication that your garlic is ready for harvest. If the soil is dry for an extended period, the foliage may die back before the best time to harvest. But if you kept the earth fairly wet, your garlic is ready for harvest when the foliage turns light green.
After digging out the garlic crops, bundle them in tens or fifteens and leave them to dry in a well-ventilated room. Keep them there for three to four weeks after which its shoots and roots will have dried down. Cut down the tops about one inch above the main bulb and roots followed by removal of outer skin without removing exposing the cloves. Clean off any remaining soil, and your bulbs are ready for sale. Proper storage of garlic is vital.
High demand for garlic crops has provided ready market for this kind of crop. Price of garlic ranges from 40 to ksh 50 per bulb depending on quality, seasonality and market forces of demand and supply this proofs how profitable garlic farming is. Garlic can be sold in;
- Open air market
- Hotels and schools
- Groceries and supermarket
- Consumers market
- Processing factories
The seed clove requirement is 280kg per acre or 700kg/ha. It is advisable for starters to start with about 100kg of bulbs