Garlic Farming – Planting, Care, Harvesting-A Complete Guide

Garlic is an essential bulb crop grown. Its scientific name is Allium sativum. It is used as a spice too. Compared to the other bulb crops, garlic has a high nutritive value. Garlic can be  transformed into different forms like chilled garlic, dehydrated garlic flakes, dehydrated garlic powder, garlic oils etc.

They grow perfectly well 1200-2000m above sea level. These bulb crops are consumed by people as a spice. However, garlic originated in southern europe but it is being consumed all over the world these days. Garlic farming can be carried out in too hot or too cold weather conditions. Maintaining optimum temperature is necessary to get a healthy crop.

It is a low maintenance cash crop. You can gain amazing profits by planting and selling garlic. 

The U.S is the number one importer of garlic in the whole world.

Growing Garlic at Home

Soil requirements for garlic

Firstly discussing the soil, well-drained loamy soil that is rich in humus will be most suitable for garlic cultivation. The soil should also have sufficient potash. Sandy soil or loose stool is not much preferred as it can degrade the quality of the garlic and the difference in weight of the garlic bulbs could also be seen.

 In addition when heavy soil is used for garlic production, then during the harvesting period the bulbs break and become badly discolored. pH range of 5-7 pH is suitable for proper growth and yield.


Garlic can be grown in a wide range of climatic conditions however  the extreme conditions are intolerable. A moderate temperature whether hot or cold is suitable for garlic Farming.

Bulb formation will be affected in extremely hot conditions.  Garlic needs some cool and moist conditions for growth. Bulb formation occurs when the weather’s hot  and days are long. 25-30°C is the most suitable temperature for bulb formation.

Diffrent Varieties of Garlic:

Some varieties of garlic like agrifound Parvati, agrifound Parvati 2, agrifound white, yamuna safed, yamuna safed 2, yamuna safed 3, GG-4,  Ooty 1 etc. are very productive and disease resistant. Some other varieties are G-41, bhima omkar , bhilma purple, pant lohit etc.

There are basically two main varieties of garlic that are hardneck and softneck.

1. Hardneck:

This variety of garlic is very cold and should not be grown in winters. In this flower stems are produced that have to be cut off  so that the bulbs can reach their maximum potential. However these flowers or scapes are edible mainly in summers in salads or by adding in fries.

This variety has one ring of the clove around it unlike the other variety. This variety cannot be stored for a very long time as other varieties. It’s taste is also lighter than softneck garlic. For example Korean red ,duganski, Siberian, music, chesnok red, German red, and Spanish Rosa. etc. 

2. Softneck:

Similar to it’s name, this variety remains soft after harvesting. This variety is usually a warm climate variety. Softneck garlics have a strong and intense flavor. This variety has bigger bulbs. For example silverskin, inchelium red, California Early and California late.

Next comes the great headed and the wit and wisdom 

  • Great headed: 

This garlic doesn’t taste much like garlic. It tastes more like the onion than the basic garlic. Bus and cloves are large in size. 

  • Wit and wisdom:

This variety of garlic has healing properties.


Propagation for garlic crop is carried out by planting cloves or aerial bulbils. Most of the time aerial bulbils are preferred over cloves as they are very productive.

Garlic planting: 

For planting garlic, the land has to be thoroughly prepared by ploughing repeatedly. After that 10-20 tonnes of well-decomposed FYM should be added per hectare.

Garlic sowing can be done by three following methods : 

1. Dibbling

2. Furrow planting 

3. Broadcasting

When the garlic is planted at small gaps, then the size of the individual garlic decreases however the overall yield increases. Organic manure is also very helpful in good crop production. Hence 20 tonnes of well-decomposed FYM per hectare during field preparation.

Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium can also be added in the field. Nitrogen has to be given in two doses. The first dose has to be given during plantation and the other one after 30 days of plantation. 10 kg of Borax has to be added per hectare for improved yield and enlarged bulb size. 

Climatic conditions for garlic cultivation: 

A combination of different climatic conditions is necessary for cultivation of garlic crops. It’s basic need is a cool and moist climate for development of bulbs and proper vegetative growth.

However, a warm climate is much suitable for maturation. But garlic cannot tolerate extreme weather conditions. Exposing the crop to low temperature for a long time can decrease the yield of the crop.


Garlic crops need to be moist because of the special root development. Firstly the field has to be irrigated lightly before plantation. In garlic farming, different types of irrigation systems are used for example drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation system and the furrow method.

A few years back it was reported that drip irrigation method has a significant effect on crop productivity. In the drip irrigation system the pipelines are laid throughout the field and crops are irrigated drop by drop. In this the wastage of water is very very less. Even evaporation is also less in this system as compared to the sprinkler system.

Although it also has some disadvantages like the watering tapes has to be replaced within 1-3 years. The droppers may also get contaminated.

Sprinkler system: in this method the water is sprinkled all over the field like rain. However this method has some disadvantages too. This method is quite expensive. In this method a lot of water is wasted and a lot of energy is also required to create the water pressure. It may have a negative impact on the cover sheet for example this may cause any disease. 

Inside dirt: It is also called an underground drip irrigation system. In this the system for irrigation purposes need not be changed for years. This system doesn’t obstruct the tillage. It doesn’t require yearly expansion. In this system the water is delivered directly to the roots.

Disadvantages of inside dirt drip irrigation system: It’s difficult to diagnose  the malfunctioning as to check one part the whole system has to be checked which is a quite difficult job. It also needs high maintenance. A care system  also has to be arranged so that the roots don’t grow inside the tubes or pipes. This system has a higher initial cost as compared to a simple drip irrigation system.

These are the few methods of irrigation. In the initial stages, irrigation has to be done every 3rd day. But afterward, the crop can be irrigated once in 15 days. These intervals go on increasing as the crop reaches its maturity stages. When the crop is ready to harvest, the irrigation needs to be stopped.

As we know that garlic being small in size is planted very close to each other so manual weeding could be a very difficult job and expensive too. And not doing this can cause a lot of damage to the crop.

So the only option left to treat weeds is a chemical method, herbicides or weedicides have to be used to vanish off the weeds. Some examples of these weeds are linuron, pendimethalin, and tribunil, etc. 

When is Garlic Ready to Harvest:

After 130-150 days of plantation the garlic crop is ready to harvest  but it also depends on the soil type, climate conditions etc. When the upper part of the crops becomes yellow and starts drying and bending. It should not be harvested too early as it results in poor quality of garlic.

Hence before digging up the whole crop, one should take out the same samples to check out the quality of the crop and also whether it’s ready for harvesting or not.

So slightly pull up one or two bulbs but one must keep in mind that digging should not be started until the top is completely Yellow. When the garlic head is divided into plump cloves and when the bulbs have thick, dry and papery covering the garlic is ready to harvest.

Timing is also very important in this process as if the harvesting is done early, the covering of the bulb would be thin and may Get damaged. And on the other hand, if harvesting is done late, the garlic along with it’s skin can split up and may become prone to diseases.

Harvesting has to be done very carefully as directly pulling the garlic out can also damage it hence it has to be first dug up very carefully and then carefully brush the garlic to remove the soil. Then hang them upside down for good air circulation.


Garlic is prone to some diseases like basal rot( Fusarium culmorum ), white rot ( sclerotium cepivorum) Downy mildew (Peronospora destructor), Botrytis Rot (Botrytis porri), and Penicillium Decay (Penicillium hirsutum).

Control: use disease free seeds, avoid overcrowding, one should dispose of the infected part properly, also make use of appropriate fungicides, using well drained soil can also prevent these diseases. Regular weeding should be carried out.

Seeds should be treated with warm water before sowing to avoid infections. Virus-free cloves should be planted. Soil beds should be prepared properly. These are some methods to control these diseases.

How to store garlic

Mainly garlic has to be stored in a well ventilated room. As the garlics have to be hung from the leaves so a proper support should be there in room for hanging the garlics. Cured Garlics can be stored for maximum 8 months at normal temperature.

However, before storing the garlic it should be properly cleaned and trimmed. The outer papery layer has not to be removed but the dirtiest wrappers can be separated. This garlic has to be stored in cool, dry, and dark places.

The temperature for storage should be 4°C or 40°F . In this way these can be stored for several months. It should not be stored in a moist place or refrigerator. The flavor of the bulbs enhance as it dries up.

If the crop is stored properly, it can last throughout the season. If you have to cultivate the crop next year again, then save some of the largest pieces to plant them again. 

Plant protection

Thrips can cause dropping of leaves and degrade the quality of garlic and even the storage quality too. A chemical named methyl  demeton 25EC 1 ml per litre can check on thrips. 

How profitable is garlic farming

One can get an average yield of 32-48 quintals per acre of land.

If one has to grow garlic on a commercial scale then this article may help you to know more about this. Firstly one has to get the good quality seeds according to the demand and quality. For cultivation of garlic land has to be prepared, ploughing has to be done where again some investment would be required for machinery for land preparation.

Plantation is the next step that can be done by different methods like dibbling, furrow planting, or broadcasting and each method has different costs. Then some Intercultural operations have to be carried out like weeding and earthing up etc where again some money has to be applied.

Hereby we can say that at  each step some investment is required like every other crop and it’s worth it as one earn a very good profit from this crop


Garlic is mainly used as a food or spice . It can also be used as a medicinal herb or oil. It has a unique taste and its own different aroma. It adds a very different flavor to food and makes it more delicious as demanding.

Beside food it is helpful in many of the medical conditions and provides great refeif. According to some preclinical studies, garlic is said to have some compounds that are helpful in cancer and cardiovascular diseases.  Garlic has some outstanding roles in human health as well as medicines and is also a very profitable crop.

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