Maturity Needs, Harvesting, Storing, Pests & Diseases In Garlic

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Once you have sown your seed and fulfill it requirements, the seeds starts turning into plants and gets ready for maturity.

After plantation, you should pay very close attention on its requirements irrespective of the variety you have chosen. Maturing and harvesting are same for all kinds of varieties.

Watering

Water the plant just to keep soil moist. Check the dampness of the soil regularly by placing finger 2 inches deep into the soil. Also check the dampness of the soil near drain holes.

If the soil is dry, do not provide all the required amount of water at a time instead provide in little quantities.

Sunlight

Garlic requires full sun. Place the container in a spot which is having adequate access to sunlight i.e., either 8 or more than 8 hours. This helps in producing large sized garlic bulbs.

At maturing stage, don’t place the container in shade because this directly effects the health of the plant and size of the bulb.

Feeding

  • Provide nutrients to plant in required quantities.
  • Use a pinch of sulfate of potash, to increase the bulb size.
  • Don’t over fertilize the garlic plant because this effects the health of plant.
  • Provide heavy quantity of fertilizers when you observe deficiency symptoms in leaves.

Temperature:

Garlic is not immune to temperature fluctuations. When you observe huge drop in the temperature between day and night then you have to move garlic growing containers to indoors and keep them in warm places.

Garlic grows well in warmer temperatures. So, always make the plant to receive as much as sunlight and also check the dampness of the soil. If the soil is dried due to prolonged exposure by the sun, moist the soil.

Staking

There is no need of staking the garlic plants because the stem of it is strong and stable.

Pruning Garlic Flowers

When flowers starts growing you can pinch and throw them off and this will not effect the plant growth.

Weeding

Sometimes we move garlic growing containers in and out based on its requirements.

Always have glance at your container for checking the weed growth. Because weed seeds gets easily transported through air and effects the complete plant growth.

Making Them Ready For Harvesting:

If your plants are matured enough, we have to push them to harvesting stage. But how do we know the time for pushing them to harvesting stage?

Garlic starts wilting starting from bottom and moves in upward direction and leaves starts changing its color.

At this stage you need to take care and push them to harvesting stage by following these steps:

  • The soil have to be moistened throughout the growth process but when leaves starts changing their color, you should gradually decrease the amount of water that you provide to your plant.
  • Stop fertilizing plant in this stage because this stresses the plant to move to harvesting stage. If you don’t stop providing fertilizers, the plant gets all the required nutrients for their further growth and will not allow the plant to go to next stage i.e., harvesting.
  • All the stages of plant in its growth, must be provided with same temperature conditions. When you observe frost attacks in your area, immediately move them to indoors and provide proper ventilation and lighting.
  • Even your plant start wilting from bottom to top, and leaves start changing color you have to provide enough sunlight to the plant.
  • Even in wilting stage, chlorophyll will be active. It helps in making food and nourishes the garlic by drawing the required components from stem and leaves.

Harvesting:

As the garlic grows in the ground we cant predict whether the garlic is ready for harvesting or not.

But how do we know it?

As we stopped fertilizing to push it to harvesting stage, chlorophyll transfers all the energy of plant to garlic and then leaves slowly loses its chlorophyll(loses its green color) and start turning into yellow.

If the leaves were completely turned into yellow, they are ready to harvest. If you don’t harvest at this stage, new plant starts growing from bulb and the bulb gets rotten.

Leaves are important aspect. The number of leaves growing above the soil is equal to the number of thin protective layers covering around the bulb. When plant is totally wilted and the leaves are turned into yellow then loose the soil around the bulb and pull up carefully by holding at bottom of the plant.

Don’t wash the soil that is surrounding garlic bulb.

Do not remove the protective layer because this makes garlic bulb to rot fast.

Storing:

Now you can use your harvested garlic for consumption by removing roots and foliage or by making it ready for storing.

For storing, the harvested garlic bulb must be dried. Don’t remove the leaves and roots because this helps in providing energy to garlic bulb, enhances the taste and reduce the risk of growing fungus.

Always dry them in shady and well air circulated place by providing enough spacing between them.

For drying don’t place them in direct sunlight because sun burns are observed which impacts the flavor of garlic.

It takes 30-50 days for drying garlic and making ready for further step in storing. Shrivelled leaves and dried roots are the indications of dried garlic bulb. Now, trim the stem and roots by leaving some stalk with bulb.

Don’t worry about outer protective layers which are detaching by itself because inside there are many to provide protection to the cloves. Store them in shade with the humidity of less than 60%.

The selected container or bag should have proper air circulation to prevent formation of moisture. If you allow garlic to dry for enough time, they lasts for several months.

Don’t store them in fridge as it changes flavor and properties of garlic.

Pests:

Bulb mites

These 1 mm length white colored pests are observed at the roots of plants and mostly effects the end size of the bulb.

Bulb mites attacks the stored garlic also.

Leaf Miner

  • Leaf miner lays eggs on the leaves of garlic.
  • Larvae comes out from eggs and makes tunnel into leaves and drinks out the sap.
  • When they turn into flies they hatches eggs on other garlic plant.
  • Always observe the leaves of your garlic plant to check the presence of eggs.
  • Leaf miners directly impacts the size of end garlic.

Wheat Curl Mite

This pest effects the garlic during storage. When you use such type of garlic for plantation they you will observe unhealthy plant and small sized garlic.

Nematodes

This pest is observed in low quality soil and directly attacks the roots and bulb of the plants. This pests is very dangerous and even kills the plants. So, use quality soil for growing garlic.

Diseases In Garlic

Basal Rot

This disease is caused by fungus and directly attacks the root of plant, makes the bulb to rot, halts the growth of plant and kills the plant.

Downy Mildew

Pale patches are observed on the leaves and gradually turns into yellow patches.

Downy mildew infected plant debris should not be used for composting and even the soil of it should not be reused.

Mosaic Virus

We observe mosaic patterns on the leaves. This virus is transmitted through aphids, causes a lot of damage to plants and results in unhealthy growth, reduced bulb size etc.

The only solution is to remove the infected plant and destroy it.

Onion White Rot

You will observe black rotten spots on leaves. This is caused by fungus and it turns leaves into yellow and then to wilt. Remove the plant and destroy it. Don’t reuse the soil of that plant.

Rust

Yellow color lines are observed due to improper watering, temperature fluctuation and humidity levels.

Follow care during plantation and maturity to prevent rusting of garlic because rust directly effects the garlic size and yield.

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