Garlic belongs to the family of onion. The botanical name of garlic is Allium sativum which is different from the onion ( Allium cepa). Onion is a large bulb which has only one clove but the garlic is a small bulb with 9-14 cloves in it. The garlic is a very economical agri commodity which is always in demand.
Garlic can be grown by two different methods
2. True seeds
Generally the bulb is referred as the garlic seed. Initially garlic is believed to be sterile but recently with the modern techniques and tools garlic is producing true seeds in large quantity. The garlic production from bulb will produce only clones of the cloves which genetically resembles the mother plants. In its long run the genetic diversity and its adaptation is very much restricted. Therefore any seed company is producing its own true seeds from the plant. These sexually reproduced products will produce enormous hybrids to adapt the environmental conditions. But still the garlic production from its true seeds is not tried commercially.
Summary of cultivation of garlic
Organic garlic can be produced as easy as the normal garlic. Organic cultivation methods need to find the effective organic pesticide and fungicide to increase the yield and reduce the risk of the growers. It is important to prepare the seedling materials before plant it. We have to select the right materials for planting. Most of the small scale farmers leave some pure varieties for the seed production for the next season. These bulbs can be segregated according to the size and the healthy condition.
The organic garlic is available at the right place in the soil. The sunny and well drained soil is good for the growth of garlic. Leave at least 15X15 cm between two bulbs or at least 20X 10 cm. The cloves can be planted as single or as a group of three to four. More than that will reduce the yield.
It is important to treat the bulbs in insecticide and fungicide mixture to avoid the fungal and nematode infection in the bulbs. Weeds should be removed often. The growth should be recycled for every season. But it should not be cycled with the same family members such as onion. Since the nutrient requirements for both the plants will be more or less same, the soil will become sterile for the next season.
Storage of seeds
The bulb will mature at the 8th month. It is very essential to harvest the bulbs at the right time. While harvesting leave some of the healthy plant materials for garlic seed. The remaining bulbs can be handpicked and dry it for one to two weeks under the sun. But the bulbs should be covered well with leaves to avoid the sun burning of the cloves. The seed materials can be stored for at least 6 months at room temperature in a dry condition. If we want to increase the storage time period it is better to follow the instructions from the professors in agriculture institutes.
Cheryl Dodd utters that growing garlic is easy starting with the process of planting garlic seed in your organic garden. You need to several other factors like soil preparation and condition to grow garlic.