Garlic (Allium sativum) is a hardy crop that can survive low winter temperatures. While temperature and day length influence bulb formation, this is to a lesser extent than demonstrated by onions. Most conditions suitable for onion production also apply to garlic cultivation, with the ideal growth temperatures between 13oC and 24oC.
The market is not just South Africa. Exporters can handle everything produced here for export to Germany, Australia etc, especially large cloves which travel well and have long shelf- lives. Locally, it can be sold to traders either whole, chopped, minced or flaked. Great strides have been made in the field of medicine and garlic is featuring in antiseptics and pain killing drugs. Normal garlic consumption has increased tremendously over the last few years.
Space the divided cloves 8cm to 15cm apart in rows 30cm to 40cm apart. Plant the cloves approximately 50mm deep in raised beds or on level ground, by hand or mechanically. While the ideal planting date varies from one area to another, the general recommendation in South Africa is from February to May.
Garlic is successful under furrow, sprinkler, or drip irrigation. Its relatively shallow root system makes it sensitive to moisture stress throughout the growing season. While soil type determines the frequency of irrigation, it does not affect the total amount of water needed, and by using mulch will reduce moisture less from the soil surface.
Initially, in order to plant 10 000 cloves, approximately 600m2 is required. The yield from this land should be approximately 15tons/hectare, depending on the soil type, local conditions etc. Sandy soil makes for easier weeding, growth and harvesting, but any type will produce a good crop should the right additives, fertilizer etc be employed.
This will vary according to the soil type. A reasonable borehole will suffice.
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