How to grow garlic in Florida?
Garlic is basically a cool-season crop. While it prefers adequate soil moisture to thrive. Garlic may be grown successfully in Florida by planting at the right time and choosing varieties that grow best in warmer climates.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a member of the onion family. It was commonly used for health purposes in many parts of the world, including the Chinese, Japanese, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. People used garlic to flavor their food.
Garlic varieties for Florida
Garlic varieties fall into two broad categories, the soft-neck types, and the hard-neck types. Hard-neck varieties tend to produce smaller bulbs than soft-neck types, and their bulbs store better. Soft-neck garlic is typically more sensitive to cold than hard-neck garlic, so it often doesn’t do well in northern climates. Softneck garlic types are a better choice for a Florida garden. These varieties include Georgian Crystal, Creole Thermadrone, Lorz Italian, and Romanian Red garlic plants.
Garlic developed in cold-weather regions. It requires a duration of a cold to bloom well. However, garlic needs a day length of over 13 hours, soil temperature over 16°C, and air temperatures above 20°C to the bulb. In Florida, you can plant your garlic anytime through early winter (November or December). Fall planting allows the garlic to begin developing leaves through the winter. However, they can spend much of the warmer season developing their bulbs.
Good soil for garlic plantation
Highly fertile soil is crucial to growing good garlic. Before you plant, combine the soil with organic compost to help it grow well in your garden. However, Spread about 2 inches of organic matter over the garden soil, then mix both together thoroughly before planting the garlic.
- It is important to understand that planting your garlic bulbs with the pointy end up about 1-2 inches deep in the soil. Moreover, the space between the bulbs is about 4 inches apart. While planting multiple rows gives them about 6 inches of row space. Cover with straw to keep the soil cool and place the garlic where it gets afternoon shade. Keep the soil moist.
- Garlic needs about 1 inch of water a week to thrive in warm and cool temperatures. Garlic plants need to stay well-watered. Proper watering is crucial especially during this time of year when it is usually pretty dry.
- Garlic plants do not need a whole lot of fertilizer. In fact, if given too much nitrogen fertilizer then it will produce nice green leafy growth but weak and small bulbs. Moreover, give your plants a fish emulsion fertilizer every week for better development of shoots.
- Excess weeds can reduce garlic yield because they take nutrients from the soil. However, pull the weeds from the garlic site before they get out of hand.
Harvesting and storing of garlic
In general, garlic plants are ready for harvesting when the lower leaves start to brown. They usually take between 110 to 120 days to be ready for harvest. If planted in late fall to early winter you will be ready for harvest around April. The bulb wrapping will be thin and disintegrate if pulled too early. Moreover, If left in the ground too long the skin may also split, which exposes the bulbs to disease. Keep your garlic in a cool and dark place, where it will still get some air circulation. Hanging garlic is a good way to store it. However, You can also store garlic in a mesh bag.
Does garlic grow well in a container?
Garlic grown in a pot or container produces the strongest bulbs ever. You will need a pot that’s at least 6 inches deep and drains well. Moreover, The container must also be large enough to leave 6 inches of space.