Introduction to Growing Garlic in Balcony
Here, today we are going to know about how to grow garlic in the balcony. The scientific name is Allium Sativum. It belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. It is a perennial flowering plant that grows from a bulb. Garlic plant grows about 60cm tall, depending on the variety of plant you choose. It is used as the second most important bulb plant after onion. The garlic bulb is a compound bulb consists of small bulbs called cloves. These Garlic cloves are used in food, preparing pickles, and many more. It is an important spice crop not only used in food but also used for curing various diseases with respect to human health. Garlic requires a chilling period for healthy development and proper growth. It is a source of vitamins C and A and for few amino acids.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Garlic in Balcony at Home
In this articel, we learn about growing Garlic in Balcony, You can also use this information for growing Garlic on terrace, backyard, raised beds, and contianers/pots. Now, Let us get into the details of growing Garlic in balcony.
Varieties of Garlic Plant
There are two varieties, they are;
- Soft neck (Allium sativum) and
- Hard neck (Allium ophioscorodon)
Here, again soft neck is divided into two more types, they are;
Both are commonly sold in many supermarkets.
They have multiple overlapping layers that contain up to 20 cloves. They are hard to peel mainly the outer layer. The main beauty of this garlic is shelf life is nearly up to 8 months.
They are high in yield. They are suitable for all climates.
Hard neck garlic is very easy to peel. And the shelf life is about 4 to 5 months.
And there is one more type also, called Elephant garlic. It is also known as great-headed garlic. It is not true garlic; it is related to leeks.
Tips and Safety Measure for Growing Garlic in Balcony
- Be sure of using a wide container.
- Be sure that containers have a drainage hole at the bottom.
- Choose the perfect variety of cloves.
- Propagation should be perfect.
- Water them regularly.
- The mixing of compost in the soil is mandatory.
- Check the pH of the soil.
- The soil must be well-drained.
- Do harvesting at right time.
Procedure for Growing Garlic in Balcony
Propagation for Growing Garlic in Balcony
First, choose the variety of plant which is suitable for your zone. Soft neck type grows best in a warm climate and hard neck grows best in a cool climate. Then start propagation. It is propagated by planting individual cloves separated from bulbs. Separating by using bulbils. Propagating garlic using bulbils can be much effective than propagating with cloves. Bulbils are located in the scope of a soft neck and hard neck type of varieties. Bulbils look like small undivided bulbs. This can function as a seed. In this process, there is less chance of soil-borne diseases.
Garlic seed is very tiny and contained in the dried flower of the garlic plant. Shake the garlic plant and get out the tiny black seeds and plant them immediately, if you want to plant them later then store them in a cool and dry location. Growing garlic from seeds can be a slow process, it takes much time.
Suitable Container for Growing Garlic in Balcony
After selecting the type of garlic to grow in your balcony, then it’s time to select a container. Your selected container must have drainage holes in the bottom of the container. And container should be at least 8 inches deep and it should allow ample room for the roots to grow. If the container is wide then you can add many cloves of garlic to grow. The wide and larger container is the best source of adding the number of cloves or seeds of garlic to grow.
Preparation of Soil for Growing Garlic in the Balcony
When you want to plant garlic in a container, know that the growth of the plant depends on many things, the most important and critical is choosing the best soil for your plant. Most people often neglect this thing. Your garlic plant needs a well-drained soil mix, if neglected the cloves may rot, especially you can observe this rotting in winter. Garlic also needs fertile soil; this fertile soil helps to separate the expanding heads in summer and spring. For, this reason, mixing high-quality potting soil with the Vermicompost at a ratio of 75:25. This means for three cups of potting soil add one cup of Vermicompost. The recommended pH of the soil is around 6 to 7. You can buy this compost in the market or you can even make your compost.
Conditions for Growing Garlic in Balcony
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In cold winters, hard necks are preferred mostly due to their hardness. It requires a cool temperature of 32 to 50 F during the first two months of growing. After the establishment of roots, a bulb begins to form. Then it is not affected by warm weather as it grows up. Planting in the spring is best. You can even plant 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring.
Watering Requirements for Growing Garlic in Balcony
Water the plant whenever the soil feels dry. Don’t allow the soil to dry. It varies depending upon the temperature and maturity level of the garlic plant. You even need to check the soil texture and rainfall, during the growing season. Garlic plant needs about 16inches of total water for average soil. Or about one inch of water per week. Garlic plant needs more water during warm climate and requires less water during cold climate. Reduce the watering garlic for about two to four weeks before harvest. And for good quality of bulbs, you need to stop watering completely when they are near to harvest.
Sunlight Requirement for Growing Garlic in Balcony
Garlic plant needs a very good amount of sunlight for the healthy growth and development of bulbs. This plant needs six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. Placing south of your balcony will be the best place.
Caring For Garlic Plant in Your Balcony
Pinch away the flowers of the garlic plant if you’re growing hard neck garlic. Flowers will appear in early summer. Lodging is the best option when stems are turning yellow. Lodging is a process of bending the stems instead of breaking them. Avoid planting a new garlic plant where already an onion or garlic plant is grown.
Diseases of Garlic Plant
We can grow garlic easily but it also prone to many diseases. They are;
- Basal rot (fusarium culmorum)
Basal rot symptoms are very slow to develop. They are seen as yellowing the leaves. Sometimes you can even see white fungal on the bulb base.
- White rot (sclerotium cepivorum)
White rot symptoms are the same as basal rot. This includes white and fluffy fungal development on the stem.
- Downy mildew (Peronospora destructor)
The symptoms of downy mildew are quite different. A whitish, furry growth will appear on the leaves which can kill younger plants of garlic.
- Botrytis rot (botrytis porri)
This disease is also called neck rot. Grey’s fuzzy fungal growth has appeared.
- And penicillium decay (penicillium hirsutum)
This is seed clove decay. It can also reduce the growth of a plant.
How to Prevent Diseases in Garlic Plant?
- To prevent basal rot you need to remove infected plants as soon as possible
- To prevent white-rot don’t plant in already planted place
- To prevent botrytis rot have a space between bulbs.
- To prevent penicillium decay quick drying is important.
- To prevent nematodes testing of soil is important.
Pests of Garlic Plant
These all insects lay eggs
- Bulb mites
These bulb mites may stop the plant growth by laying eggs.
- Leaf miners
The leaf miner is a small yellow fly that lays its eggs in the leaf of the plant.
- Onion maggot
This insect is a greyish fly that lays white eggs on the plant.
The thrips are pale yellow lay eggs on the plant.
Due to this insect root system may lack.
How to Prevent Pests in Garlic Plant?
- Bulb mites can be prevented by avoiding crop rotation with onion or garlic. Use organic insecticides like neem oil or liquid spray to control mites.
- Leaf miners can be prevented by buying a good quality of disease-free transplants.
- Onion maggot can be prevented by doing good sanitation.
- Thrips are prevented by using organic fertilizer.
Fertilizers Used for the Garlic plant
As garlic plant needs several nutrients. Nitrogen is mainly used as organic fertilizer for garlic plants. It plays a vital role during the growth of the garlic plant. Phosphorus is used for the root development of the plant. While potassium is used for healthy leaf and bulb formation. Cow manure is the best option for garlic plants. Sprinkling 2 tablespoons of the granular organic bulb will develop the bulbs of garlic.
Harvesting the Garlic Plant in Balcony
Harvest the bulbs of garlic when the tops start to dry and turn brown, after about 2 to 3 weeks after lodging. About 75 percent of the plant growth should be brown at harvesting time. Before digging the whole crop just simply lift a bulb to see if the plant is ready or not. If we pull it too early the bulbs may not be ready. To harvest garlic plant carefully dig up the bulbs with a fork. Carefully brush out the soil. Then let them cure for a dry spot for two weeks In this way, u need to grow garlic plants in your balcony.
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