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Posted 01/20/2021 in Agricuture by Wallace Mukoka




Garlic (Allium sativum) is used as condiment for flavouring and it also has medicinal properties. It can be dehydrated and crushed to powder, for use in different dishes.


Garlic is less able to stand high temperatures. The crop is frost hardy. Optimum growth is achieved at 12-16 degrees. Bulbing occurs during longer days and higher temperatures and subsequent exposure to lower temperature.


Requires well drained soils with good tilth and which are rich in organic matter. Soil pH range is 5.5-6.0


Garlic is propagated by segments of bulb called cloves. The seed rate is 900-1100 kg/ha. Use biggest cloves to obtain vigorous high yielding plants


Soils should be worked to a fine tilth. The cloves should be separated carefully to avoid double cloves which give twin plants and misshaped bulbs. Plant with the tip of clove just above ground level.


Rows spacing is 20 cm. Place the cloves at 8-10 cm apart in the row

Fertilizer Management

Apply compound C at a rate of 350-500 kg /ha and top dress with 200-300 kg /ha AN per month after planting. Garlic also responds well to Organic Manure.


Never allow garlic to run short of moisture. At each irrigation water to field capacity .Water less frequently but increase the rate during bulb enlargement and cease watering 1 month before harvest.


Garlic is not very susceptible to diseases but some of the diseases are listed below.

Downy mildew

Common when weather is wet with high humidity. Symptoms include a violet – greyish mould on the leaves. Can be controlled using Radomil at the rate of 25 g /10 L of water.

Purple blotch

Causes drying of leaves with sunken spots. 

Leaves become purple with yellow halo.

Can be controlled using Dithane M45 @ 20g/ 10 litres of water or Bravo 10ml/ 10l of water.

Neck rot and Black mould

These are destructive storage diseases which result in bulbs turning black. 

Can be controlled by storing under low temperatures and well ventilated rooms. 

Eliminate any damaged diseased bulbs before storage.



These cause silvery blotches on leaves and are usually found inside the leaf sheath at the apex. Scouting is very important because usually when symptoms appear on leaves the damage would have occurred. Control using Malathion 20g/10 litres of water.

Nematodes (Dictylenchus dipsaci)

May infect the bulb and stem of plant the basal portion of plant becomes swollen, spongy and splits followed by decay. Stunted growth and twisting also occur. Always check source of planting material to avoid transferring nematodes and diseases.


Crop matures 4-6 months after planting. Harvesting should be done in August to October when conditions are dry. The bulbs must be lifted and left to cure on the ground for a week. Expected yield is 8-12 tonnes /ha with good management.

Author, Wallace Mukoka 

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