How to grow garlic organically
The cultivation of garlic (Allium sativum L.) can be carried out, as well as at the company level, even for small crops and for family consumption.
It is a fairly simple, inexpensive cultivation and with the possibility of obtaining excellent quantities of garlic even in a small space. Whether it is common garlic or red garlic, the agronomic indications are practically similar. Garlic needs fertile soils, soft and sufficiently loose and well drained and in a sunny position.
Before sowing the bulbs, it is advisable to add some mature manure in time to mix it with the soil, with a processing around 30 cm, and giving time to integrate well. Never use nitrogen fertilizers. The seeding of the bulbils must be done in an available period that goes from November to January with the advice that those in the north should postpone the planting.
The choice of bulbilli must be made taking into account that they must come from organic farming (the garlic treated above all may not germinate) and are quite fresh. From the head of garlic, choose the largest segments, discarded the soft and internal ones. The already sprouted bulbs are good. During this operation, be careful not to damage the base of the segments, nor the film that surrounds the bulbils; these must be planted always with the tip upwards and at a depth of 3-5 cm and at a distance from each other around 10-20 cm and 40-50 on the row. After that you can cover the bulbillo with soil and mulch (hay, dry leaves, straw, etc.).
The inputs of fertilizers (compost, earthworm humus or mature manure) are to be done in two steps: one, as mentioned, before sowing, and the other during the bulking phase of the bulbs.
For lunar cycle lovers, according to established experiences, the best time to plant garlic falls between the fifth day before the full moon and the first day after the full moon. For this reason, garlic should be planted in the very first phase of the crescent moon.
The garlic does not need much irrigation, usually enough rains, in the months between spring and summer if it does not rain a lot can be useful to irrigate to have bulbs of good size. When the bulbs develop, you must avoid wetting so as not to encourage mold and diseases that cause bulb rot. For the harvest, remember that the garlic bulbs are harvested 5-6 months after the sowing of the segments, when the stem bends, empties and starts to dry.
As for rotations and consociations some tips: for the rotation it is good that the garlic must meet a shift of 4-5 years, in order to reduce the infestations of the nematode Ditylenchus Dipsaci; for the associations there are excellent ones with carrots, lettuces and celery. If you follow the aforementioned indications there should be no attacks of the Fly (Chortophila or Hylenia antiqua) and of the Tignola (Acrolepia assectella).
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