A lockdown guide to growing garlic in Uganda

A lockdown guide to growing garlic

Garlic is a vegetable bulb that can be grown annually in Uganda. The vegetable that belongs to the onion family is largely known for both its culinary and medical attributes such as reduction in blood pressure levels, improvement in cholesterol levels which in turn limits on risks of contracting heart diseases and finally prevents Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the elderly people specifically.

In Uganda, there are various garlic types but the two commonly known varieties include;

The hard-neck variety which usually produces a flower stem called scape. The scape can be used as a salad accessory. Under the hard neck variety includes lautrec wight, elephant garlic, chesnok red and the early purple wight.

On the other hand, the soft neck variety does not produce any flower stem at all and it stores for a longer duration than the hard-neck variety. In this category, it may include the wight Cristo, albigensian wight, cledor and germidour.

Necessities for growth of garlic.

Garlic is planted in it’s cloves. When planted, the vegetable should be exposed to temperatures that do not exceed 65°F or this may hinder the formation of the bulb after the clove has already been planted.

Make sure the soil in which the garlic clove is planted is well-dtained fertile soil that is rich in organic matter. The soil also ought to be slightly organic with a pH ranging in between 6.2 to 6.8.

Garlic also requires adequate nitrogen so ensure you fertilize especially when a yellowing starts to appear in the leaves

How to plant garlic.

Separate the garlic cloves from the bulb shortly before planting and ensure that the papery husk on each cloves stays intact.

After that, each clove should be planted at least 2.5 cm below the surface. Make sure that the pointed end faces upward so that the bulb sits slightly below the Earth surface.

In between the cloves, ensure a 10 cm approximately 4 inch space while among the garlic clove rows, ensure 30cm approximately 12 inches  space.

The cloves should be watered every 3-5 days during the bulbing stages.

Disease alert.

Usually, white rot is common among garlic cloves. This is a fungal disease that may attack garlic especially in cool weather. The best way to deal with this infection is to rotate the crops and clean up your garden after you have harvested.

The harvesting process.

This is usually influenced by the time at which you plant but usually, yellow tops are a signal it is time to harvest.

While harvesting, use a spade or garden fork to lift the plant. Pull the plants gently, brush off the soil and let them cure in an airy and shady place for a duration of about two weeks. After which, you hang them upside down on a string in groups of 4-6, make sure ach side is properly exposed to air circulation.

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Once the wrappers are dry and papery, while the roots are dry, then the bulbs are most definitely cured and ready for storage and consumption.

Extra tip. The cloves should be easy to crack while the root crown ought to be hard at this point.

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