At DripWorks, we grow a variety of flowers and veggies in order to show customers what can be grown with Drip Irrigation. One of our favorite veggies is the garlic we grow every year; Garlic is the perfect crop to display inside our garden, as it is planted in October and harvested each June (see picture above). Now in our third season, we find growing garlic with Drip Irrigation a snap, if given the right soil conditions and preparation.
To prepare our garlic bed we utilize two of our wonderful products: Agribon and Emitter Tubing (or Soaker Dripline). In the Fall and Winter months we cover the garlic bed with row cover (a fabric that raises the temperature by 4-6 degrees) in order to protect the plants from frost. The Agribon material is supported by bent wire fencing inside the wooden beds, which makes a "tunnel" shape to provide warmth and growth space for the garlic during colder months. In addition to using row cover, each year we irrigate the garlic with our Emitter Tubing, which delivers water directly to the roots of each plant. Soaker Dripline also works very well. Together, these products are key to a successful harvest.
Soil is the foundation for a healthy and successful crop.Your soil should have a good mix of compost and loam for robust growth and good drainage. A cover crop in the spring and summer will fix some nitrogen. Adding a balanced organic fertilizer like bat guano before planting and using a Fertilizer Injector during the season will ensure that your garlic grows to its fullest potential and taste.
We plant 4 rows in a 4' wide bed and leave 6" between garlic cloves. Our 12' long bed will end up with 96 bulbs. Make sure the pointed end of the clove is facing up when planting and is 2" below the surface of the soil. Adding a layer of mulch will ensure even and long lasting moisture for the plants.
To store fresh garlic, shake off all excess soil from the roots and wash the bulbs. Allow them to dry in a dark, cool and moisture free place for 7-10 days. You can hang garlic from its stalks for up to 3 months.