Garlic is a perennial herb that is grown for its pungent, aromatic bulb. It is a plant that belongs to the onion family used as a spice in cooking and also has medicinal properties.
Garlic can be grown in most climates, including the warm weather and few touches of frost of Florida if you follow these steps: selecting the planting area, selecting garlic varieties, site preparation, planting, plant care, and management, and harvesting.
This article will teach you how to grow garlic in Florida. It is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, and it can be grown by anyone who has learned the steps and guidelines on how to.
How To Grow Garlic in Florida
Growing garlic for the first time? Here’s how to successfully grow your garlic in Florida.
Step 1 – Selecting Planting Area
Garlic needs full sun exposure, so it should be grown in an area with plenty of sunlight. Garlic needs fertile soil with good drainage, so it should be planted in a well-drained spot that has been amended with organic material such as compost or rotted manure.
Read Also: How to Grow Onions in Florida [Practical Guide]
Step 2 – Select Garlic Varieties
Garlic comes in two primary varieties: hardneck and softneck. Hardnecks have a stiff stem that grows up out of the ground, while softnecks have more pliable stem that grows underground.
Both types of garlic can be grown in Florida, but softneck varieties are better suited for Florida climates because they grow better in hotter climates and requires less attention than hardneck garlic.
Some of the best softneck varieties you can grow in Florida include Thermadrone, Lorz Italian, Georgian Crystal, Creole, and Romanian Red garlic plants. Importantly, buy seedlings from a retail nursery; or buy grown plants from a local farmer.
Read Also: How To Grow Tomatoes In Florida
Step 3 – Site Preparation
Preparation of land for garlic farming is essential. The soil should be fine, rich, and fertile. There should be an adequate amount of water in the soil but at the same time not too much water that will cause heavy rainfall which will damage your crop.
The first step in growing garlic is to prepare your land. You should break up any clumps of soil or rocks that may be in the ground and loosen the soil with a garden fork or large spade.
Then, after removing stones, and other unwanted properties, find a flat area about 3 feet deep and about the same width for at least ten feet front-to-back. Dig a trench four times its depth; fill it with some loose soil from an existing garden plot.
Also, before planting your cloves, add a nitrogen-rich soil mix or compost to the soil in your garden to help them grow well.
Step 4 – Planting
You must plant your garlic cloves at the right time. The best time to plant garlic in Florida is between fall and early winter. Plant your garlic in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Because garlic requires soil that drains well and contains organic nutrients to produce a healthy harvest.
You should plant garlic cloves 6 to 8 inches apart, providing plenty of room for growth but not spreading too far from each other.
Lay down one row of garlic seeds with the roots pointing downward at an angle of 45 degrees to their neighbors. You should plant a single clove of garlic at a depth of 4-6 inches (10–15 cm). Fill the hole with well-drained soil and water it until it is moist.
Note: you should wait till the moment that you want to plant your garlic before separating the garlic cloves from the head.
Step 5 – Plant Care and Management
There are further activities you need to carry out to ensure your garlic grows to the mature harvestable stage. These include:
Water your garlic plant regularly to avoid the soil losing moisture. To survive in cool or warm weather, you need at least one inch of water per week.
Check the soil of your garlic plant many times a week for dryness during the dry summer months. If the soil on your finger feels dry, water the area until it is moist but not waterlogged.
You should mulch your garlic plant immediately after planting by adding 5-8 inches of dry grass or seedless straw to the soil around your garlic.
This will help your plants get more nutrients, keep the soil cool, and stop weeds from sprouting as your garlic grows.
Nitrogen is essential for garlic germination until the harvest period. Spray a liquid fertilizer on your plant at least twice a month from the time the garlic shoots first appear until it is time to harvest.
If you notice your plant is developing yellow leaves, you should also apply fertilizer (a sign of nitrogen deficiency).
At the very least once every week, weed the space around your garlic. Excessive weed growth can reduce your plant’s yield by more than half.
Pull weeds often before they get out of control to keep them from stealing the nutrients from your garlic.
Step 6 – Harvesting
Wait until the leaves on your garlic have dried and are bending toward the earth. It typically takes 6 to 8 months from planting to maturity.
Trim the roots after removing your garlic from the ground.
To keep the bulb from rotting or warping while you store it, brush off any loose soil from the roots and trim them with pruning scissors until they are a length of approximately 6 inches (15 cm).
Hang your garlic by the stalks from a ceiling or spread it out on a rack in a cool, dark, and dry location.
Allow them to air dry entirely and get ready for storage by leaving them hanging for around 4-6 weeks.
Variety of Garlic in Florida
There are several varieties of garlic that grow well in Florida. Some of the most popular varieties include:
- Artichoke: This is a softneck garlic with a mild flavor that is often used in cooking. It is known for its large bulbs and long shelf life.
- Rocambole: This is a hardneck garlic with a spicy flavor that is well-suited for roasting. It is known for its purple-striped cloves and easy-to-peel skins.
- Asiatic: This is a hardneck garlic with a sweet, mild flavor. It is known for its pinkish-purple cloves and excellent storage qualities.
Garlic Prices in Florida
Garlic prices in Florida can vary depending on factors such as the variety of garlic, the time of year, and the location of the seller. On average, you can expect to pay around $1 to $2 per bulb of garlic.
Best Agronomic Practices for Growing Garlic in Florida
To grow garlic successfully in Florida, you should consider the following best agronomic practices:
- Plant garlic in the fall: Garlic grows best when planted in the fall, between late September and early December in most areas of Florida.
- Choose a sunny location: Garlic needs plenty of sunlight to grow properly, so choose a location with at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
- Prepare the soil: Garlic prefers well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Add compost or well-rotted manure to the soil before planting.
- Plant garlic cloves: Separate garlic bulbs into individual cloves and plant them pointed end up, about 2 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches apart in rows.
- Water regularly: Garlic needs consistent moisture to grow properly, so water regularly and deeply, but do not overwater.
- Mulch: Mulching around garlic plants with straw or leaves can help conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
- Fertilize: Garlic needs adequate nitrogen to grow, so consider fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer or side-dressing with compost or manure in the spring.
Projected Profit of Growing Garlic in Florida
The projected profit of growing garlic in Florida can vary depending on factors such as the variety of garlic, the size of your operation, and the market conditions. However, if grown and marketed correctly, garlic can be a profitable crop.
According to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, garlic yields in Florida can range from 2 to 4 tons per acre, and the average price per pound for garlic in Florida is around $4.
Common Diseases and Pests of Garlic
Garlic can be susceptible to several diseases and pests in Florida. Some of the most common include:
- Onion thrips: These tiny insects can damage leaves and reduce yields. Treatment may include using insecticidal soap or neem oil.
- White rot: This fungal disease can cause bulbs to rot and can persist in the soil for years. Prevention includes planting in well-drained soil and avoiding planting in fields with a history of white rot.
- Downy mildew: This fungal disease can cause yellowing and wilting of leaves. Treatment may include using copper-based fungicides.
- Garlic rust: This fungal disease can cause orange or yellow spots on leaves. Treatment may include using fungicides or removing infected leaves.
Different Propagation Methods of Garlic
Garlic can be propagated through cloves or bulbils. Cloves are the most common method of propagation and are the individual segments of a garlic bulb.
Bulbils are small bulbs that form in the flower head of hardneck garlic varieties.
They can be used to grow new garlic plants, but it may take several years for them to mature and produce bulbs of a usable size.
When planting garlic cloves, it is important to select healthy, disease-free bulbs and separate the individual cloves for planting.
The largest cloves will produce the largest bulbs. When planting bulbils, select healthy, mature flower heads and plant them in the fall, as you would with garlic cloves.
How Long Does It Take Garlic to Grow In Florida?
Garlic takes about 100 to 120 days to grow up to the harvestable stage.
What Month Do You Plant Garlic In Florida?
Garlic is planted in November or December.
Is Garlic Easy To Grow In Florida?
Garlic is easy to grow in Florida if the right step is followed and given the right condition.
How Do You Plant Garlic Bulbs In Florida?
To plant garlic bulbs in Florida, you have to prepare the planting site and dig a hole that is 3 inches deep. Place the garlic clove in the hole with the root in a side-down position and then cover the hole with well-draining soil. Apply water to moisten the soil.
What Grows Well With Garlic?
Plants that grow well with garlic include tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, kale, broccoli, and fruit trees, among others.
Can You Grow Garlic From A Clove?
It is very much possible to grow garlic from a clove. All you need do is break the bulb into tiny pieces and place each clove in a planting hole.
How Long Does Garlic Take To Grow?
Garlic takes 5 to 6 months from planting to growing.
Can I Grow Garlic Indoors?
You can grow garlic indoors in a pot or other suitable planters as long as you create the right condition.
What Is The Difference Between Hard Neck And Soft Neck Garlic?
Hardneck garlic is known to have a stalk that stems from the center of the bulb and turns rigid at maturity. While soft garlic stalks are known to produce leaves rather than a central stalk, the leaves remain soft even at maturity.
Can You Grow Hard Neck Garlic In Florida?
Growing hardneck garlic in Florida is not advisable because the weather condition does not suit this garlic variety.
How Do You Store Garlic In Florida?
You store garlic in a cool dry place placing them in a bowl or bag with good airflow to air dry.
How Do I Plant Garlic?
If you want to grow garlic, follow the step below.
- Select planting area
- Select garlic varieties
- Site preparation
- Water after planting
Can You Plant Garlic In The Spring?
You can plant garlic in the spring either as a crop of green garlic or to produce bulbs.
Can You Grow Ginger In Florida?
You can easily grow ginger in Florida and as a perennial crop, it will continue to grow for several years.
Can You Grow Onions In Florida?
You can grow onions in Florida as much as you plant at the appropriate time and under ideal conditions.
Can I Grow Elephant Garlic In Florida?
You can grow elephant garlic in Florida. Make sure you follow the steps accordingly to get a good harvest.
Does Wild Garlic Grow In Florida?
Allium canadense is a wild garlic variety that grows in Florida, especially in the disturbed sites of the northern and central counties of Florida
How Do You Grow Garlic In Zone 9?
Plant your garlic between November to December. Select the softneck variety and plant them on the farm in a planting hole and water. Mulch after planting and water regularly. Ensure to remove weeds and apply fertilizer only if necessary.
How Long Does Garlic Take To Grow?
It takes garlic about 100 to 120 days to grow into maturity and be harvested.
Can You Plant Garlic In The Spring?
Yes, you can plant garlic in spring especially if you want it to produce bulbs or raise it as a green garlic crop.
Can I Grow Garlic Indoors?
You can grow garlic indoors. However, the garlic won’t produce a head of garlic compared to when planted outdoors in the garden or on farmland. Instead, you will get garlic sprouts or greens.
How To Grow Garlic In Pots
To grow garlic in pots, all you need to do is
- Get a container with drain holes that is 6 to 8 inches in depth
- Fill with potting mix or compost
- Moist the soil and plant the cloves 3 to 4 inches apart
- Water appropriately
- Place in a sunny location
- Apply fertilizer
How Long Does Garlic Take To Grow In Florida
Garlic takes about 6 months to grow in Florida.
How To Grow Garlic Indoors
If you want to grow garlic indoors, you have to get a planting container with drain holes. Fill the container with compost or potting mix and plant the garlic cloves 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 inches apart. Use growing light in place of sunlight and water regularly but not waterlogged.
How To Grow Garlic In Zone 9b
Choose a softneck garlic variety and store the garlic at a cold temperature for about 5 to 8 weeks. Sperate each clove from the bulb and plant each clove in well-drained soil in a location where it will receive full sunlight. Apply fertilizer and weed frequently.
Growing Onions In Florida
To grow onions in Florida, make sure you select the short-term growing variety that can be planted from September through to December. Plant your onion sets not too deep, 2 to 6 inches apart in prepared soil in a full sun location with well-drained soil.
Then apply fertilizer after planting and apply mulch once the plant begins to germinate. Make sure you water regularly as well.
Can You Grow Garlic In The Summer
You can plant garlic in the summer but the bulbs won’t be large as expected when planted in early winter.
Where To Buy Softneck Garlic for Planting
You can buy softneck garlic for planting from a retail nursery or a local farmer.
Best Garlic to Grow in Zone 9
Creoles, Asiatic, Hardnecks, and Marbled Purple Stripes are the best garlic to grow in Zone 9.
Grow your garlic, indoors or out to enjoy fresh-picked bulbs can be lots of fun. Garlic is a perennial plant that grows in the spring and fall, making it perfect for the home gardener!