Make Sure to Always Watch Your Garlic: Here's Why It's Important
Inspecting Your Garlic Plants
Inspecting and observing the garlic plants regularly is a very important job that is often put to the side for other demanding things. Every gardener and farmer knows how many tasks need attention during the growing season and it can be hard to get around to everything quickly enough.
Scouting, however, is important because it can identify issues or problems that may need to be dealt with before they get out of hand. This usually saves you time in the long run and can even catch things before they truly damage the crop.
How Often and
Good scouting means a regular walkthrough of all the areas that have garlic growing at least once or twice a week. Some growers check on their garlic every day during important periods like scape emergence or at harvest time.
No matter how often you check on your garlic, it is important to be consistent. There is no point scouting the crop for 10 days straight and then stop because you find the whole process too much work. It is better to come up with a schedule that works for you so that you continue the inspections.
What should I look For?
While scouting, it's important to be focused on the garlic and not daydreaming about all the other work that still needs to be done.
You should be looking for any things that might be affecting the garlic such as insects, diseases or even nutrient deficiencies that might show up as yellowing of the leaves or poor growth.
Although garlic does not have as many insect pests compared to other vegetables and is often free of disease if the grower has good practices in place, it is crucial to know that there are still issues that can affect your plants and bulbs.
Learn About The Problems That Affect Garlic
Learning about what diseases, insects and nutrient deficiencies can affect garlic is always a good thing so that you can know what to look for. There are many books and resources available and it is a good practice for any serious garlic grower to do as much research and learning as possible.
It's also a very good idea to touch base with any agricultural extension services that your provincial (or state) government might have for vegetable growers. Some provinces and states have very good extension staff that have a lot of knowledge regarding garlic and other vegetable crops.
About the Author: John Côté owns and operates John Boy Farms with his family who have been farming the same land for over 140 years. As an agronomist and experienced farmer, he helps other growers learn how to grow garlic successfully. He has written many articles and is the author of The Master Guide to Growing Big Garlic.