Garlic is a bulbous plant that is a member of the Allium family. It is an essential herb used in cooking and provides several health benefits. Garlic is also relatively easy to grow, making it a popular choice for home gardeners.
However, like every plant, garlic needs a sufficient amount of water to grow and thrive. In this blog post, we will discuss how much water garlic needs, the adverse effects of overwatering or under-watering garlic, and the ideal watering schedule for garlic.
How Much Water Does Garlic Need?
Garlic plants need a moderate amount of water regularly, about 1 to 1.5 inches per week. However, the amount of water garlic needs may vary depending on the soil, the climate, and the stage of growth.
Garlic is native to the Mediterranean region, where the climate is warm and dry. Therefore, garlic prefers well-draining soil that allows excess water to drain. If the soil is too wet, the garlic roots may become waterlogged, leading to root rot and fungal diseases.
Also, garlic prefers to grow in slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. If the soil’s pH is too high or too low, the garlic will have difficulty absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.
Factors That Affect Garlic Water Needs
- Climate: The amount of water garlic needs depends on the climate in which it is growing. Garlic prefers a warm and dry climate with moderate rainfall. In areas with humid conditions, garlic may require less water, as the air’s moisture can compensate for the water loss.
- Soil Type: The type of soil in which garlic is grown affects its water needs. Sandy soils allow water to drain quickly, while clay soils retain water longer. If the soil is heavy clay, you may need to water the garlic more frequently as it retains more moisture.
- Stage of Growth: Garlic water needs differ between the planting and growing stages. Once planted, the garlic needs to establish its roots, meaning it needs more water. As the garlic grows, it needs less water but still requires a moderate amount to produce healthy bulbs.
Overwatering or Under-Watering Garlic
Overwatering or under-watering garlic can have detrimental effects on its growth and yield. Here are some things to look for when determining if your garlic is being over or under-watered.
Overwatering garlic leads to waterlogged soil, which can cause root rot and fungal diseases. Here are some signs that your garlic may be overwatered:
- Yellowing leaves
- Wilting or limp leaves
- Soft stems
- Mushy bulbs
- Visible fungus inside and around garlic.
Insufficient water causes the garlic to become dehydrated, resulting in stunted growth and small bulbs. Here are some signs that your garlic may be under-watered:
- Wilting leaves
- Dry soil
- Brown leaves
- Small, incomplete garlic bulbs
- Slow growth rate.
Ideal Watering Schedule for Garlic
The ideal watering schedule for garlic depends on the climate, soil type, and the stage of growth. Here is a general guideline for watering garlic:
- Planting Stage:
After planting garlic, it needs enough water to settle in and establish roots. Water the soil immediately after planting and ensure that the soil stays moist until the roots establish.
- Growing Stage:
During the growing stage, garlic needs regular watering to produce healthy bulbs. Garlic needs around 1 – 1.5 inches of water each week. Do not let the soil completely dry out between watering.
- Harvesting Stage:
Stop watering the garlic plants about two weeks before harvesting. This will help the garlic bulbs mature and dry, making it easier to harvest.
In conclusion, water is an essential element in garlic’s growth, and it needs sufficient amounts throughout its growing cycle. Over-watering or under-watering garlic can lead