Have you ever thought of growing garlic in hydroponics system? This may sound strange but is possible to achieve abundant harvest. Growing garlic hydroponically is not hard as many people think. However, you have to stand the strong odor produced by the garlic. If you don’t like the odor, you may start with a few plants at a time. Here is what you need to know about planting garlic in the hydroponics system.
How to grow garlic in hydroponic system
Garlic can be planted from seeds, but starting from cloves is ideal for hydroponic gardens. Clove is a segment of a full garlic bulb. Softneck and hardneck garlic varieties are popular for hydroponics garden. The garlic cloves are planted in the growing medium such as perlite, vermiculite, or coco coir. In this case, the pointed end will face upwards, and the fat end sits in the growing medium. The ideal spacing for hydroponic garlic is 4 inches apart. This will provide enough space for the bulbs to expand.
Alternatively, you can start your garlic cloves in the glass of water. On the cool location, keep the cloves with lower half submerged. When the roots have started sprouting, you can transfer your garlic into the hydroponic system. Don’t leave the garlic submerged for too long because root rot can occur.
Conditions necessary for growing garlic in hydroponic system
Light: garlic requires a minimum of 6 hours of light daily. However, 10- 12 hours provide best results. You should not leave the lights on for the whole day because garlic requires some hours of darkness.
Temperature: garlic can survive at low temperatures, as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the maximum temperature is about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In this case, there is no need for a heating source and light source can be placed at a distance from the garlic.
Nutrients: the pH level of 6.0 to 6.5 is the best for garlic. You have to be careful while preparing the nutrient mixture since excess nutrient can kill your garlic. It is important to follow the guidelines of the particular nutrient line you are using. This ensures that your garlic receives the proper quantities of micro and macro nutrients.
Management of Pests and Diseases
Garlic is a natural pest repellant, so you don’t have to worry about using pesticides or other harmful chemicals. However, garlic is prone to some diseases such as white rot. Once the garlic is affected by white rot, the solution is removing the affected plant. Crop rotation and thorough cleaning of the hydroponic systems after harvest can prevent the development of white rot.
Harvesting of hydroponic garlic
Harvesting of hydroponic garlic is simple as compared to those in soil-based systems. In hydroponics gardens, you can see the cloves without digging necessarily digging them up. Therefore, it is much easier to know when garlic is ready for harvesting. You can save some bulbs for the next planting season.
Growing garlic in hydroponic systems is not as some people might think. However, you should choose appropriate growing medium and maintain a proper nutrient balance. Unfortunately, you will have to withstand the strong smell of the garlic.