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Start your own garlic business


									Start your own garlic business
Congratulations! By visiting this site you have already taken the first step to
starting your own agricultural venture. Garlic is very easy to grow and very

We have developed a 5 Year Plan aimed at the first-time grower. This plan
allows you to start small (with only 600 square metres of ground) and grow
your business as much as you choose. We must stress that you do not need
previous experience with growing garlic (or anything else) to follow this plan.

We will supply you with:

   Step-by-step Grower's Manual
   Planting cloves
   Year-round telephone support
The Grower's Manual includes step-by-step instructions on preparation,
planting (including methodology), harvesting and storage, complete with
colour photographs. The manual also covers both export and local market
information (including aspects such as packaging, presentation and export
requirements). It is provided and despatched immediately on acceptance of
order, enabling you to prepare your ground well in advance.

The planting cloves are of a huge variety called Super Giant Garlic (SGG).
Each individual clove can be the size of a regular bulb of garlic, and there are
between 4 and 8 cloves per bulb (the average is 5). Shelf-life of this garlic is
phenomenal (much longer than other varieties). This means that instant sale
is not imperative and you could have garlic to sell in the off-season when
prices are high.

Our year-round telephone support is there for your convenience at no extra
 In the 10 years of growing our S.G.G. it has never been susceptible to
any crop-threatening disease. Indeed, one crop of smaller garlic planted
immediately adjacent to out S.G.G. was completely wiped out with Brown
Rust – whereas the S.G.G. was untouched.

In short, this is a superb product.

 Land Requirements

Initially, in order to plant 10,000 cloves, approximately 600m2 of ground is
required. Should the 5 Year Plan be followed, this requirement would increase
five-fold each year. The yield from this land should be approximately 15 tons /
hectare, depending on soil type, local conditions, etc. Sandy soil makes for
easier weeding, growth and harvesting, but any type will produce a good crop
should the right additives and fertiliser be employed (refer to the manual
provided with your order for detail).

 Water Requirements
 This will vary according to soil type. A reasonable
borehole will suffice (refer to the manual provided with your order).

The market is not just South Africa. Exporters can handle everything
produced here for export to Germany, Australia, etc., especially large cloves
which travel well and have long shelf-lives. Locally, it can be sold to traders
either whole, chopped, minced or flaked. Great strides have been made in the
field of medicine and garlic is featuring in antiseptics and pain killing drugs
(refer to manual provided with order for detail). Normal garlic consumption has
increased tremendously over the last few years. We anticipate that S.G.G. will
take over the garlic market – not add to it.

he 5 Year Plan
It must be stressed again that this plan is flexible.

Allowance has been made for 20% of your annual crop sale to provide income
for operating costs and profits. Should this be deemed unnecessary or indeed
inadequate then it can be adjusted. This would either increase or decrease the
time span of the plan (it makes allowance for the purchase of, for example, a
tractor in the 4th or 5th year, construction of a dam as the crop increases and
even for the taxman receiving his share).

The culmination of the plan is R1-million, after tax, in your pocket after the 5th
year, in addition to revenue received from sales in the interim and enough garlic
seed to replant and continue enjoying further annual revenue.

To start, you need 600m2 (square metres) of land. Garlic Growers will supply
you with 10,000 planting cloves (garlic grows when the actual clove is planted).
These cloves will produce 50,000 more cloves.

Year         Land          Cloves        Profit & cost for next year        Cloves
1      =       600m2=        10,000=            50,000 cloves less 20%=        40,000
2      =     2,400m2=        40,000=          200,000 cloves less 20%=        160,000
3      =     9,600m2= 160,000=                800,000 cloves less 20%=        640,000
4      =    38,400m2= 640,000=              3,200,000 cloves less 20%= 2,560,000
This gives 640,000 WHOLE GARLIC at the end of the Year 4 which should be
worth at least R1-million and would need 3,84 hectares of ground. If at the end
of Year 4 you have sold 160,000 whole garlic, it should give you at least
R200,000 which would be enough to cover all your costs for Year 5 (including
the hire of extra land if necessary). This would leave you with 2,4-million cloves
to plant in Year 5.
 2,4-million cloves planted in Year 5 = 2,4-million WHOLE
GARLIC at the end of Year 5. Even if, for a quick sale, you decided to practically
give it away at only R1 per whole garlic, this would leave you with:
for the TAXMAN, R1-million for YOU and 2-million cloves to plant for a 6th year.
Facts about garlic
  Studies around the world have shown garlic to be beneficial in fighting heart
         disease, cancer, diabetes, infections and other illnesses.
  Crushed garlic can be used as a dressing for external wounds. It was used
         extensively and successfully in The Second World War for its antibiotic
         and antiseptic qualities.
  Garlic contains a wide range of trace minerals. These include copper, iron,
         zinc, magnesium, germanium, and especially selenium. In addition,
         garlic contains many sulphur compounds, vitamins A and C, fibre, and
         various amino acids.
  The mature garlic plant produces a bulb, sometimes called a head of garlic,
         with numerous individual cloves inside the paper-like wrapper. An
         individual clove when planted will reproduce an entire bulb after about
         9 months.
  The use of garlic dates back to the early Egyptians, over 5,000 years ago.
         Egyptian slaves downed tools when their daily ration of garlic was
         removed, thus becoming the first ever known labour strike. Six bulbs of
         garlic were discovered in King Tutankhamun’s tomb.
  All varieties of garlic (and there over 450) are members of the Lily family.
  Fresh garlic is generally odour-free until crushed.
  It is the polysulphide allicin, as well as other substances such as adenosine
         and ajoene, that are key to garlic’s health benefits.
  The amount of allicin garlic can produce does not depend upon the cultivar.
         It can vary by as much as twenty-fold and is dependent upon soil and
         climate conditions. Generally speaking, Chinese garlic has the potential
         to produce the most allicin.
Allicin dissipates over a period of ± 48 hours, therefore crushing fresh garlic is
the only sure way of ensuFor more information, or to order your garlic
package, please contact:

  Carl Maree (Farm Manager)
  Derek Immelman (Managing Director)
  PO Box 1664
 Krugersdorp, 1740
 Gauteng Province

 The Garlic Grower's Manual (supplied free with your order) is a
comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about growing garlic.

Garlic Growers guarantee their garlic and have a proven track record of
quality service.

Delivery is free within South Africa for orders of 10,000 cloves or more
(international delivery quoted on request).

Only selected bulbs of export quality are allowed to leave the premises of
Garlic Growers.

All Garlic Growers bulbs are treated to prevent insects, pests, etc. from
contaminating stock during storage.

  ring allicin will be present.

Garlic has been used as food, a condiment, and for medicinal purposes for over 5,00
years. It is thought to have originated in central Asia, and then later brought to the
Mediterranean area. Garlic (Allium sativum) belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. M
flavored elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum) is not a true garlic and belongs to t
same species as leeks.

Ontario imports a substantial quantity of fresh and processed garlic products mainly
from the USA, Mexico, and South America. Garlic powder is the most popular form o
dried garlic with dehydrated pieces, flakes, and garlic salt also used. The majority o
Ontario grown garlic is sold to the fresh market as whole fresh bulbs. Green tops of
garlic, garlic spreads, and chopped garlic are also sold to a lesser extent. There are
garlic dehydration facilities or organized marketing structure for selling or for
distribution of garlic in Ontario. There is however, a producer organized Garlic
Growers'Association of Ontario.

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Plant Growth and Development
Garlic is a perennial plant, commonly grown in Ontario as a winter annual, planted i
fall and harvested the following summer. Garlic bulbs are composed of a number of
thick, modified storage leaves called cloves, which are used as planting stock. Clove
planted in late summer or fall develop extensive roots before winter, with little or no
visible shoot growth. Overwintering shoot growth above the soil surface is not
desirable, since it will be prone to winter injury in areas of insufficient snow protecti
Properly planted, healthy cloves are very winter hardy.
Figure 1. December removal of October planted garlic cloves showing late fall root

A strong, well-established overwintering plant will rapidly develop shoot growth dur
spring as soil and air temperatures increase. With adequate moisture and nutrition,
large plant will develop before bulbing takes place.

Many strains of garlic require a cold period to initiate bulbing. Fall-planted garlic
receives a natural cold period as it overwinters in the soil. Spring-planted garlic,
however, may require cold storage prior to planting to allow proper bulb developme
The bulbing response is stimulated by the long days and warm temperatures of late
spring. During this time, "hardneck" strains of garlic produce a solid flowering stalk
referred to as the scape. The scape does not produce true seed, but rather develops
small vegetative bulbils, also called bulblets, pips or topsets. There is considerable
variability in the size and number of bulbils produced by "hardneck" garlic. Bulbils m
be used as planting stock, although they often require two or more years of growth
develop into marketable bulbs. Early removal of the scape during its development
results in increased bulb yields. "Softneck" strains of garlic do not produce a scape.

Each of the cloves, which make up the complete bulb, develops from an auxiliary bu
at the leaf base. The leaves which are most exterior on the growing shoot form the
sheath leaves which protect the bulb.

Bulb size increases during late spring and summer until the leaves of the plant begi
dry, turning tan brown from the tips toward the base of the leaves. As the bulbs
increase in size, they also increase in dry matter content. After harvest further dryin
is required to cure the bulbs. Once cured, bulbs are ready for long-term storage. Ga
left in the field unharvested will begin to develop new root growth from each of the
cloves during late summer.

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There are an enormous number of strains of garlic in the world, with few strains bei
named as cultivars. Current strains of garlic grown in Ontario originate from Asia,
Europe, Northern Africa and North and South America.
Cultivated garlic plants do not produce true seed. Therefore, no crossing or exchang
of genetic material occurs between strains of garlic. All garlic is propagated
vegetatively from cloves and bulbils, with each clove or bulbil a clone of the parent

Figure 2. A "hardneck" garlic strain showing early summer scape development.

Figure 3. Bubils produced on scape tops vary in size and colour depending upon the
strain of "hardneck" garlic.

Two types of garlic, described as "hardneck" and "soft-neck", are grown in Ontario.
Hardneck garlic strains bolt during late spring, producing a tall, solid flowering scap
which protrudes through the center of the bulb. A small proportion of the scape
remains with the marketed bulb of hardneck strains.

Softneck garlic strains in Ontario do not develop a scape and generally have larger
number of cloves, and smaller cloves per bulb than hardneck strains. The softneck
strains are better suited to mechanization; the outer bulb sheath leaves can be
brushed off mechanically.

Garlic bulbs vary in color from red to white; clean, white garlic is preferred by the fr
produce market in Ontario.

Most garlic growers save their own locally adapted garlic bulbs for planting stock, an
usually obtain new planting material from other local growers.

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Location and Soil Preparation
Garlic can be grown successfully on a wide range of soil types and is grown in most
cultivated areas of Ontario. Soils which are prone to excessive frost heaving are lea
desirable. Enhanced plant survival has been observed in areas where good snow co
occurs and fields should be chosen accordingly. Fields should be selected which prov
ample wind protection, especially where garlic is to be planted in lighter soils.

Soils with high organic matter content are preferred due to their increased moisture
and nutrient-holding capacity. Soils containing sufficient organic matter are also les
prone to crusting and compaction. Very heavy soil types hinder bulb expansion,
especially if allowed to dry out, resulting in rough and irregular shaped bulbs. Inten
soil manage-ment practices are required on light sandy soils due to their low moistu
holding capacity.

The soil should be prepared far enough in advance in order to eliminate perennial
weeds, adjust pH, nutrient and organic matter levels if needed, and remove any soi
obstructions. The greatest success has been achieved where the soil pH ranges from
6.0 - 7.5. Any necessary pH adjustments should be made prior to planting. pH level
below 6.0 have resulted in winter injury, poor plant vigour, reduced plant stands an
overall yield reduction. For any crop, efficient use of fertilizer is dependent upon pro
soil pH levels.

The organic matter content of the soil should be built up before planting to increase
the manageability of the soil. Organic matter can be increased by applying well-rott
manure or by plowing down a green manure crop. For further information on green
manure and cover crops, see OMAFRA Publication #363, Vegetable Production
Recommendations. Before planting, the soil should be worked deep enough to prese
a consistent planting medium that allows easy insertion of cloves into the soil.

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Clove Preparation for Planting
Garlic seed stock should be stored as whole bulbs until shortly before planting, since
cloves separated from the parent bulb deteriorate more rapidly than whole bulbs.
Break apart or "crack" the bulbs just prior to planting. Dry bulbs are more easily
broken apart into cloves than damp bulbs. Either hand or mechanical equipment is
commonly used to break the bulbs apart. However, there is greater potential for
physical damage to cloves when using mechanical cracking devices. Some mechanic
planting equipment requires that cloves be graded into sizes or weight ranges for
improved planting efficiency. Any damaged or diseased cloves should not be planted

When planning to use your own planting stock, harvest the planting stock bulbs late
than your main crop. Harvesting very mature bulbs increases the ease of clove
separation prior to planting. Planting larger cloves of the same strain of garlic will
produce larger bulbs than the planting of smaller cloves.

Many garlic seed treatments intended for crop protection and disease reduction hav
been tested. To date, no registered seed treatments have proven to give consistent
beneficial results. The most consistent success has been achieved by planting health
damage- and disease-free planting stock.

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Planting and Spacing
Current research suggests that the optimum planting date is between September an
November. Early spring planting may also be successful, although bulb yields tend t
be lower and increased storage losses of planting material are common. To estimate
the planting date, use the average date of first fall frost as listed in OMAFRA
Publication #363, Vegetable Production Recommendations. This will provide an
approximate planting date for your area.

The amount of planting material required will vary from 700 - 1000 kg/ha, dependin
upon the weight of individual cloves planted and the spacing used. The average
number of cloves within each bulb varies from less than 8 to greater than 15
depending upon the strain of garlic. Space plants 7 - 12 cm apart in the row. Cloves
small-bulbed strains may be planted as close as 7 cm apart, while large-bulbed stra
will require as much as 12 cm between plants. Spacing between rows will depend on
the method of planting and available equipment for cultivation. Single or multiple ro
of plants are commonly used, with spacing between rows generally not less than 20

Plant cloves so that the distance from the soil surface to the top of the clove is 3 - 5
cm. The 5 cm planting depth is recommended for light or organic soils. Cloves plant
too shallow are prone to injury during the winter and early spring. Garlic which is
planted in the spring may be planted closer to the soil surface.

Hand planting is the traditional method of planting garlic, however, several importe
mechanical planters are now in use. Various home-built or modified mechanical
planters have been tried with only moderate success.

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Garlic grows well on fertile soils. The soil phosphorus and potassium levels should b
determined by a soil test. Any phosphorus or potassium required should be broadca
followed by shallow incorporation into the soil before fall planting.

The total amount of nitrogen required will vary with the soil type, the previous crop
grown, the amount of organic matter present and the climatic conditions during the
growing season. Garlic will generally require 70 - 125 kg/ ha of nitrogen. A small
amount of nitrogen can be applied in the fall. One half of the nitrogen should be
applied as soon as the garlic begins to grow in early spring; the remainder should b
split into two to three applications at three week intervals. The application of nitroge
should be completed within 4 - 6 weeks of harvest. Nitrogen can be applied through
irrigation, although care must be taken to avoid foliar burn. The preferred sources o
nitrogen are calcium or ammonium nitrate. Applications of urea should be avoided d
to potential plant injury.

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Garlic is sensitive to moisture stress throughout the growing season. Any periods of
dry soil conditions, especially during bulbing, will result in yield reductions.

For most soils, approximately 2.5 cm of water per week is required during the grow
season. In sandy soils, however, 5.0 cm or more of water may be required during h
dry weather conditions.

The preferred time of irrigation is morning to mid-afternoon, thus allowing sufficient
time for the plant foliage to dry before nightfall. As garlic becomes mature at harve
irrigation should cease. This cultural practice increases harvesting ease and reduces
the potential deterioration and staining of exterior bulb sheath leaves.

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Weed Control
Garlic is a weak competitor against vigorous weeds. Therefore, weed control is
essential and can be undertaken by cultivation, hand-hoeing or with herbicide
application. Deep cultivation close to the plants should be avoided as root damage w
subsequent yield losses may occur. For up-to-date weed control information, consul
OMAFRA Publication #75 Guide to Weed Control.

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Insects and Diseases
The major disease problems of garlic in Ontario are: Fusarium basal rot, Penicillium
mould, and viruses.

Fusarium basal rot is a disease which attacks the basal plate region and the roots. T
soil-borne pathogen invades the roots, resulting in empty, tan-colored, non-function
roots. The basal plate region may develop a pinkish growth of mycelium. First visua
symptoms are often the yellowing of the tip and dieback of the shoot during the
spring. Warm soil temperatures and high soil moisture promote disease developmen
Since the Fusarium inoculum remains as dormant spores in the soil or on plant resid
crop rotation with crops not belonging to the Allium genus (e.g., garlic, onions,
shallots, leeks, chives) is recommended.

Penicillin mould is a main cause of decay of garlic in storage. The disease appears a
masses of blue-green spores usually first seen at the base of the bulb. The primary
source of inoculum is diseased bulbs used for planting material. When diseased bulb
are cracked the air-borne spores readily come in contact with healthy cloves. Woun
cloves are particularly susceptible to the disease.

Often cloves infected with Penicillin become infected with secondary organisms such
bacteria and other fungi, masking the original pathogen. Clove rot and reduced plan
stands are often the result of planting infected cloves. Surviving plants which emerg
appear weak and yellow. Warm temperatures of 22 - 25 °C are optimum for spore
germination and disease development. Planting garlic too early in late summer whe
soil temperatures are high may increase the severity of clove rot. Irrigation may be
beneficial, as high soil moisture appears to suppress clove decay.

Virtually all sources of garlic contain viruses. Fortunately, most of these viruses in
garlic are latent. Latent garlic viruses may not become visible or reduce yields until
garlic plant is stressed or growth interrupted.

The most common symptoms of virus infection are colour changes of the leaves. Th
include mosaics, flecking, streaking and mottling. Leaf shape distortion may also oc
Aphids are one vector capable of transmitting some viruses from infected to healthy
plants. Control of virus diseases is achieved through a combination of planting healt
cloves, reducing aphid populations, proper fertility and water management during th
growing season.

The major insect problems in Ontario include onion maggots, thrips and wireworms.
There are, at present, registered insecticides that will control these pests. Consult
OMAFRA Publication #363 "Vegetable Production Recommendations" for information
registered insecticides and control procedures.

Bulb and stem nematode and white rot are very serious problems of garlic productio
in other areas of the world. Once these problems are established in a field, control m
be difficult or economically unfeasible. Garlic and onions are closely related, therefo
Agriculture Canada Publication #1716, Diseases of Onions in Canada, should be

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Harvesting and Grading
Harvesting begins when the leaf tops begin to dry, discolor and bend towards the
ground. Another indication of bulb maturity is the reduced thickness of the sheath
leaves surrounding the bulb. Early harvest results in bulbs which are immature and
tend to shrivel when cured, while late harvest may result in bulbs which have staine
partially decayed wrapper leaves and exposed cloves.

Figure 4. Hand-harvested garlic bulbs ready for curing.

With small plantings of garlic the bulbs are usually harvested by hand pulling, using
fork to loosen the soil and facilitate lifting. On larger plantings a tractor drawn blade
commonly used to loosen the soil under the bulbs. A mechanized system can be use
to lift the bulbs, remove the tops and separate the dirt and trash from the bulbs,
however, complete mechanized harvesting is not used in Ontario at the present tim

Once harvested, the garlic must be cured properly to ensure a long storage life. Fiel
curing is achieved by placing the harvested garlic in covered, slotted vegetable bins
and allowing natural air drying. Curing is often accomplished indoors using forced a
dry the bulbs. Garlic cured indoors should either be placed in slotted bins, on wired
racks or on open trays in a well-ventilated building.

After curing, the garlic should be trimmed. Both the tops and the roots should be
removed. Topping and root trimming are done mechanically or by hand. Brushing to
remove the loose outer sheath is the final step before marketing.

Garlic imported into Canada is commonly graded by size, with the larger-sized bulbs
commanding a higher price. Grading is done by hand or mechanically.

The grade sizes used are as follows:

 Colossal - 3" and larger
 Super Jumbo - 2½" - 3"
 Extra Jumbo - 2¼" - 2½"
 Jumbo - 2" - 2¼"
 Extra Flower - less than 2"

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For maximum storage life, garlic should be properly cured and stored at 0 °C with a
- 70% relative humidity. Higher humidity provides excellent conditions for the
development of Penicillin mould and root growth, which is undesirable. Adequate air
circulation and proper storage containers are important to remove transpired heat a
moisture. As storage temperatures are increased above 0 °C, the rate of bulb weigh
loss also increases. Storage life under appropriate conditions is 5 - 8 months
depending upon the strain of garlic.

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Presently, the majority of Ontario-produced garlic is marketed as fresh product to
wholesale distributers, independent grocers, farmers' markets or at the farm gate.
Economics of scale do not support a processing industry at this time. However,
processing alternatives may become a reality as the industry grows.

To increase profitability, many producers have used value added techniques such as
braided, pickled or home-processed garlic. Scapes have also been sold to specialty
markets in Ontario.

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 Diseases of Onions in Canada. Agriculture Canada Publication #1716
 Guide to Weed Control. OMAFRA Publication #75
 Vegetable Production Recommendations. OMAFRA Publication #363

Related Links
 Publication 363, Vegetable Production Recommendations
 Publication 75 Guide to Weed Control
 Bulb and Stem Nematode in Onions (Order No. 00-043)
 Identification of Diseases and Disorders of Onions (Order No. 95-063)
 Onion Maggot Control in Dry Onions (Order No. 00-017)
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For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Local: (519) 826-4047
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