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0o-1 1 GULF COAST RESEARCH & EDUCATION CENTER
IFAS, UNIVERSITY OF.FLORIDA ,iT\ '? (
5007 60th Street East
Bradenton, FL 34203 :.,- '
Bradenton GCREC Research Report, BRA1990-17 -August 1990
Donald N. Maynard'
Garlic, Allium sativum L., is a bulbous plant related to onion, chive, and leek.
Garlic bulbs are somewhat smaller and more angular than those of onion. The
mature bulb is made up of several segments, called cloves, that are encased in
a common scale which accounts for the angular bulb shape. The cloves are used
for propagation as well as for food. Although the size and growth habit of
garlic and onion are similar, garlic leaf blades are thin and solid whereas onion
leaves are tubular. Because of its strong flavor and pungent odor, garlic is
used as a seasoning for other foods rather than as a primary vegetable (6).
Garlic is an important world crop. In 1988, production occurred on 1,127,000
acres, average yields were about 56 cwt/acre, and the total crop exceeded 3
million tons. The leading garlic producing countries were China, Republic of
Korea, India, Spain, and Egypt. U.S. production, mostly in California, was on
over 12,000 acres, with average yields of about 134 cwt/acre, and a total
production of 77,000 tons (2). In the 1979-81 period, the last year that USDA
data were available, the California crop was valued at $32.5 million annually
There is no commercial garlic production in Florida, however, inquiries
frequently are received from prospective growers on the feasibility of garlic
production here. The purpose of this evaluation was to make a preliminary
assessment of crop management practices and cultivars.
Materials and Methods
The EauGallie fine sand in the experimental area was sampled before fertilization
and analyzed by the IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory (3): pH = 6.4, Mehlich
I extractable P = 32, K = 16, Mg = 144, Ca = 984, Zn = 5.80, Cu = 0.48, and Mn
= 1.40 ppm.
The land was prepared in early November by incorporation into the prebed of 9
Ibs. 0-20-0, 7 Ibs. 18-0-25, and 7 Ibs. 18-6-12 (Osmocote) per 100 linear bed
feet (Ibf). This provided soluble and controlled release fertilization totalling
2.5-2.2-2.6 Ibs. N-P205-K20 per 100 Ibf. After pressing, the final beds were 32
in. wide, 8 in. high, and were spaced on 5 ft centers with seepage
irrigation/drainage ditches every six beds.
'Professor and Extension Vegetable Specialist. The assistance of Daniel B.
Marcum, Farm Advisor, Shasta-Lassen Counties, California is gratefully
'California Late' certified seed garlic was obtained from Shasta View Garlic,
McArthur, CA and 'California Early' market garlic was obtained from The Garlic
Company, Shafter, CA. The bulbs were separated into cloves which were visually
separated into small, medium, and large size classes immediately before planting
the 'California Late' on 13 November and the 'California Early' on 21 November.
The cloves were planted 4 in. apart in double rows spaced 12 in. apart on the
beds. Plant emergence was recorded three times weekly during the emergence
period. Uniform 10 ft. sections were identified in each size and cultivar to
provide three replications for yield data.
Weed control was by cultivation and hand weeding. No pesticides were applied
during the course of the growth period. However, virus-like symptoms were
observed on the 'California Late' garlic but the presence of virus could not be
confirmed by the Extension Plant Pathology Plant Disease Clinic.
On 7 May, when most of the tops were dead, the 'California Early' garlic was
harvested by lifting with a shovel and clipping the tops followed by drying in
an open, covered greenhouse. Similar procedures were followed for the harvest
and curing of the 'California Late' garlic which was delayed until 25 June
because the tops were still green. The garlic was separated according to the
U.S. Standards for Grades (1) into U.S. No. 1 (marketable) and culls
(unmarketable). The resulting data were subjected to analysis of variance and
mean separation was by Duncan's multiple range test.
Results and Discussion
Temperature and rainfall at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center during
the experimental period deviated from the 35-year averages (7). Except for
December, temperatures were consistently above normal. December temperatures
were lower than normal, primarily because of a very cold period from 24 to 26
December when low temperatures of 27, 25, and 25F were recorded. No visible
damage to the garlic resulted from these temperatures. Rainfall during the
period was generally lower than normal, but higher than normal rainfall did occur
in December and February.
'California Early' plants emergence was noted first at 10 days after planting
and was virtually complete 29 days after planting (Table 2). On the other hand,
emergence of 'California Late' was first noted 14 days after planting and
required 37 days for completion. For both cultivars, plants from the smallest
cloves emerged first and those from the largest cloves emerged last. This
pattern was maintained until 22 days after planting for 'California Early' and
until 32 days after planting for 'California Late'. This result is contrary to
that usually obtained with seeds where the heaviest seeds in a lot generally
germinate sooner than lighter ones.
The average weights of large, medium, and small cloves used for propagation were
significantly different from each other, but quite similar for the two cultivars
(Table 3). Total yields, however, were not related to propagating clove weight.
The total yield of 'California Early' was much greater than that of 'California
Late' because bulbs did not develop on the 'California Late' plants.
Accordingly, marketable yields were nil for 'California Late' and ranged from
871 Ibs./A from small to 1888 Ibs./A from large 'California Early' propagating
cloves. However, these differences were not statistically significant. Likewise,
there was no difference in average 'California Early' bulb weight as related to
propagating clove weight.
Yields in California averaged 128 cwt/A during the 1979-81 period (4) compared
to the 19 cwt/A obtained in this trial from large 'California Early' planting
stock. Even the total yield of 53 cwt/A in this trial did not approach the
yields obtained in California. One cause of the low yields may have been because
of inadequate plant populations. In California, beds are on 40-in. centers and
plants are spaced 1 to 3 in. apart in double rows on the bed (6). Accordingly,
plant populations in California range from about 105,000 to 314,000 plants per
acre whereas plant population in this experiment was only about 52,000 plants
The low percentage of marketable 'California Early' bulbs and total lack of
marketable 'California Late' bulbs may have been related to storage temperature
used for the propagating stock. Mann and Minges (5) found that garlic bulbs
stored at 32 to 41F produced bulbs that were not fully encased in an external
scale, and this was typical of bulbs from the 'California Early' planting stock
which had been intended for market. Planting stock stored at 59 to 680F produced
plants that failed to produce bulbs and whose tops remained green (5), and this
response was typical of the 'California Late' garlic in this experiment.
Additional research will be required to address the questions raised in this
study, and to determine the feasibility of commercial garlic production in
Florida. Commercial production cannot be recommended from the results obtained
in this experiment.
The information contained in this report is a summary of experimental results
and should not be used as recommendations for crop production. Where trade names
are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied.
1. Anonymous. 1981. United States Standards for Grades of Garlic. U.S.D.A.
2. Anonymous. 1989. FAO Yearbook. Production 1988. FAO, Rome.
3. Hanlon, E. A. and J. M. DeVore. 1989. IFAS extension soil testing
laboratory chemical procedure and training manual. Fla. Coop. Ext. Circ.
4. Lorenz, 0. A. and D. N. Maynard. Handbook for Vegetable Growers. Wiley,
5. Mann, L. K. and P. A. Minges. 1958. Growth and bulbing of garlic (Allium
sativum L.) in response to storage temperature of planting stocks, day
length, and planting date. Hilgardia 27(15):385-419.
6. Sims, W. L., T. M. Little, and R. E. Voss. 1976. Growing garlic in
California. Calif. Div. Agr. Sci. Leaflet 2948.
7. Stanley, C. D. 1990. Temperature and rainfall report for 1989. Gulf
Coast Research and Education Center Res. Rept. BRA1990-5.
Table 1. Mean temperature and rainfall at the Gulf Coast Research & Education
Center from November 13, 1989 to June 25, 1990 and 35-year averages.
Average daily temperature (F)
1989-90 35-year average Rainfall
Month (date)z Max. Min. Max. Min. 1989-90 35-year average
November (1-13) 84 61 78 57 0.11 2.05
December 71 46 73 52 4.47 2.39
January 79 55 71 49 0.29 2.65
February 80 58 73 51 4.97 3.13
March 81 56 77 55 1.09 3.43
April 83 60 82 60 1.33 1.56
May 90 68 87 64 1.91 3.10
June (1-25) 92 71 91 70 4.69 7.65
z1990 data are for the dates shown, 35-year averages are for the entire month.
Table 2. Emergence of garlic from small, medium, and large propagating cloves.
California Early California Late
Days After Small Medium Large Small Medium Large
Planting --------------------------(% Emergence)--------------------
10 33 21 9
13 68 61 41
14 20 18 8
15 83 70 57
16 31 22 11
17 87 89 82
18 49 39 16
20 91 89 82
21 69 67 31
22 91 93 93
23 79 71 38
24 93 93 98
25 85 80 46
27 96 95 99
28 90 89 58
29 97 96 100
30 92 92 75
32 96 97 93
35 98 99 96
37 100 100 98
Table 3. The effects of cultivar and planting stock weight on yield and
average bulb weight of garlic. Gulf Coast Research and Education
Size Planting stock Total yield Marketable Average bulb
Cultivar class average wt (q) (Ib/A)z yield (Ib/A) wt (oz)
California Large 5.56 ay 5286 a 1888 a 1.0 a
Early Medium 3.06 b 5722 a 930 a 0.8 a
Small 1.49 c 5489 a 871 a 0.8 a
California Large 5.55 a 755 a 0
Late Medium 3.30 b 842 a 0
Small 1.29 c 581 a 0
ZAcre = 8712 linear bed feet.
YMean separation within columns and cultivars by Duncan's multiple range test,