Whether you’re growing garlic in a pot or in the garden, you’ll need to supply your plants with a bit of nitrogen. This is essential to the growth of cloves, which is how garlic bulbs form. As a result, you’ll need to apply nitrogen several times during the growing season. In some cases, you can use synthetic nitrogen. However, this will cause your plants to grow more slowly.
In addition to nitrogen, garlic needs potassium and phosphorus to grow healthy bulbs. These nutrients help the garlic plant perform a variety of important processes, including cell defense and energy metabolism. They also serve as a natural insect repellent. However, you shouldn’t grow your garlic crop in areas with high temperatures or excessive moisture, or near asparagus, beans, and peas.
Garlic grows best in a soil that’s rich in organic matter. This can be achieved by using compost, worm castings, or a liquid fertilizer. The compost should be spread on the soil in the first few inches. This is important because organic matter can hold onto excess nutrients and improve the texture of the soil. It also increases soil aggregate stability and mineralization.
In addition to compost, many garlic growers also amend the soil with organic worm castings. These castings are a good source of nitrogen and other nutrients. They are also helpful in making the soil fluffier.
You can also use a combination of both organic and commercial fertilizers. In addition, you can grow garlic in a raised bed to ensure that there are no drainage problems. This will also help prevent rot. Moreover, you can mulch your garlic crop to keep it moist. This will protect it from extreme cold and slow weed pressure. The mulch will also consume a lot of nitrogen when it decomposes.
Another great way to improve your soil’s fertility is by rotating your crops. This will give your soil time to recover from the stress of growing the same crop year after year. Using a soil test will allow you to find out what your soil needs. You can then make adjustments to improve its nutritional balance.
Garlic grows best on sandy, loamy soils that are rich in organic matter. However, this plant will also perform well on clay soils that are managed well. Clay soils can have a number of problems, including rot and clinging to the papery outer skin of garlic bulbs.
If you’re growing garlic in a clay soil, you’ll need to add organic matter to the soil. This will help the soil retain moisture during dry periods and “break up” the clay. Organic matter will also increase the cation exchange capacity of the soil, which will allow for better water penetration. In addition, it will improve the soil’s tilth, which will help the soil to retain its shape.
If you’re growing garlic in an area with little spring rainfall, you should water your crop every few weeks. It can also be beneficial to plant garlic in a raised bed, as the drainage holes in the soil will help prevent rot.