How do you plant garlic in Kenya? How do you cultivate garlic in Kenya?
Garlic farming in Kenya which can be found in West Africa is the next question that we want to answer to help you make a good decision about garlic farming in any part of Kenya.
We welcome you to garliccare, here we try to answers all you question about garlic and how to grow garlic, plant garlic, and garlic recipes. But this article or guide we will talk about “ Garlic farming in Kenya”
If done correctly, garlic production in Kenya can be a lucrative business. Garlic, also known as ‘Kitunguu Saumu,’ is a valuable horticultural plant in Kenya due to its high demand and good returns. It belongs to the onion family.
But, despite its awful odor, you might ask why individuals crave garlic. Garlic is employed in the preparation of specific cuisines not only in Kenya, but also in a wide range of French, Mediterranean, Spanish, Italian, and Mexican foods.
As a result, it is in high demand both in the United States and abroad. Garlic provides a wide range of medical advantages in addition to its economic value.
Do you want to profit from this business as well? Look no further; in this post, we’ll show you how to plant garlic properly.
To begin with, garlic is thought to aid in the prevention of colds and flu by strengthening the immune system and therefore increasing the body’s natural defenses.
Second, garlic is an anti-oxidant that contains components such as disulphide, sallycystein, and diallye, which can help reduce tumors and slow their growth.
Finally, garlic helps the body fight bacterial, fungal, and viral infections such recurrent yeast infections, cholera, acne, typhus, wound healing, and candida albicans, to mention a few.
Garlic can also help with heart disease prevention and high blood pressure management. Garlic has aphrodisiac properties; thus it can be used to treat impotency.
Read Also: HOW TO GROW GARLIC IN WEST AFRICA
Due to a lack of knowledge about how to grow garlic, only a few farmers in Kenya are participating in the project. Furthermore, due to poor quality, some garlic growers produce unmarketable garlic.
As a result, China provides over 80% of the crop in Kenya’s market. Do you want to learn how to cultivate garlic successfully? Keep reading because this article will give you a Garlic planting guide to get you started.
PROFIT PER ACRE IN KENYAN GARLIC CULTIVATION
Garlic farming is a lucrative business, with demand peaking in May, June, July, August, and September, when a kilo of garlic prices between KSh. 300 and KSh. 400. When demand is steady in December and January, prices drop to around Sh 150 to 200.
Regardless of price variations, garlic is unlikely to fall below Sh 150 per kilo in the near future.
Let’s do some quick math with this in mind. Garlic can be grown in little or large quantities.
You’ll need 100 kg of garlic seeds, which cost roughly Sh 390 per kilo, to cultivate garlic on a small scale in one acre. As a result, the total cost of manufacture will be $39,000 (390 X 100).
4,000 to 5,000 kilograms of the crop can be grown on a single acre of land. During peak season, if you harvest 4,000 kilograms and sell them for Sh 350 per kg, your total earnings will be 4000 X 350 = 1,400,000 – 39,000= 1,361,000. Isn’t it incredible?
Even after factoring in the costs of inputs like fungicides, fertilizers, and pesticides, you’ll still see a solid return on your investment, thus garlic onion farming in Kenya will make you smile all the way to the bank.
The high cost of farm inputs such as fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers used to combat pests and diseases such as worms, nematodes, leaf minors, rust, and thrips is the most major challenge for garlic producers in Kenya.
Furthermore, finding high-quality seeds is difficult, and even when you do, seed cloves are expensive.
A kilo of seed cloves costs Ksh 390, and a one-acre plot of land costs Ksh 39,000, hence 100 kilograms of seeds are needed. Last but not least, garlic growers face stiff competition from imported garlic from Asia.
GARLIC FARMING IN KENYA
Producing garlic in Kenya necessitates a detailed grasp of local seed kinds, soil suitability, and climate conditions in which the crop can thrive.
We’ll go through the many stages of garlic cultivation in Kenya, as well as the practices that must be followed and what you should be aware of.
Garlic is developed from seed cloves, so if you want to grow your own, you’ll need to obtain certified garlic seeds that are disease-free and contain fully matured cloves. Such seeds can be acquired from a garden center or an authorised seed company.
Choose the largest seed cloves while selecting the best seed cloves, since they will provide a higher harvest than little seed cloves.
The three main types that thrive in Kenya are softneck, hardneck, and elephant garlic. The most common is the softneck, which has a white, paper-like skin with a pungent taste and odor. It’s one of the most straightforward plants to grow. Softneck varieties include Creole, California Early, and California Late.
The brown and purple motifs identify the hardneck. It’s a clove variety with more cloves per head and larger heads. Over longer periods of time, however, hardneck does not store as well as softneck. Two Hardneck varieties include Roja and German Extra Hearty.
Elephant garlic is a popular kind that can be found in a variety of grocery stores across the United States. This kind is distinguished by its huge head and cloves. It also has a weak flavor and light odor when compared to the first two types of garlic.
Garlic grows best at heights of 500-200 meters. Garlic requires high temperatures of 30°C for optimal bulb formation. Cooler temperatures, on the other hand, are better for vegetative growth during the early stages of plant establishment.
As a result, the ideal temperature for garlic production is 12 to 24 degrees Celsius. It’s worth noting that garlic’s vegetative growth and bulb formation are harmed by excessive rain and humidity, thus the crop will thrive in areas with minimal rainfall, possibly supported with irrigation during the early phases when water is scarce.
Garlic should be grown in soil that has a pH range of 5.5 to 6.8. As a result, garlic may be cultivated in almost any Kenyan soil as long as it drains well, as the crop does not do well in waterlogged soils.
Clay soils should be avoided as much as possible when planting garlic since it restricts bulb enlargement.
Related Guide: HOW TO PREPARE THE SOIL FOR GROWING GARLIC
In addition, the soil must be well-prepared, with loose and airy depths of up to 6-8 inches, as well as dry and free of pebbles and plant debris. To ensure the best yield, amend the soil with organic manure before plowing. This will aid in the creation of bulbs.
ACTUAL PLANTING AND SPACING
Garlic farming isn’t nearly as complicated as it appears. All that’s left to do now is select the best cloves and separate them using 30cm between rows and 15cm or 6 inches between plants. With a hoe, dig and make 25cm-deep ditches. Sow a single garlic clove in the hole with the root up and the point up.
After that, cover the clove with loose, airy soils. Repeat the process until all of the seeds are evenly spaced, about 6 inches apart.
Ensure that the second row of seeds is 2 feet (60cm) distant from the first. Water the rows gently and stop when the soil surface is slightly damp to avoid overwatering. The seed cloves will die before sprouting if there is too much water.
MULCH AND MANURE APPLICATION.
Cover your garlic seeds with a thick layer of mulch after planting to protect them from the elements. Cover the rows with a 4 to 6-inch layer of straw, chopped leaves, or grass.
As a result, the seeds will insulate, protecting them from the harsh winter conditions. The garlic seeds will begin to sprout on the first day of spring, when temperatures are between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
After removing the mulch and with temperate temperatures in the spring, apply a mild all-purpose fertilizer every 30 to 40 days. The amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in the fertilizer should be 5-5-5 or 10-10-10, respectively.
Sprinkle the fertilizer granules on the sprouting garlic, being careful not to let the granules touch the real plant, as they may burn it or cause other issues. Most manufacturers recommend applying the fertilizer at a rate of 34 per 100 square feet.
As previously indicated, garlic grows best in well-drained soils that are free of waterlogging. Garlic uses less water, and the seeds don’t need to be watered if they’re covered in mulch. Water the garlic after a couple of weeks if there isn’t much rain during the season.
Watering to a depth of one inch is sufficient. There is no need to water if there are reasonable rainfall every 10 to 14 days.
CONTROLLING AND PREVENTING DISEASES
Weed control is the most prevalent field management strategy employed in Kenyan garlic production, as weeds must be removed to avoid competition for nutrients, light, and water.
Crop rotation, which entails planting new garlic seeds in areas where there have been no garlic or onion plants for a long time, is one method for keeping weeds at bay when growing garlic.
You can also manually hoe, mulch, cultivate, or spray herbicides on weeds to get rid of them. Weed removal at an early stage is crucial because it saves severe crop loss. Use copper oxychloride and other soil fumigants for pest prevention and control in the field to limit and eradicate nematodes.
HARVESTING AND STORING
Garlic should never be harvested too early or too late since the quality of the product will suffer. Keep track of the growing months for 4 to 6 months to decide the ideal time to harvest.
It might be difficult to determine the exact harvesting time because garlic heads sink into the earth and various varieties mature at different times.
As a result, observe the foliage to determine if it has turned brown and died back as a guide for harvesting.
After the crops have been dug out, bundle them in tens or fifteens and dry them in a well-ventilated place. Leave them there for three to four weeks, or until the roots and shoots are completely dry.
By cutting off the tops about an inch above the main bulb and roots, you can remove the outer skin without removing the cloves. Your bulbs are ready to sale once you’ve removed any remaining soil.
You’ll need to keep the garlic in excellent storage conditions while you wait to sell it, depending on whether you’ll utilize it as table stock or planting stock.
Keep them between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 to 70 percent humidity if you want to use them as table stock; temperatures above 40 degrees will induce sprouting, while moisture above 70 percent will stimulate rooting.
Planting stock, on the other hand, must be kept at room temperature with a relative humidity of 60 to 70%.
All of the processes involved in garlic growth in Kenya are delicate, and each garlic farmer must learn to recognize the cause of any difficulties they encounter and how to address them. You only need to undertake extensive research to be effective in garlic farming.
Watch the YouTube video below to learn how to cultivate smart garlic in Kenya.
Garlic, also known as ‘Kitunguu Saumu,’ is a valuable horticultural plant in Kenya. Garlic provides a wide range of medical advantages in addition to its economic value. If done correctly, garlic production in Kenya can be a lucrative business.
You’ll need 100 kg of garlic seeds, which cost roughly Sh 390 per kilo, to cultivate garlic on a small scale in one acre. Even after factoring in the costs of inputs like fungicides, fertilizers, and pesticides, you’ll see a solid return on your investment.
Garlic requires high temperatures of 30°C for optimal bulb formation. The ideal temperature for garlic production is 12 to 24 degrees Celsius. Garlic can be grown in almost any Kenyan soil as long as it drains well, as the crop does not do well in waterlogged soils.
Garlic grows best in well-drained soils that are free of waterlogging. Garlic uses less water, and the seeds don’t need to be watered if they’re covered in mulch.
Crop rotation is one method for keeping weeds at bay when growing garlic. Garlic should never be harvested too early or too late since the quality of the product will suffer.
Use copper oxychloride and other soil fumigants for pest prevention and control in the field. Weed removal at an early stage is crucial because it saves severe crop loss.
Please leave a comment below