Every plant needs water; there can be life without sun but there is no life without water.
Like most plants, garlic needs water, sun and soil to create its own food through photosynthesis.
Renowned for its culinary and medicinal purposes, this pungent flavored root vegetable takes about 9 months to grow.
It’s amazing to watch how the nature turns one clove of garlic to whole bulb. To have successful garlic in your garden, it is very important to know its water requirements.
When to know how much and how often to water your garlic plant, you’ll be gifted with a bounty of garlic during harvest.
If you ask me about watering plants, there can’t be a one line answer. Many factors are to be considered while watering, which include climate, soil and region.
Water your garlic plants generously to keep the soil moist. In other words water every 3 to 5 days. You don’t have to water the plant if it’s raining.
When and how to water garlic plant?
Lack of water may result in smaller bulbs. So, it is essential to water your garlic plant enough that they produce a bit larger bulbs.
Water after planting – Once
Plant garlic clove in the hole and cover it with the soil. Water the raised bed or container gently using a sprinkler.
Growing medium you opted for if well-drained and effective enough to retain moisture, don’t water till clove germinate.
After Germination – Regularly
As a rule of thumb, keep the soil moist all the time.
You can check the moisture by inserting your index finger for about 1 inch. If the soil stays moist, you can skip watering for now. In case if you find it dry, you must water generously.
Remember, less water means smaller garlic bulbs.
You must regulate watering frequency depending on the climate in your region.
After reaching certain height, garlic plant leaves don’t grow in height. Continue to add mulch and fertilizers twice in a month for good yield.
Stop watering garlic plant before harvest. This will help to easily remove garlic bulbs from the soil.
Also Read: How Many Garlic Grow from One Bulb?
How Often Do You Water Garlic Plant?
Though garlic don’t need lots of water, but for healthy growth you must water this root vegetable.
How much water does garlic need?
Depending on the soil and climate in your region, you might have to water regularly after 3 days. However, tropical climates can dry-up the soil quickly.
If you’re growing garlic in container, then you must water the plant till you see the excess water is drained out through hole.
Next time before water check the soil up to 1 inch. If the soil is sticky, then you don’t have to water for the day. In case you notice the soil surface is dry, water the plant immediately.
As mentioned above, you must water the garlic once while planting. When you notice germination and seedling start growing, be gentle while watering.
You don’t have to water garlic if it’s raining.
Even in winter, garlic plant won’t need much water. Check the moisture in the soil before watering. Else, you might end up overwatering.
Check this out: How Long Does it Take for Kale to Grow?
How to Avoid – Overwatering?
Out of curiosity, new gardeners water the garlic plant frequently, which often results in overwatering.
Repeated overwatering your plant can result in yellow leaves, stunted growth and root rot.
To avoid, you must choose well-drained potting soil that includes sand, garden soil, perlite and compost. You can get best potting soil for garlic from online store.
To revive you need to stop watering your plant and transplant to well drained soil if needed.
Also Read: How to Avoid overwatering Cabbage Plant?
How to Avoid- Underwatering?
When you ignore to water or out on vacation, plant soil dries resulting in underwatered garlic plant.
Drooping leaves, stunted growth and yellow foliage tips are common signs that your plant is underwatered.
Start watering gently and if needed mulch the garlic plant with hay grass or dry leaves to reduce the water getting evaporated to atmosphere.
Soil Type will have great influence on watering frequency
If you’re growing in container, then you must pay utmost attention towards potting soil.
- Few of them drains well but retain water, which is essential for a healthy garlic plant.
- There are can be soil mix that dries very quickly.
- Third soil type is that doesn’t drain well, resulting in overwatering and root rot.
Growing garlic in raised beds is one of the best ways to have quality yield.
Though it may cost you a bit to build raised beds, they are perfect for growing root vegetables. Loose and well drained soil in raised beds will help to drain excess water, while keeping the soil moist.
Inspecting is an easy task if you’ve raised bed garden.
Harvesting garlic in raised bed is easier when compared to growing in ground.
Garlic needs well-drained soil that retains moisture and is filled with organic matter.
How to Plant and Grow Successful Garlic Plant?
Growing great crop or plant starts from selecting quality seed.
Cloves that are large will eventually grow into quality garlic bulbs.
Are you planning to grow garlic in container, raised bed or in ground? All these are preferred or recommended depending on your lifestyle.
If you’ve space I personally recommend raised bed. In case, you’re living in urban jungle then container or pots would be perfect.
Second most important after choosing quality seeds are growing medium or potting soil.
Soil must be well-drained with nutrients in it.
Garlic is broadly divided into two types, hardneck and softneck garlic. Based on the climate you can choose hardneck garlic (hardier in cold weather) or softneck garlic (does well in warm climates). (Source)
Apart from soil, good amount of sunlight for atleast 6 hours.
Coming to watering, if it’s spring then water your garlic plant once after every 3 days. However, don’t go on my words. Check the moisture of soil. Don’t water if the soil is wet or sticky. Excess water can result in root rot.
Fertilize your plant with organic matter when ever needed. You can use bone meal, blood meal, chicken manure or old compost. (Source)
It takes nearly 9 months to grow and get the yield.
Once you see the plant is grown and bulbs are formed. Dig gently using garden tools. Don’t damage the garlic bulb.
Stop watering your garlic plant 2 weeks before harvesting.
Though garlic isn’t commonly affected by diseases, few common diseases are rust, onion fly, white rot, stem & bulb eel worm. (Source)
By now you might know that there can be no simple answer for the question, how often do you water garlic plant.
You must consider the climate, soil type and the month in which you’re growing this root vegetable.
However, as a rule of thumb you can regularly check the soil for moisture. Ensure that the soil drains well and it stays moist most of the time.
In case of yellow leaves or drooping leaves, check your watering frequency.
Garlic is easy to grow plant that doesn’t demand much attention. Did you ever grow garlic in container? Share your views in comments.