The way to inform in case your garlic is overwatered

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Gardeners hands holding a garlic plant and an orange shovel in a garden

Garlic is without doubt one of the commonest residence backyard vegetation due to its low upkeep nature, and since it requires little water. Nonetheless, like many vegetation, the quantity of water used can significantly impression the result of your garlic harvest. Too little water and an excessive amount of water can each trigger issues and even illness. However how are you going to inform in case your garlic plant has been overwatered? How do you stop overwatering whereas nonetheless ensuring your garlic is getting the quantity of moisture it requires? Hold studying to learn how to detect and stop overwatering in your garlic vegetation! 

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The way to take care of garlic

Many novice gardeners get pleasure from including garlic to their crops as a result of it’s comparatively low upkeep, and requires much less water than many different greens. Whereas garlic vegetation could be simple to take care of, like some other vegetable they’ve sure necessities to garner the healthiest most bountiful harvest.


Garlic could be grown in lots of climates, however the timing for planting and harvest will differ. Garlic is a “cold-hardy crop that can overwinter and might face up to temperatures as little as -30°F”[1], which means garlic could be planted within the fall in most climates and can lay dormant via the coldest months to outlive the winter. Usually, garlic is planted in October, or 2-3 weeks earlier than the bottom freezes[1]. This enables the cloves sufficient time to root firmly earlier than the freeze of winter. In some colder climates, garlic could be planted as early as late August or September. 


Garlic vegetation favor direct daylight and fast-draining soil[3]. When planting garlic, select a location that will get full daylight for almost all of the day. Wholesome soil can also be essential when rising garlic within the backyard. Garlic is a part of the Allium household, different members embrace shallots, onions, and chives. Allium vegetation take in a whole lot of vitamins out of the soil as they develop. Due to this, it’s vital to rotate your crops[3]. Don’t plant garlic in an space of your backyard that beforehand housed one other member of the Allium household, because the soil is perhaps void of important vitamins. Repeatedly rising garlic or different Allium vegetation in the identical spot could cause illness in your crops. It’s also possible to use raised backyard beds or pots to forestall this, and easily change the soil after harvesting, and earlier than replanting. When selecting a potting soil, or making ready floor soil, select a fast-draining soil with loads of compost. Garlic can develop in lots of several types of soil, so long as they’re nutrient-dense, and drain properly. Should you dwell in a very dry local weather and your soil dries out relatively shortly, you may cowl your garlic mattress with hay, straw, or mulch to take care of the moisture. 

Up close view of garlic greens growing out of soil in a garlic garden bed

How typically do you have to water garlic?

The frequency at which it’s best to water your garlic backyard will rely upon a lot of components. The time of yr that you simply plant, the native local weather, and the kind of soil will all contribute to how a lot or how little you will have to water your garlic vegetation. 

In most climates, should you comply with the rule of planting garlic 2-3 weeks earlier than the bottom freezes, you’ll be planting within the fall. Autumn is a usually wet season, and due to this fact you will have to water your garlic if the climate is doing it for you. If the soil is dry on the time of planting nonetheless it’s best to frivolously water the world instantly after planting. Garlic must be recurrently watered, about “1/2-inch-to-1-inch of water per week with extra water throughout heat climate and speedy development and fewer water throughout chilly climate”[2]. If there was heavy rainfall a backyard mattress can go with out watering for just a few days to every week to keep away from rot. Throughout the winter months, watering just isn’t crucial because the vegetation are dormant whereas the bottom is frozen. 

Within the spring because the climate begins to heat and the bottom thaws you can begin watering once more. The heads of garlic might be forming at the moment. It is best to water garlic as soon as each 3-5 days, retaining in thoughts how dry the soil is. Remember to use sufficient water in order that it reached the plant’s roots. You should use a moisture meter to test the moisture of the soil beneath the floor to make sure the garlic is being watered to the basis, however not overwatered. 

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The way to inform in case your garlic is overwatered

Overwatering can occur on account of heavy rainfall, improper irrigation, or lack of drainage within the soil. Sadly, overwatering can kill out your crop similar to drought can. Overwatering may even trigger illnesses like downy mildew, basal rot, white rot, and extra[1]. Equally, in case your soil is simply too dry, your garlic heads is not going to develop and you’ll be left with simply the greens should you’re fortunate. 

So, how are you going to inform in case your garlic is overwatered? Overwatering is a quite common mistake, particularly for low-maintenance crops. As a result of they require much less work, we generally overcompensate with watering to fill the time and attempt to transfer alongside the crops that lay stagnant for thus many weeks within the winter. Sadly, this could trigger bulbs to rot and go away you with an empty backyard mattress come spring. Essentially the most foolproof strategy to inform in case you are overwatering your garlic vegetation is to make use of a backyard moisture meter. Merely stick the moisture meter into the soil, and if it reads moist, go away it’s one other day or two, and if it reads dry, give it a great watering to verify the water will get all the best way right down to the roots. 

Different indicators of overwatering could embrace drooping, wilting greens, or falling over. Should you discover any of those indicators mid-season, it might imply your garlic is overwatered. Should you discover drooping or wilting round harvest time, it’d simply be an indication they’re able to be harvested, as garlic reaches maturity the greens start to brown and drop. If this happens mid-season, nonetheless, it’s possible on account of overwatering. Merely lengthen the period of time between watering. 

Garlic garden in soil with white fence in background

What to do in case your garlic is overwatered

In case your garlic is displaying indicators of overwatering, the most effective factor you are able to do is solely lengthen the period of time earlier than your subsequent watering. Your garlic plant must be watered completely in order that the soil on the root is moist, however not moist. If the soil is simply too moist it might result in rot. Use a moisture meter to check the soil, and even use a finger to really feel the depth that the moisture reaches within the soil. Should you dwell in a really humid local weather that receives a whole lot of rain via the autumn and winter, it’s best to use soil that drains very properly. It’s also possible to stop overwatering by utilizing raised backyard beds. Raised backyard beds present even higher drainage, and you’ll have higher management over the dampness of the soil. 

Usually, garlic requires about “16 inches of complete water throughout a rising season, or about 1/2-inch-to-1-inch of water per week”[2], so should you dwell in an space that will get extra rain than 16 inches from autumn to summer season, think about rising garlic inside, or undercover. Areas like Washington obtain over 70 inches of rain per yr on common, which might possible drown out any potential garlic crops. In climates like this, develop your garlic in a raised mattress, or a backyard pot that may be lined in heavy rainfall, however nonetheless get loads of direct daylight. 


Article Sources: 

  1. Again Backyard. “Watering Garlic Suggestions: How Typically And How A lot
  2. Backyard Zeus. “Watering Suggestions for Softneck Backyard Garlic
  3. Get Busy Gardening. “How To Develop Garlic In Your Backyard – The Final Information