In the process of vegetation care for garlic is to create the most optimal conditions for the plant to obtain a quality harvest.
One of these conditions is the preservation of moisture and friable soil structure by mulching garlic and loosening the earth
Why to mulch the garlic
Mulching it is a cover of planted areas of different organic materials with a thickness from 4 to 10 cm (depending on the type of material used for mulching).
Mulching of winter garlic is carried out in the autumn but it is needed not so much from freezing as to preserve soil moisture and not to crack the soil, that is, it was not necessary to weed and loosen it.
Mulch allows the plant easier to live from watering to watering, but it did not replace it.
Cover garlic better retains the snow on the land, to some extent, insulates the soil, improves its water-air regime, swimming and prevents the formation of ice. In early spring prevents formation of dry crusts and cracks on the soil surface, water loss, erosion and leaching of nutrients.
In addition, mulching garlic to a certain extent delays early weed growth, and late after the decomposition of mulch in May, it is easier to destroy by mechanical means or with the use of herbicides.
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Why its better to mulching the garlic
For mulching garlic can be used dry compost, dry shredded peat, decayed manure, straw, chopped straw, partially decomposed, partially compost the leaves (except the leaves of oak, contains tannin that hinder the development of plants), sawdust (preferably mixed with the needles of a pine or fir to deter rodents). Very good mulching material is mowed and dried grass from between the rows of the garden, herbalists, without weed seeds.
On the germination of garlic mulch has little effect — spicy garlic shoots her a good punch.
Not recommended for mulching fresh manure, fresh peat and straw, fresh residues after harvest of vegetable products.
It is strictly forbidden to use for mulching leaves, stems with leaves, feces, fresh straw, which, atfirst, the wind blows, and secondly, during decomposition bacteria use available nitrogen from the soil. With the falling leaves can be a problem in that the tree could be affected by fungal diseases and leaves then takes their spores around the area.
Mulching is recommended in the fall after planting garlic before the onset of the first frost.
The thickness of the layer of mulching material ranges from 3-4 to 5-6 cm. In the case of straw mulching of half-decayed manure, crushed, partially decomposed straw, dried grass, it increased to 6-10 cm.
In small areas, spring mulching using the same materials as well as black film is also recommended. In this case, both winter and spring garlic not only improves the water and nutrition regimes, does not form a crust, but also significantly reduces the weediness of weeds and yields increase by 20-30%.
On the basis of experiments conducted in different soil and climatic zones, it was established that in the tilled areas the height of the plants, the number and area of the leaves were large compared to plants in areas where mulching was not used. And the yield of garlic and net income from 1 hectare of crops increased. Mulching by 17-35% increased the yield of elite material on seed plots.
Examples from mulching garlic
From the experience of people who specialized in garlic, which they share on the Internet:
- for a part of the garden there was not enough mulch so the same kind of garlic grew from mulch and without it. The size of the garlic heads was noticeably smaller on the area which was without mulching;
- When we first time mulched by using needles, 2 weeks later we read that this makes the soil more acidic, so we removed the needles from a third of the planted garlic. Harvest was at times worse on than on fields without mulching.
In the industrial cultivation of garlic with the observance of such agrotechnical procedures as regular loosening of the soil, the use of a drip irrigation system, timely control of weeds, the importance of such a procedure as mulching garlic is somewhat reduced.
Spudding the soil between rows of garlic
Garlic rises very early, as soon as the snow melts. Approximately in the middle of March. However, it is not unusual for sprouts to appear at the end of February or more – when garlic is planted in September and warm autumn, sprouts may appear in December. There are also delays when garlic descends in late March – early April.
The first treatment which should be performed as soon as the condition of the soil allows, is harrowing across rows of one, less often two tracks with light harrows. On small plots loosen the ground with rakes. Further pass along the rows and close up the soil of the plant, extracted by a harrow or rake, trying not to damage the root system.
Spudding of the soil in the row-to-row should be given special attention. Such an event contributes to the preservation of moisture and the improvement of the air regime and the destruction, with high-quality conduct, up to 90-95% of the weeds.
It is known that the root system of garlic is very sensitive to damage, it is poorly regenerated and even a minor injury to it has a negative effect on the growth and development of plants.
The bulk of the root system of garlic is placed in the plow layer, and a significant part of the roots is at a depth of 5-7 cm from the soil surface. Therefore it is inadmissible to penetrate the cultivator’s working organs by 10-12 and even 8-9 cm.
Loosening of rows between tractor cultivators with chisel-like paws to a depth of 10-12 cm can be recommended only at the beginning of the growing season with the appearance of the first shoots. In the future loosen only the upper layer of the soil to a depth of 5 cm to prevent the formation of a crust and destroy the young shoots of weeds.
An interesting aggregate for loosening soil on garlic plantings is shown in this video. We have plans to purchase a similar for our fields of garlic.
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