Garlic spacing

Friday, September 27, 2019

John Zandstra from Ridgetown College in Ontario did some research on garlic spacing back in 2000, using the cultivar 'Music.'  A spacing of 10 cm between cloves and 65 cm between rows was standard practice in Ontario at the time.  They tried several spacings in a couple of different trials:
  1. 65 cm (25.5") between rows, 
    1. Cloves spaced at 5 cm (2")
    2. Cloves spaced at 10 cm (3.9")
    3. Cloves spaced at 15 cm (5.9")
  2. Cloves spaced 10 cm (3.9") apart
    1. Rows spaced at 65 cm (25.5")
    2. Rows spaced at 45 cm (17.7")
    3. Rows spaced at 25 cm (9.8")
    4. Rows spaced at 15 cm (5.9")
In the first trial, they found that decreasing the clove spacing from 10 cm to 5 cm resulted in a decrease in bulb weights by 15%, however yields increased by 74%.  For growers looking to increase their seed garlic quickly, but have limited acreage, a closer clove spacing may make sense.  Increasing row spacing from 10 cm to 15 cm did not affect bulb size, but decreased yields by 32%.  

In the second trial, significant increases in yield were found as garlic row widths narrowed, and bulb weights only dropped a little bit. Depending on the flexibility of your market and their willingness to accept slightly smaller bulbs, narrowing row spacing can have dramatic affects on yield.  To read the full report on the spacing trial, please click here.

Zandstra 2000: 10 cm between cloves with variable row widths, cultivar 'Music"

WANTED: Your post-harvest garlic losses.  I am working on a garlic storage disease factsheet, but I need your punky garlic for a photo op.  Growers who are registered farms in Nova Scotia: please bring samples to either Perennia (32 Main Street, Kentville, NS or 199 Dr Bernie MacDonald Drive, Bible Hill, NS) or to your Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture Regional office.  It is recommended that samples are brought in on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday so they are not sitting on a truck or in an office over the weekend.