This homemade garlic planting tool helps if you are planting more than a few rows of garlic. Planting a few rows of garlic in your home garden is pretty straightforward. To plant garlic for a market grower is a bigger deal. I was asked by a neighbor who sells garlic to help him plant seed garlic before the coming snow storm. The storm dumped 20" of snow on this field a few hours after we finished planting garlic. Watch our How To Plant & Grow Garlic video here.
While we were planting garlic I took photos to show you all how a market farmer plants garlic. This garlic field is not large enough for heavy equipment, so while the garlic is planted by hand, this homemade garlic planting tool might help small farmers reading this.
All the seed garlic bulbs are broken apart by hand, I don't know of a mechanical method to do this, though I'm sure a machine exists for large scale garlic growers.
First of all, the field is tilled with a small disc several times to turn over all the weeds and cover crops, then the rows of garlic are staked out with string. Each row is 5 plants wide, then there is a 24" wide space between rows. This space should be the width of your rototiller, so you can till under weeds that grow on the walking paths between the rows of garlic.
The holes the seed garlic is placed in are made by this homemade garlic planter rig built by the farmer. It has 5 metal tips on it, with two pieces of wood jutting out perpendicular for proper spacing between rows. Two people move the garlic seed hole maker along the row. When pressing the rig into the soil to make the holes, each person places a foot on the rig to make the holes. The rig is rocked back and forth to firm up the walls of the holes.
The seed garlic is put in each hole by hand - be sure to use knee pads - you're on your knees a long time in this process.
The rows are then raked over, the soil filling up each hole.
I bet there are a few planting rigs farmers have made to automate this process more, my friend likes it this way, and his garlic field is not huge.
Do you have some tips for planting garlic? or better ways to plant garlic? Let us know below:
How do you deal with weeds?
Eric Gunnar Rochow
the weeds are hand pulled or they use a hoe, you could mechanize it if you want.
I have liked your small scale guidance to growing Galic.
just trying to learn something
Hi After the garlic is planted and covered with dirt, do you place mulch in the form of hay,
straw, or sea weed over top? If so when is this removed in spring, if at all.
Hi Emmie, I don't mulch my seed garlic. some people do, but i haven't seen any difference in my crop. if you were to mulch it, the mulch needs to be removed when the garlic starts to sprout, I think. thx, eric.
Hi Larry, I accidentally visited your website and like the way you are doing garlic farming. Basically I am from India and studying in Australia at the moment. I was having a word with my dad last night and he was telling me that he is going to cultivate garlic this time. He is a farmer and engaged in all the decade old tradition ways of farming which basically required lots of manpower in sowing and ripping and now a days it become very hard to find labors and bit expensive too. I want to help him by using technology in the field. Honestly we don't have that much good farming infrastructure.We have a tractor only. I become curious when I saw your garlic planter rig to make holes. Is it designed by you ? I am very much interested in new farming methods and introduce them to my dad, at least by this way I can help him.
The garlic rig was built by my friend the garlic farmer, it works well. Its still lots of work to plant the garlic by hand. thx! eric.
Ish - I am a small scale garlic grower in Western Australia, if this is where you are you are welcome to come and have a look at our growing/planting systems, the only machinery we use is a small tractor. We have a similar planting frame to this - but for four rows at a time. Changing it over to be a roller pulled by the tractor as we scale up.
I really like that tool idea! I want to make one for myself. I'm trying to figure out what those metal pegs/straps are made of to screw into the wood? Thanks!
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