At Aanandaa, we try to grow everything that can be grown in that part of the country, and in that temperature. We have not felt constrained by the soil quality or type of soil. Also we mostly grow for ourselves, friends and family and only sell the surplus. So for us the quantity is not as important as the quality. Most importantly everything we grow has to be organic and chemical free. Additionally, we are constantly trying to improve the quality of our soils, so that our produce is more nutritious.
We consumer a lot of garlic in our cooking. So its a bulb we like to grow each year, and try to make it last as long as possible. Planting it is simple - but the important thing is to get a good quality source of seed (basically pods). We try to source them from other farmers, and now have started saving them for planting the next year. Here is a photo of the seed we planted.
Planting it is simple. We prepared the earth, and simply dug tiny holes and dropped in the pods root-side down as shown in the photo below.
We mulch the soil after sowing the garlic pods, and lightly water it.
In a month or so the garlic sprouts and finds its way through the mulch. The mulch helps to keep the moisture and nutrients in the soil. We add cow dung manure, jeevamrut from time to time. The crop should be protected from unseasonal rain and excess standing water.
The crop is ready to harvest when the leaves start drying up and wilting. Usually erect, when the leaves keel over, you know its time to pull out the bulb. The garlic crop is harvested in April. They should be bundled and left in the field for a few days to dry out. Then they can be stored in a shady but well ventilated space.