Newly Registered
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Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:09 pm

growing garlic in the tropics

I actually live in Ecuador, in the Andes at 4500 ft. Everyone I know has problems growing garlic and most of the bulbs found in stores are from china. There are a small number of local producers who just say "it is really difficult". Any tips out there? We are just coming out of the dry season, in September, but dry or rainy it is always hot and the soil in the mountains needs a lot of amending.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1549
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: growing garlic in the tropics

Welcome to the forum!

I can't help you with the soil, but there are garlic varieties better suited to hotter areas, and they are softneck varieties, not the hardneck, that do better with a cold winter. I have read that in these areas that the garlic is planted in early spring, rather than fall, and grown straight through, rather than planting in the fall. And maybe you can find some varieties grown in hot areas like Thailand, where a lot of garlic is used, so they have some way of growing it! Your problem may be getting the proper varieties. Here, we have companies that we can order many different varieties of garlic from, but you might not have that.

Posts: 11269
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: growing garlic in the tropics

At 4500 ft you may be in the tropics but are actually in a cooler zone. What are your average temperatures and day length. In the tropics day length may be shorter but your elevation would be cooler.

Garlic likes to be above 4 degrees C or 50F and needs a lengthening day to form bulbs.
Where there is frost people plant in the Spring or in the fall when it is at least 50 degrees. The tops will die in the frost but will come back again later on.

In frost free areas if the temperature is less than 85 degrees (usually Ocotober), onion seeds and garlic bulbs can be planted. They will grow over the cooler months and start to bulb up as the days get longer (In Hawaii my longest day is just short of 14 hours and the shortest day is about 11 hours) Softneck varieties are planted in the south and hardnecks in the north.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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