Would you like to make some extra money in your backyard nursery? Well, have you ever thought about growing garlic? According to the Fresh Garlic Association, garlic is the second most-used spice in the entire world just behind pepper. Someone has to grow it, so why not you? But wouldn’t that require a full-time commitment? Not at all. If you have 10 hours a week you can spare, here’s how to earn extra income growing garlic:
Garlic has a number of uses. In particular, for thousands of years it has been used for both cooking and medicinal needs. Last year alone, over 300 million tons of garlic was consumed by Americans. This garlic has to come from somewhere, so how about your backyard nursery?
Growing garlic is fairly easy. It’s one of the easiest plants to grow, in fact. Garlic can tolerate a wide range of soils and temperatures. It simply is a very hard crop to lose. You don’t have to be an expert grower to be a success. You just need some determination, a little hard work and some patience. Garlic takes several months to grow to a harvestable size, but it can lead to big profits.
First you need to do some research. Find out what garlic varieties people are looking for. Hint – the gourmet “hardneck” varieties and elephant garlic are hard to find in supermarkets, but in demand by consumers. You need to grow what sells. A garlic business that can grow what people want will simply make a bigger profit than those who grow what people have little interest in buying.
Next, make sure your soil is healthy. You want a soil with a Ph between 6.2 and 6.8. Look out for any weeds or pest and disease problems. You also want a well-drained soil. Waterlogged soil can reduce yields due to the lack of oxygen. Consider using a raised bed to grow your garlic. When planting your garlic bulbs or cloves, try to fit as many as possible in a square foot, planting them three to six inches apart.
As your plants grow, they won’t need a full-time commitment, but they will need some attention and care. Make sure to give them the fertilizer they need. Only use organic fertilizers. Also, don’t forget about watering them. Your plants will need a lot of water, but be careful not to use too much. In particular, your plants will need a lot of water from about May to July. Stop watering when it gets to be within two or three weeks of harvest time.
When you’re ready to sell your garlic, you have many options. Try out the local farmers’ market, where people are always looking for the top local sellers. Or maybe you’d like to sell directly to supermarkets. Give mail-order sales a try. Make value-added products, such as insecticide or garlic powder. You simply have several options.
If you have 10 hours a week, you have enough time to become a successful garlic grower. Your garlic business can make you a nice extra income in just a few months. To learn more, read Golden Harvest.
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