Dragon Fruit


dragonfruitDRAGON FRUIT

Dragon fruit or Pitaya grows best in uniformly distributed rainfall throughout the year. It prefers free draining soil with sandy to clay loam types, 5.3 to 6.7 pH and high organic matter. However, Pitaya is also grown successfully in sandy soils. It is shallow rooted with most roots concentrated on top 15- 30 cm soil depth. It can tolerate harsh dry conditions but only for a limited time, preferably with 30% shade to full sun as Pitaya grows slowly when shaded. The recommended optimum elevation is 100 to 800 meters above sea level. The life span is around 20 years depending on the durability of the trellis. Concrete posts with iron round bar on top were used to support the plants. This has to be established three weeks prior to crop establishment.
(Source:, Date accessed: 20 March 2014)

For further assitance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.

Cultural Management

Plant Establishment

Recommended planting distance is 3 meters between concrete posts and 4 meters between rows. A narrower spacing gives quicker production than larger spacing. Higher density plantings produce quicker returns, but plants will begin to crowd each other sooner.

Planting is done at 3 to 4 plants per post; rooted cuttings may be planted directly or kept in 9″ x 13″ black polyethylene bags. For direct rooted cuttings, position the plant 15 cm away from the post at an angle leaning towards the post. Direct planting is 5 cm depth, while for transplants; hole depth should be same as height of plastic bag's soil depth. Irrigate and protect newly emerging foliar buds from ants and other insects. In addition, pruning is a regular orchard operation regardless of age of Pitaya, prune to obtain an open, manageable and productive umbrella shaped canopy.


Apply a handful of complete fertilizer (14-14-14) 3 months after planting and continue fertilizer applications every 3 months thereafter. Pitaya also requires organic matter. Nitrogen is necessary during the vegetative growth of the plant and is reduced during dormant and pre-flowering stages (later December to mid-March). Apply foliar sprays every 2 weeks during vegetative stage and less during fruiting stage.

Frequency of fertilizer application varies according to personal judgment and preferences. Optimum frequency and quantity depends on the plants response. Pitaya is very responsive to soil and foliar fertilizer applications.

Pest and Diseases

The roots, stems, foliar and flower buds, flower and fruit are attacked by a range of pests and diseases. Pests include mites, thrips, ants, scale insects, mealy bugs, beetles, slugs, borers, nematodes, fruit flies and rodents such as mice, birds, or bats. Chlorpyrifos-based insecticides may be used to control ants and other pests as well.

Copper-based fungicides (copper, copper oxychloride, dithane M45, cupravit, mancozeb, etc. can be applied at appropriate dosage and spray as needed. Systemic fungicides such as benomyl, carbendazim, azcxystrobin,etc. are also effective in wide range of pitaya diseases.

Avoid, however, pesticide spraying when nearing harvest time. Bagging of green fruit using clear perforated polyethylene bags (China-made) are recommended to protect fruit from fruit fly stings.


Gasoline-driven weed cutters are recommended for orchards. Handweed within the inner 30 diameter of each post to avoid damage to plants. Control weeds as they harbor pests and compete with soil nutrients.


Water requirement of Pitaya is similar to papaya. Irrigation is critical during fertilizer applications and fruiting. Excess drying of soil and less frequent irrigation results in abnormal high splitting of fruit. For newly planted
Pitaya, allow soil to dry before irrigation to avoid rots.


Harvesting indices include full red coloration of the terminal petal and swelling of the navel end to the point of cracking. Based on Davao planting, harvest period include: First Cycle of harvest –June- October; 2nd Cycle of harvest December- January.

  • Fruit is harvested from 30-50 days after flowering
  • 5-6 fruit crop cycles a year (between May and November)
  • Stored at 5°C with 90% relative humidity and can be stored for up to 40 days
  • Average weight per fruit ranges from 200 to 1.2 kg

 Source:, Date accessed: 20 March 2014




Durian (Durio zibethinus Murray) is a highly valued and most desired seasonal fruit in Mindanao. It is best described as smelling like hell and tasting like heaven. The plant is a large, buttressed tree that grows to a height of 30-40 m but vegetatively propagated plants can only grow to half the height. Seventy-two to 87% of the roots are found on the top 45 cm of the soil, while 85% is within the canopy radius of the tree. The trunk is usually straight and has low branches and a dense canopy. The wide leaves have dark green upper surface that is glossy and densely reticulate. The lower surface is densely covered with silvery or golden colored scales with a layer of stellate hairs. Large flowers hang in huge inflorescences on bare branches and are open at night. Fruits are green to brownish, large, long-peduncled, round to oblong, and have thick, spiny rind and five segments. Each segment contains a yellowish white to yellow, sweet, aromatic aril enclosing 1-4 light brown seeds.
(Source: Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD)-DOST, Date accessed 20 March 2014)

For cost and returns, you may visit the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.

For further assitance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.

Cultural Management


Methods of Propagation

Plant propagation can be by seed, but for uniformity, smaller stature, and early maturity, it is better to use clones produced by asexual methods such as grafting and budding. Seeds are sown immediately after extraction without the necessity of prior drying. Overdrying will in fact tend to kill the embryo because the seed is recalcitrant.

The recommended method of budding is patch budding. Grafting techniques used are inarching, cleft grafting, hypocotyl grafting, and epicotyl grafting. The seedlings can be outplanted after about one year, or further extended to three years in the nursery to produce large planting materials (LPM). LPMs have better chance of survival and the trees mature earlier.

(Source: Crop Agriculture Review, Date accessed: 20 March 2014)

Land Preparation

The land is prepared for planting by first clearing and removing stumps, followed by plowing and harrowing two times. If the soil is too acidic, it can be corrected by applying agricultural lime. But with staggered planting, plowing and harrowing can be dispensed with and only the immediate peripheries of hills are cultivated.

(Source: Crop Agriculture Review, Date accessed: 20 March 2014)

Holing and Planting

Holes at least 50 cm deep and wide are dug 8-12 m apart. Close spacing may neccesitate thinning after 8-10 years to disperse the trees. These spacings correspond to a planting density of about 70-156 plants per hectare in square system or 80-180 in triangular planting.

After holing, the removed topsoil is mixed with compost and used to partly refill the hole. A small amount of lime is added to the mixture if the soil is too acidic. However, the addition of compost during planting is not absolutely necessary for plant establishment.

The seedling is carefully laid on the hole with the potting container removed. The depth of planting should be such that the root crown is in line with the level of the land. More soil-compost mixture is then added and slightly pressed to eliminate air spaces. Water is immediately applied. But in places with irregular rainfall and which are not easily flooded, it is better to leave a slight depression around the seedling to trap water.

Planting should be done at the start of the rainy season to ensure availability of water. The plants should be provided with shade for two weeks or until they are fully established.

(Source: Crop Agriculture Review, Date accessed: 20 March 2014)

Weeding and Fertilization

Regular weeding should be done to eliminate competition for water and nutrients. Thick undergrowth under the canopy of trees will also increase relative humidity near the trunk which favors the reproduction of pathogens. To avoid injury to the roots, the soil should not be scraped. Weeds below the canopy can be totally eliminated by hand pulling.

In addition, the formulation of a fertilizer management program is important in growing durian. The program should ensure the vigor of trees with sustained capacity to produce quality fruits.

Fertilizers should be applied based on soil analysis. In the absence of soil analysis, 50 g of complete fertilizer may be applied during planting. The rate of fertilizer is correspondingly increased with the age of the plants, to be applied during the onset of the rainy season and when it is about to end. Otherwise, fertilization can be done periodically in 2-4 applications per year. Ring weeding should be done before fertilization.

To ensure a steady supply of micronutrients, it is desirable to incorporate the application of organic feritlizers with the fertilization program. Based on the number and average weight of fruits per tree, the amounts of urea (46-0-0), complete fertilizer (14-14-14) and muriate of potash (0-0-60) to be applied per tree have been calculated. A tree with a fruiting potential of 25 fruits each weighing 2 kg or a total of 50 kg needs fertilizer at the rate of 206 kg 46-0-0, 143 kg 14-14-14 and 308 kg 0-0-60 which is increased to 1652 kg, 1142 kg and 2466 kg, respectively, for a tree that produces 200 fruits weighing a total of 400 kg.

(Source: Crop Agriculture Review, Date accessed: 20 March 2014)

Water Supply, Drainage and Mulching

Water should be supplied daily to the newly planted seedlings until they are firmly established. Thereafter, watering is done periodically to ensure that the plants are not subjected to water stress especially during drought. Water is especially needed during the flushing period and from floral induction to fruit development stages. Prolonged drought may be fatal to the plants.

To minimize rapid drying of the soil during dry season, mulching is practiced. This involves the laying of rice straw, uprooted grasses, coconut husk, or any other mulching material on the ground around the durian trees. Mulching on the undercanopy should be avoided during the rainy season.

It is also important that the durian orchard is provided with drainage canals to remove excess water during the rainy season and to reduce the incidence of Phytophthora. Standing water can increase relative humidity which favors the growth of pathogenic organisms. Disease inoculum can spread from tree to tree when there is surface runoff.

(Source: Crop Agriculture Review, Date accessed: 20 March 2014)

Pruning of Durian

Proper pruning is one of the least considered activities but should be made an integral practice in growing durian. Formative pruning is practiced during the first years following planting. This is done by removing excess trunks, upright branches and water shoots, as well as thinning of the horizontal branches. Only a single trunk should be allowed to develop. Removal of excess branches will favor maximum penetration of sunlight and promote air circulation.

The trees may also be top pruned at a height of about 5-10 m to limit the tree height. Likewise, removal of branches 1-2 m from the base of the trunk will help prevent the incidence of diseases as well as facilitate movement. Diseased branches should be removed immediately and burned.

(Source: Crop Agriculture Review, Date accessed: 20 March 2014)

Insect Pest and Disease Control

 Plants Parts/Stage of Growth AttackedControl Measures
1. Beetles Young seedlings Spray with Roxion and Azodrin
2. Twig Borers Young plants, small branches or twigs of old trees Plrune damaged branch and burn
3. Psyllids New shoots and leaves in young and old trees Spray with Roxion, Azodrin or Decis
4. Brown Scale Young shoots and leaves Spray with Roxion or Azodrin
5. Haplaphalorasp (Bao-bao) Young shoots, leaves, unopened flowers and fruitlets Spray with Decis, Roxion or Gusathion
1. Path canker or Stem canker Roots, trunk Spray with Ridomil or Alliete
1. Pink diseases Twigs and smaller branches Spray with Tridemorph (Calixim); Triadimefon (Bayleton); Copper hydroxide (Kocide) or Bordeaux mixture
1. Rhizoctonia Foliage Spray with Triamefon-Bayleton, Thiophanate methyl (Topsin M)

(Source: Bureau of Agricultural Research, Date accessed: 20 March 2014)

Harvesting/ Post Harvest Management

Mature fruits should be harvested during sunny days. Extreme care must be exercised to prevent bruising. The following indices are used in determining the right time to harvest:

  1. Depending on the variety and elevation, the fruit has reached minimum days of development starting from flower bloom.
  2. Fruit color turns yellowish-green or brown.
  3. The sutures between adjoining fruit segments are distinct.
  4. The tip of the spikes turn darker brown than the bases.
  5. The tips of the spikes are pliant.
  6. The fruit when tapped has a dull and hollow sound.
  7. The fruit emits a strong aroma.

A well cared durian tree starts bearing fruits as early as five years old. Durian fruits generally fall from the trees at night when already mature and ripe.

Handpicked fruits have longer shelf life of
5-7 days compared to 2-3 days for fallen fruits.

(Sources: Crop Agriculture Review, Date accessed: 20 March 2014)




Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a popular vegetable crop grown in almost all backyards and school gardens throughout the country. It is used as a vegetable and is a basic ingredient in pinakbet, a popular vegetable stew in the northern part of the country. It is related to the family vegetable of potato, sweet pepper and tomato. It comes in variety of sizes, shape and color, deep-purple-reddish, green, white and even orange. Eggplant is available throughout the year and varieties slightly differ in taste and texture, they hang from the vines just like tomato. Eggplant--provide fiber, antioxidants, potassium, manganese, vitamin B1, B3 and magnesium.
(Source: Vegetables of the Philippines, Date accessed 20 March 2014)

For Prices and Market trends, you may visit the Agriculture and Fisheries Market Information System.

For Cost and Returns, you may visit the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.

For further assistance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.

Cultural Management


Environmental Requirements

Grows best with temperature range of 22-32°C. At extreme temperatures of 15°C and below, and 33°C and above, flower fertilization and yield are significantly reduced.
Tolerates drought and excessive rainfall better than its relatives, tomato and pepper.


It can be produced throughout the year, but it is best planted at the tail end of the rainy season. This will coincide with the long dry months of the year, promoting better fruit maturation and harvesting, and avoiding fruit rotting.

Seedbed Preparation

Prepare a seedbed, seedbox, or tray.
Mix 1:1:1 garden soil, compost and sand, or 1:1 garden soil and coir dust.
Sterilize by heat, or drench the soil mixture with fungicide solution.
Saturate the soil with water.
Make horizontal rows 5 cm apart.
Sow the seeds in rows. Cover the seeds with soil, put mulch, and water gently (200-300 g of seeds is needed per hectare).


  • Prick the seedlings .5 days from seedling emergence, or when the cotyledons have fully opened and true leaves have appeared.
  • For pricking in seedbeds, make raised beds 1 m wide.
  • Sterilize the soil by drenching with insecticide-fungicide solution to protect the seeds from ants and damping-off.
  • Prick the seedlings 5 cm x 5 cm apart.
  • Construct polyvinyl plastic or protective structure to protect the seedlings from rain.
  • During hot days, provide a shade above the seedbed to protect newly pricked seedlings, and remove the structure as the soon as the seedlings are established to avoid pale and lanky seedlings.
  • Pricking could also be done in seedling/plug trays with individual 'cells'. Prick one seedling per 'cell'.
  • Reduce watering 1 week before transplanting to harden the seedlings

Land Preparation

  • Prepare the land thoroughly by mechanical means or with the use of animal-drawn implements.
  • Make sure to break big clods of soil.
  • Make furrows 75 cm apart.


  • Transplant one seedling per hill 3-4 weeks from pricking or 1 week after hardening. Seedlings for transplanting should be 3-4 inches high with 4-6 leaves.
  • Transplant seedlings 50-75 cm between hills and 75-100 cm between rows.
  • Irrigate the field immediately.
  • Transplant during cool or cloudy days, or late in the afternoon to avoid excessive heat during planting.


  • Apply organic fertilizer or compost or dried animal manure at the rate of 3-10 t/ha during land preparation and incorporate it well with the soil.
  • Fertilizer rate depends on the results of soil analysis.
  • Without soil analysis, apply 1 tbsp (15 g) 14-14-14 per hill before or after transplanting, which is equivalent to 8 bags/ha.
  • When basally applied, apply fertilizer in holes and cover with a thin layer of soil
  • 21-25 days from transplanting, sidedress 2 tbsp (10 g) of a mixture of 2 bags of Urea (46-0-0) and 1 bag Muriate of Potash (0-0-60).
  • Repeat sidedressing every month or after every 2-3 harvestings.


  • Follow furrow irrigation.
  • Irrigate every 10 days during dry season and when needed during rainy season.
  • If drainage is poor, construct a canal.

Source: Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD)-DOST, Date accessed 20 March 2014




Gabi is one of the major rootcrops grown throughout the Philippines. It can be grown almost anywhere, upland or lowland. Taro or Cocoyam (Colocasia esculenta) is a tropical plant grown primarily as a root vegetable for its edible corm, and secondarily as a leaf vegetable. It is considered a staple in Oceanic cultures. It is believed to have been one of the earliest cultivated plants. Because of taro's similarity to the potato, it is sometimes called the "potato of the tropics." It is also known as kalo in Hawaiian, and as dasheen in some other parts of the world.
(Source: Tekno Tulong, Date accessed 20 March 2014)

For further assistance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.


Cultural Management

Ecological Requirements


Gabi can be grown in a wide range of soil types either as upland (dryland) or lowland (wetland) crop. The term upland refers to gabi production under a non-flooded condition and does not necessarily mean growing in high elevations. Under upland culture best results are obtained on deep, well-drained loam soil. Under lowland cultivation, which is usually in low-lying areas with abundant supply of fresh cool water for irrigation, best results are obtained if the soil is alluvial. In either culture, soil pH ranging from 5.6-6.5 is reported to be best. Although gabi can be grown in water-logged areas, it does not usually grow well in these places because the temperature build-up of the water during hot days causes the plant to respire more.


Gabi is best adapted to a warm and moist environment. Evenly distributed rainfall is ideal especially for upland gabi. In areas with distinct dry and wet periods, planting upland gabi should be timed in such a way that the first four to five months of growth should receive a good amount of rain. For lowland gabi, as long as there is a continuous supply of fresh and cool water, rainfall pattern is not critical.


A daily average temperature of 27-29C is ideal for gabi. Below 27C, yield is reduced. Likewise, above 29C the plants are stunted and yield is greatly depressed.

Land Preparation

The method of land preparation generally depends on the culture used, whether upland or lowland. Upland fields for gabi production is prepared in the same manner as that for other crops like corn. The field is plowed and harrowed thoroughly to kill the weeds and pulverize the soil. When labor is scarce, one plowing followed by harrowing is enough as long as existing weeds are properly controlled. After the soil is thoroughly prepared, furrows are set. If flat planting is preferred, setts (planting materials) are planted without making furrows.

For lowland culture, the field is prepared in a manner similar to that of lowland rice. Existing weeds are first removed by cutting mechanically or by hand, then the field is plowed and harrowed both to puddle the soil and to flatten the area to ensure even distribution of irrigation water. When the field is thoroughly prepared, lines are drawn using a lining board or an ordinary string as planting guide.

Planting Materials

Planting materials are called setts. A sett is prepared from a plant or daughter plant, i.e., either sucker or rhizome. It consists of the upper 1-2 cm of the corm or cormel plus the lower 20-25 cm of the petioles. Best results are obtained with a sett size of 100-120 g. Smaller-sized setts can be used but maturity is delayed. Planting materials should be uniform in size but if different sizes of setts are used, plant together those that are more or less of the same size.

Cormels can also be used as planting materials but these are easily attacked by disease-causing organisms.

Planting Distance

The recommended planting distance is 75 cm between rows and 50 cm between plants in the row. Closer planting at 50 cm x 50 cm may be done but the size of individual corms gets smaller as planting distance becomes closer. Both of the above mentioned planting distances are applicable for upland and lowland culture.

Planting Method

Under upland culture, gabi can be planted in furrows or in flat beds (without any furrow) with the help of a bolo or a stick. If flat culture is preferred and irrigation is not possible, setts should be planted deeper (8-10 cm) during dry months and shallower (4-5 cm) during wet months. Mulch to conserve moisture and control weeds can be spread around the gabi plants. If labor is not a problem, planting can be made in holes about 15 cm wide and 20 cm deep. A sett is placed in one hole and is partially covered with soil. As the gabi grows the holes are naturally and slowly filled with soil.

In the lowland, planting is done in flat fields and setts are just inserted about 4-5 cm deep by hand into the puddled soil.

Fertilizer Application

It is important to determine first the nutrient status of the soil before planting gabi. If the soil is rich in organic matter, inorganic fertilizer may not be added. If the soil is rather poor, apply 30-30-30 kg/ha N, P2O5, K2O or more if necessary. Apply 1/2 of the total fertilizer requirements upon planting and the other half 2 months after planting. The same should be done for lowland culture but the field should first be drained of water before fertilizer application. Side dressing brings better fertilizer effect in contrast to broadcasting followed under upland culture. Under lowland culture, broadcasting is practical because there is sufficient moisture to dissolve the fertilizer at once.

Weeding and Cultivation

Gabi is especially sensitive to weed competition. In both lowland and upland cultures, the fields should be rid of weeds particularly during the first 8-10 weeks after planting. However, weed competition after this period should not be tolerated especially if plant canopy has not yet closed.

For upland culture, weeds can be controlled mechanically by hand weeding or by means of plowing the inter-row spaces during off barring and hilling up operations. Chemical weed control is good as long as the plants are thoroughly protected.

For lowland culture, it is enough that weeds are properly controlled. This can be done by regulating the water depth in the paddy.

One good way of controlling weeds in upland gabi is by planting intercrops. Legumes, especially mungo, is a good intercrop because of its short growing period and early maturation before the gabi canopy closes.

Pest Control

Insect pests like aphids, army worms, hornworms and grasshoppers attacking gabi plants can be controlled by spraying appropriate insecticides. For gabi disease like leaf blight, the application of fungicides is an effective control practice. For plants that show symptoms of virus infection, removing and burning the plants are good control measures.


Depending on variety, taro are between 6 and 14 months in the field. The tubers are ripe and ready for harvest when the leaves turn yellow and the plant begins to wither. The fully ripe tubers should be harvested in dry weather. If you harvest during the dry season, the tubers may be left in the earth for some time and will not spoil. When the field is wet, the ripe tubers must be harvested quickly. They may sprout and will then be no good for human food.

Each taro plant may yield several harvests during one crop period. As a rule, the harvests should be organized as follows:

For taro - The first harvest begins 6 to 8 months after planting. After that, harvest again two or three times from the same plant at intervals of 2 or 3 weeks.
When harvesting dig out the soil right up to the plant, take the biggest tubers and detach them from the parent plant. Then fill in the hole. Let the young tubers develop before harvesting again.

Source: Visayas Consortium for Agriculture and Resources Program, and Food and Nutrition Library, Date accessed 20 March 2014




Garlic (Allium sativum L.), otherwise known as Bawang is one of the most important commodities in the Philippines. Garlic bulbs are used as flavoring for meat, fish and salads, condiment and medicinal purposes.

The fruit is a capsule containing black, kidney-shape seeds. The plant produces bulb which is surrounded by sheaths and composed of thin-shelled bulblets, cloves or set, all of which are capable of forming new plant. The bulb, which has a strong characteristics odor and taste, is covered with a papery skin and may break into constituents' bulblets, called cloves. (Source: Open Academy of Agriculture, Date accessed: 20 March 2014)

For Cost and Returns, you may visit the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.

For further assistance in your area, you may check the Technical and Financial Assistance Directory.


Cultural Management

Soil and Climatic Requirements

Garlic can be grown in different types of soil. However, sandy, silt and clay loam are recommended for commercial production. The soil should be fertile, rich in organic matter, well-drained, and capable of holding adequate moisture during the growing period.

Garlic grows favorably in areas with Type I climate, which is characterized by a wet season that usually occurs from May to October and a dry season from November to April. Garlic does not grow well in areas with excessive rainfall.

Land Preparation

The two types of land preparation for garlic production are with tillage and without tillage or zero tillage.

With Tillage

This method of land preparation for garlic is similar to that for corn, soybean, and other upland crops. The field is plowed and harrowed twice or more at seven days interval or less. A tractor-mounted rotavator can also be used.

Without Tillage

This method of land preparation is usually practiced in the lowland rice fields after the harvest of palay. Rice straw and weeds are cut closed to the ground. If the soil is too wet, the field is allowed to dry until the desired moisture level is attained. Canals are usually constructed around the paddies to ensure no standing water after heavy rain or irrigation.

Selection of Planting Materials

Fully-matured and well-developed bulbs of medium to-large cloves should be selected as planting materials. These should be free from diseases and mechanical damage. A hectare of land will require about 400-700 kg of seeds depending on the size of the bulbs and the distance of planting.

Clove/Seed Preparation

The planting material is prepared first by separating the clove from one another. The cloves from the outer parts of the bulb are the best planting material. Large bulbs contain 10-14 cloves. When there is a shortage of planting materials, the inner cloves can be used also but these should be separated from the outer cloves. The planting materials are then soaked in an insecticide-fungicide solution for at least two hours to get rid of seed-borne pests and diseases. The cloves are air-dried before planting.

Time of Planting

Planting for garlic varies in different regions. In rainfed upland areas particularly in Batangas, planting is usually done during the early part of September. In the Ilocos Region and other lowland areas, planting is from October to November. December planting tends to produce smaller bulbs especially in the latter parts of the month due to infestation of thrips and mites, and the bulbs are sometimes affected by early rain.

Distance of Planting

The distance of planting varies from 15 centimeters (cm) x 15 cm to 20 cm x 10 cm to 25 cm. Planting is done using dibble or pointed stick to insert two-thirds of the length of the clove vertically into the soil or about 2 cm to 3 cm deep.


Mulch can be applied before or after planting. Mulch is evenly laid on the field with a thickness of 3-5 cm. Rice straw is commonly used as mulching material in the Philippines. Other mulching materials that can also be used are hulls, saw dust, grasses, and polyethylene or plastic sheet. Mulch controls soil moisture as well as the growth of weeds.


Before planting, the soil should be analyzed to determine the type and amount of fertilizer needed to be applied. Handy soil-test kits are available in the different local offices of the Department of Agriculture throughout the country. This simple and easy-to-operate kit measures soil fertility and pH value.

In the absence of soil analysis, the results of a local fertilizer study can be used as a basis of fertilizer application. In Ilocos Norte, the provincial recommendations are as follows:

Soil Fertilizer Recommendation
Sandy loam 90-60-60 NPK or 8-9 bags 14-14-14 and 1.5 bags 46-0-0
Clay loam 90-60-60 NPK or 8-9 bags 14-14-14 and 1.0 bags 46-0-0
Clay 90-30-30 NPK or 4.0 bags 14-14-14 and 2.0 bags 46-0-0

Complete fertilizer is applied before planting, while the nitrogen fertilizer or urea is applied during the early bulb formation.

Application of organic fertilizer is found to be more effective in garlic production. Organic fertilizer does not only provide macro and micro nutrients but also some beneficial microorganisms. It also improves the physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the soil. Further, it has no known harmful effect on the ecology as well as on the crops.


In preparing for planting, if soil moisture is not sufficient, it is necessary to irrigate the field a day or two days earlier. In case the soil becomes too wet after irrigating, the field should be allowed to dry until the desired moisture level is attained. This condition is best exemplified when footprints are deep enough. Garlic produces an average of 6.5 roots per plant. In clay loam soil, the roots dig down as deep as 59 cm. Enough moisture is essential within the root zone during the vegetative growth. The frequency of irrigation depends on the soil type and occurrence of rainfall during the growing period. Clay loam is irrigated thrice. Sandy soil requires a more frequent irrigation. Flash irrigation can be applied when crevices or cracks on clay loam soils appear. Water should never be allowed to stay in the field beyond six hours. Irrigation starts before planting and ends 70-85 days after planting.


Weed control
Generally, garlic is grown under mulch. Weeds appearing in the mulch should be removed with the use of a narrow-bladed hand trowel.


Thrips (Thrips sp.)
Both nymphs and adults feed on the plant. They suck the sap of the plant from younger leaves to the growing points. The older leaves become withered or blasted in appearance.

thrips population is at its peak usually from late January to March. In areas with thrips infestation, early planting, possibly in October, is recommended. Burning of infested leaves and spraying of chemicals such as Malathion, and the like are among the recommended controls.

Mites (Aceria tulipae)
The pest is either seed-borne or mulch-borne. The affected plants become twisted and distorted with yellowish or pale-green streaks on the leaves. The leaf blade may not emerge readily from the cloves and the leaves separate poorly after emergence. The damage is called "tangle top."

For piece treatment of seeds, apply chemicals recommended for the control of mites. For field infestation, apply the recommended chemicals as early as the sign of infestation appears and repeat at seven to 10 days interval until the pest is controlled.


Purple blotch
The disease is caused by Alteria porri (ellis) Cif., a fungus. The margin or leaf has shades of red purple surrounded by a yellow band. The infected leaves turn yellow.

Use Dethane 45, Manzate 200, WP and other recommended fungicides. The frequency and dosage of application are indicated in their labels.

Cercospora leaf spot
The causal organism is Cercospora duddiae Welles, a fungus. Lesions penetrate through the young leaves. They start as small circular chlorotic spots 3-5 mm in diameter. After a fusion of the original lesions, the disease progresses rapidly and eventually the leaf dies.

Fusarium bulb rot
The causal organism is a fungus, Fusarium oxysporum F cepae (Hanzwa), Snyder and Jausen. It is a soil-borne disease. The leaves of the affected plants show progressive yellowing and drying from the tip. At the advance stage of the disease, roots and bulb show semi-watery rotting.

Use disease-free planting materials. Burn field refuse. Rotate the crop at least every four years. Fallow the field for one season. Plow and harrow or rotavate the area several times for the whole dry season.


Garlic matures 90 to 120 days after planting. Generally, early planting has a longer period of maturity than the late planting. Indices are the softening of the main stem above the bulb and the yellowing of 75% of the leaves.

Harvesting – it requires pulling the individual plants by hand

Drying – the harvested bulb can be sun or air-dried. Sun drying ranges from 3 to 4 days

Bundling – it involves tying together 50 to 100 pieces of bulbs.


Garlic is rarely kept in cold storage in the Philippines. The farmers store their produce under ambient storage conditions in several ways:

  • By hanging the bundles in rows with bamboo stick or lumber in a well ventilated place;
  • By packing them in a wooden crate, arranging them in such as way that the air will circulate freely
  • By packing them in a wooden crate, arranging them in such a way that the air will circulate freely
  • By piling the bundles to form a pyramid or "mandala". The pile could be placed in a storeroom or "bodega".

To minimize pest infestation during storage, clean and dry the area. Before the stocks are stored, spray the area with Malathion or other insecticides recommended for the control of storage pest. Under the pyramid or "mandala type" of storage, keep the garlic from touching the concrete floor by using bamboo slats or lumber properly arranged on the floor. Cover the slats with empty polyethelene bags sprayed with insecticides. Regularly spray the surrounding with the recommended insecticides to prevent the occurrence of insect pests.

Source: Source: Open Academy of Agriculture, Date accessed: 20 March 2014