How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Watering onions and garlic

In many areas, winter rains supply adequate moisture for garlic during the early part of the growing season. If there is inadequate rainfall, irrigation may be necessary. For best yields, never drought-stress garlic before the first signs of maturity. Garlic is shallow rooted, so wet to 2 feet with drip irrigation when you do irrigate. When the crop approaches maturity (when the tops begin to break or become dry), stop irrigation to allow drying.

Onions have a fairly high water requirement. The soils need to kept evenly moist throughout the growing season. Water stress during the development period will affect flavor. Infrequently applied or insufficient water increases the pungency. As the onions approach maturity and the tops begin to fall over, water should be withheld to stop root growth and allow the outer scales of the bulb to become dry.

Row irrigation
Place a hose or drip tape between rows of plants


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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