have risen to about £2.6 M representing
about 2,500 t. The main sources of supply
are France, Italy, Spain and Argentina.
Smaller quantities arrive from all over
the world including China and the USA. By
far the largest area in Europe is grown
in Spain. The crop is very susceptible to
bruising and mechanical damage. Most crops
are still produced using hand labour. Attempts
to mechanise operations have not been too
successful because of bruising and the difficulty
of "dressing" the bulbs for market.
This limits the scale of production but
keeps the market price high.
crop grows quite satisfactorily in England.
But if a yield of 10 t/ha is achieved the
potential area required to satisfy the home
demand for the fresh market could be as
little as 250 ha. The possibilities for
processing, (including medicinal) or export
may be worth investigation.
bulb consists of 7 - 12 cloves. Varieties
vary in the numbers, size and ease of splitting
down to cloves from bulbs. It is well known
that larger cloves tend to produce larger
bulbs. In order to form proper bulbs the
plants require a cold period. There are
basically two types. Firstly; broad leafed,
large clove, short dormancy, early maturing
but not such good keeping quality. Secondly;
narrow leafed, smaller cloves, long dormancy,
later maturing, longer keeping.
most workable, well-drained soils planting
should take place in the autumn, mid October
to end November. On heavier soils spring
planting in February of the second type
of cloves can be successful.
main vegetative growth period is late March
to May. Dry springs can therefore reduce
yields considerably particularly on light
soils, unless irrigation is available. Bulbs
are formed from the end of May and through
June. The earliest varieties can be harvested
from early July. Most varieties should be
harvested by mid August.
is important to hot water treat the cloves
at 46ºC for 2 hours before planting
against stem eelworm.Virtually all stocks
have one or more viruses; onion yellow and
garlic mosaic virus being the two that reduce
vigour and yield the most. Other pests and
diseases are similar or the same as bulb
onions, so it is important to bear this
in mind when planning cropping programmes.
control with herbicides can be effective
and observations have shown that generally
the same materials can be used as on bulb
at Efford EHS is currently concerned with
trial, including autumn and spring planting.
spacing trial, has been autumn planted,
either direct or into 38 mm peat blocks
subsequently planted out in early spring.
Results show that yield increases with density
but at higher density the bulbs are smaller.
After two years of trials about 30 bulbs/m2
seem to be the optimum density (variety
Fructidor). This confirms work from other
variety observation and main trials have
included up to 15 stocks and varieties.
After three years the main conclusions are
are winter hardy.
Efford soil (which is water retentive
but will slump and compact) there is little
difference between yields of cloves planted
in autumn or spring. While autumn plantings
tend to be heavier, spring plantings tend
to be of better quality.
cloves give heavier yields than smaller
dressed in the autumn most varieties are
acceptable on the market.
bulbs of some varieties split into cloves
much easier than others. This may be an
important consideration regarding commercial
the stocks at Efford have virus. Samples
of the main varieties have been sent to
NVRS with the objective of growing virus
have commenced this year on how well the