Chinese garlic has long been exported to foreign countries due to its high quality and low price and has long occupied an important position in the international market. The most famous are Shandong Cangshan Puke Garlic, Shandong Jinxiang White Garlic, Hebei Yongnian Garlic, and Xinjiang White Garlic. It is mainly due to the gradual specialization and large-scale cultivation of garlic in China. A large number of large-scale special equipment such as sorters and splitters have been invested in the process of garlic harvesting. From the initial small-scale planting to the current garlic industry cluster, a cluster including garlic planting, refrigeration, processing, export, and related entities has been formed. China is now the season to harvest garlic. Let’s take a look at how people harvest garlic!
When to harvest garlic
(1) Generally, chinese garlic is divided into spring sowing and autumn sowing. The spring planting time is around March, and the autumn planting time is generally around September to October. However, the time of harvesting garlic is generally between mid-to-late May and June each year. Under normal circumstances, people can harvest garlic about 25 days after harvesting garlic stalks. The bottom leaves of mature garlic will turn yellow, and then the garlic skin will become thinner.
(2) In the north of China’s 38°N latitude, people will adopt spring sowing generally and carry out sowing in March due to the low temperature in winter. In the south of 35°N, people adopt autumn planting generally and carry out planting between September and October. And in the area between 35°-38°N, both spring sowing and autumn sowing are possible. But the yield of harvesting garlic in autumn is higher than that sow garlic in spring.
(3) The growth cycle of planting garlic in spring is relatively short, about 90-100 days. Relatively, the growth cycle of garlic grown in autumn is longer, about 220-280 days. Therefore, it led to a higher yield of harvested garlic in autumn than that of garlic sowed in spring.
If people harvest garlic too early, the nutrients in the leaves have not been completely transferred to the bulbs, which will cause the bulbs to be underfilled, with high water content, and into storage. People harvest garlic too late, and the bulbs of garlic will be too dry for consumption. In the rainy areas of the Yangtze River, garlic often becomes moldy and deteriorates on rainy days, and the skin becomes black and cracks, which is not conducive to storage.
How to harvest garlic
Automatic sowing of garlic
The first step of harvesting garlic is to sow garlic. So far, large-scale and mechanized garlic planting has been popularized in the plains and hilly areas of China’s east and west. Therefore，when planting garlic, people generally use an automated planting machine, which comes with a cover, a leveler, and a silo. Installing a seed metering shaft and a seed metering device under the silo and several funnels under the seed metering device and installing a detachable opener under the frame.Equipment a leveler in front of the opener, and a grounding cover behind the opener. The machine ditches the garlic seeds and covers them with soil. Installing a ground wheel on one side of the frame. And connect a ground wheel with the seed metering shaft through a transmission structure. Equipping the rear part of the frame with a detachable seat, and equipping the front part with a drive rod.
Automatic garlic harvesting
The structure of the harvester
Similarly, using automated machines to harvest garlic. A garlic harvesting machines include rice cutters and garlic harvesting machines. Garlic harvesting machine includes frame, robotic arm group, decontamination tube, root cutter, grading machine, and grading tube, etc. The frame has a guide rail and installs it in front of the power car.The robotic arm group includes multiple working arms. And equipping each working arm with a single-chip microcomputer to control the robotic arm. The functional arm consists of a vertical rod, a manipulator, and three motors, which drive the working arm to advance, lift, and mechanically retract and expand. The manipulator is equipped with a micro-switch; the soil removal tube, root cutter, classifier, and grading tube are all directly fixed on the mainframe in sequence.
The advantage of the harvester
Even more，positioning devices, shovel, and rice cutter are installed at the front and bottom of the frame. The rice cutter is in front of the positioning device and the shovel.The garlic harvesting machine works under program control. The garlic harvesting machine replaces complicated manual labor with intelligent work and realizes a series of operations of digging out garlic, removing soil, cutting roots, cutting rods, and grading. The garlic harvesting machine beats the clods adhered to the garlic by reciprocating motion. The rotary cutting knife rotates in a horizontal direction. The garlic head fixing clip fixes the garlic head to prevent the garlic head from swinging in the horizontal direction when the garlic harvesting machine cuts.
The working process of a harvester
Above all, the root-cutting tooth-shaped rotary cutter of the garlic harvest machine cuts the garlic roots, then cuts the stems with the tooth-shaped rotary cutter to cut the garlic stems, and then sends the garlic heads into the conveyor and finally enters the silo. The garlic seedlings continue to move on the clamping and conveying mechanism, and the stalks fall into the soil after harvest, which ensures high efficiency when harvesting garlic.The garlic harvesting machine uses a self-propelled program to harvest garlic in an integrated manner. From excavation to clamping and extraction, flexible conveying, soil cleaning, rod removal, and bagging, one machine can complete it all. Using automated machines to harvest garlic can harvest 30-50 mu of garlic a day, saving a lot of labor.
Automatic garlic grading and sorting
Classification after harvesting garlic. People always use a garlic sorting machine to sort garlic. There is a storage hopper on the part of fram. And arranging several layers of filter screens in sequence from top to bottom in the frame. The filter screens of each level are crawler filter screens, and guide plates are respectively provided at corresponding positions. In addition, arranging the guide plates fixedly on the frame. Providing a regular hexagonal rotating shaft on ends of the crawler filter screen. And sleeving the crawler filter screen on the regular hexagonal rotating shaft. Arranging the standard hexagonal rotating shaft fixedly on the frame. Connecting a pulley to the power output device through a belt drive at one end of the rotating shaft. Manual sorting garlic sorting efficiency is low, and the workload of workers is heavy.Using a garlic sorting machine can improve the efficiency of garlic screening.
Automatic garlic washing and air drying
People will clean and air-dry garlic after sorting. Similarly, the garlic cleaning machine effectively removes pesticide residues on the garlic’s surface and cleans the surface impurities. Floating matter can overflow from the overflow tank of the garlic washing machine. And the sediment will flow out from the sewage outlet to achieve the purpose of cleaning. The garlic washing machine is equipped with a circulating water pump and a filter water tank to realize the recycling of washing water and save water. In addition, the garlic drying machine drives the chain to pull the suction roller to make it evenly rotate. So the garlic will be absorbed dry while passing through the sponge roller, without harming the brightness of the garlic surface. Besides, the garlic drying machine has the functions of automatic squeezing and automatic disinfection. The machine adopts intermittent squeezing mode and adjusts the interval time and squeezing time.
In conclusion, harvesting garlic must be the right time. Harvesting garlic heads at the right time have several outer leaf sheaths that lose water and become thinner and fall off by themselves after harvest. The inner 3-4 layers of leaf sheaths are thicker and tightly pack the garlic heads. Therefore, Harvesting garlic in this way is bright in color and good in quality. If harvesting garlic too late, all the leaf sheaths will become thin and dry, and the heads will easily split during harvest. If harvesting garlic too early, the outer leaf sheath of the garlic head is thick, and the water is too much. After drying, the output will be reduced due to excessive water loss, and the storage period is prone to mold.
On the other hand, when harvesting immature garlic, the buds and leaves are not fully developed. And the seeding rate is low when planting garlic. Generally, about 25 days after picking the stalks, the garlic heads turn grayish green, the pseudostems are soft, the outer skin is dry. And some of the fibrous roots around the stem discs are wilted. In addition, you should choose sunny days when harvesting garlic. Harvesting garlic moss should be noon on a sunny day. At this time, the plant has less water in the body, and the texture is soft and elastic. Remembering does not break it when bolting. Harvesting garlic should be sunny days so that the outer skin of the dug-out garlic is intact, and the garlic will dry quickly, which can reduce the mildew and deterioration of the garlic during storage.