Effect of Row Spacing on Garlic Yield, Quality and Net Returns

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2024: $7,559.00
Projected End Date: 02/28/2025
Grant Recipient: Rome Specialties, Inc. (DBA: "Saunderstown Garlic Farm")
Region: Northeast
State: Rhode Island
Project Leader:
Aaron Rome
Rome Specialties, Inc. (DBA: "Saunderstown Garlic Farm")


  • Vegetables: garlic


  • Crop Production: cropping systems
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns

    Proposal summary:

    This project addresses the need to optimize garlic production on
    a small farm while maximizing profitability. The objective is to
    compare the agronomic and economic effects of two different row
    spacing configurations for garlic production. Specifically, the
    study aims to determine if there are differences in yield, bulb
    size, and the percentage of high-value bulbs (> 2” diameter)
    between the two row-spacing setups.

    The problem lies in the limited space of the small farm, where
    every square foot matters for financial sustainability. Larger
    garlic bulbs are desirable as they yield higher prices and
    contribute to better returns. The project seeks to investigate
    whether changing the row spacing configuration from 3-rows/bed to
    4-rows/bed can provide superior economic results. This experiment
    was initiated using a tow-behind implement with adjustable
    spacing, offering the ability to test both configurations

    The significance of this research extends to garlic growers in
    the Northeast, especially those involved in seed garlic
    production, small-scale farming, and using no-till or permanent
    bed methods. The project's findings could potentially lead to
    higher profits by either increasing the seed garlic yield or
    optimizing spacing strategies. For example, if 3-row spacing
    proves to result in larger bulb sizes, it could lead to increased
    profits for seed garlic sales. Conversely, if 4-row spacing is
    more beneficial, it could encourage growers to adopt this
    strategy confidently.

    This project has the potential to inform and benefit a wide range
    of garlic growers, making it a valuable endeavor for the
    agricultural community.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    This project seeks to compare the agronomic and economic effects
    of  2 row spacing configurations for garlic production.
      Specifically, our objectives are to determine if the
    following response variables differ between row-spacing

    1. Yield
    2. Bulb size
    3. Percentage of high-value bulbs (> 2”

    Additionally, we will perform an analysis of net returns as a
    function of garlic row-spacing to determine the most economically
    viable system.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.