• Our Allium Products

  • Garlico Marlborough grows garlic, shallots and onion seeds on 60-70ha of leased land around Blenheim. The garlic and shallots are primarily for domestic sale and the onion seeds grown under contract for export.

    We use seed (or cloves) we have grown and harvested ourselves. This ensures our seed is clean, healthy and free of soil borne diseases that could play havoc with next season's yield.

    With 10-15 cloves per bulb and 16 cloves planted per metre, you can imagine the huge number of cloves required to be planted each season to plant out 60 acres. With the assistance of a machine, cloves are individually sown all within a week.

    Our garlic and shallots are available in groceries and supermarkets around New Zealand. We also have a shop onsite for smaller orders. Some of the local restaurants buy direct from us.

    We also partner with Blackball Black Garlic, which takes 5 weeks to produce using Garlico Garlic. Visit their website https://www.blackballblackgarlic.co.nz/ to learn more.


  • Garlic

  • Just as you would do when growing garlic in your own vegetable patch, garlic cloves are traditionally planted on the shortest day of the year, in June. Then, in between feeding and watering, it's a waiting game for the mature crop to be harvested on the longest day of the year.

    The first activity in growing garlic is ground preparation for planting of two varieties of garlic in June, covering 28ha. The varieties we plant are Inra and Pesto.

    We save and treat our own planting cloves every year. These are the cloves from between one and two bulbs from the previous season, separated and prepared for planting. Planting rate is 16 cloves per metre. Machine sowing means all 28ha can be sown within a week.

    A garlic clove must be nurtured well during its early stage of growth. Garlic growing demands healthy green tops free of white rot and nematodes, high daylight hours, water and food (in particular, nitrogen). The bulb only begins to fill out during the last few weeks of the growing period in December, and it can literally double in size within a matter of weeks.

    Garlic won't recover if it dries out at any stage of the growing cycle, so drought fighting can be a common challenge for growers during the searing Marlborough summer months.

    Garlic harvesting is done during January, all mechanically lifted, dirt separated and binned for drying. Yields are up to 17 tonne/ha green weight, about half of which is lost during drying and trimming.

    After garlic bulbs are harvested and green tops removed, they need to dry thoroughly and cure by way of a three-week drying process to develop a strong garlic flavour. If you were to eat fresh garlic straight from the ground it would be much milder and won’t have the oomph or flavour as you’d expect from a cured bulb.

    Garlic will keep some seven to eight months in cool, dry storage. The storage bins are used by the packhouse during the autumn and winter so that garlic can be cleaned and packed for distribution and sale – either in 10kg boxes of loose cloves or in 100g bags for pre-packed sales in supermarkets.

    New Zealand grown garlic must adhere to strict NZGAP (industry standard) protocols, where spray and fertiliser usage records must be disclosed and recorded. The same unfortunately can't be said for imported garlic.

    Growing garlic in huge quantities takes much planning. White Rot or nematodes (microscopic worms that feed on bacteria, fungi) can create havoc in the soil and render it futile for repeat garlic crops. Therefore often garlic will need to be planted out in fresh paddocks each season to ensure the best soil and pH levels are in place.

    Marlborough offers ideal growing conditions for garlic. Garlic needs a winning combination of chilling time (a good frost doesn’t hurt) and hot dry sun. Geographically, further north garlic growers often battle against humidity, whilst further south it's colder and the plants don't get the sunshine hours required.

  • Shallots

  • Shallots are an expensive crop to grow and Garlico plants around 12ha of shallots annually, harvested at the end of March.

    They are from the allium family which includes onions, garlic, leeks, ginger and spring onions.

    According to Vegetables New Zealand, only 30ha of shallots are grown annually in NZ, by eight growers.

  • Onion Seeds

  • Onion Flowering Season By Garlico Marlborough Ltd In Blenheim NZ
    Bee Pollination Of Onion Flower By Garlico Marlborough Ltd In Blenheim NZ
  • Our third crop is onion seed, covering 20ha annually, which has to be picked by hand during February by 35 to 50 pickers. Mechanical harvesting would leave too many seeds on the ground.

    A variety of seed is grown for five seed companies. The seed heads are collected into bins which are then sent to seed dressing companies.

    Onion seed requires pollination by bees from mid-December for about 6 weeks.