Garlic and grasshoppers

treebarb Z5 DenverJuly 10, 2011

I initially posted this on the Rocky Mountain Gardening forum, but it's slow over there and I thought I'd get some good advice here as well.

I'm in year two of the grasshoppers from he** invasion. They've completely defoliated the potatoes, spearmint, dahlia's, lobelia's, columbine, nearly everything but the sunflowers, conifers, tomatoes and a few roses. Over the last few days they turned their sights and teeth to the garlic. They've eaten the leaves and left the stalks on each plant.

Do I harvest the garlic now or will the bulbs continue to grow without the leaves?

The garlic was planted last fall in a raised bed with straw mulch in a well amended raised bed. I fertilized with liquid bat guano/worm castings about a month ago. The garlic has grown very well and I was looking forward to harvesting in the next few weeks. Just a few of the leaves were beginning to brown. We've had a lot of rain the last few days but it's going to dry out and heat up later in the week.

Any advice for me?

Thanks,

Barb

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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Wow, I've never had to deal with grasshoppers that bad before. My sympathies go out to you and your garden.
That said, I think your garlic should be fine. It sounds like it was close enough to harvest time that the plants should be able to make decent sized heads without the photosynthesis from the leaves.
I've had rust issues for years that pretty much kill off all the leaves close to harvest time and haven't really seen any negative effects in the garlic size or storability.
I'd advise to harvest at your usual date which should be right around now anyway.
Hope this helps and turns out to be true. Let us know, ok?
-Mark

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:04PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Mark,
Thanks! I was planning on harvesting in the next week or so.
It was not supposed to be a heavy grasshopper year, but I've certainly got them. Someone's suggested nolo bait, which I may try since the hoppers are entrenched here now.

We've had our 6th straight day of monsoon rain with today being the last, then we crank up to the mid 90's. This much rain is very unusual for the high desert here, but we'll take it! I think I'll be pulling the garlic this weekend. This will be my first garlic harvest. The first year growing any plant is an experiment. Even if they're small I'll enjoy them!

I will let you know how it turns out.

Thanks again!

Barb

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 8:28AM
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