Need garlic growing help please.

keltickreek(5)July 27, 2014

Hi all,

So I'll try to keep this short but give as much info as possible.

2 years ago I bought a few lbs of garlic seed from a couple different sources.

Harvest last year was good, lost a bit to too much water and small things but not bad for a first year. One of the strains, Hungarian, seemed a little moist and brown on the bottom, with the root stem kinda peeling away from the bulbs. Just by instinct I put them aside and took care of the rest with curing etc,

Last year I planted this years stock,
(Error 1) planted in same location as last year.
(Error 2) thru ignorance I planted some of the Hungarian in the plot with other garlic.

This year almost half the garlic had the same browny kinda rot and now when I'm looking closer i see tiny oval shaped white bugs running in and out of the root openings and pretty sure I saw a couple maybe 1/4 inch white worms swimming between the layers of skin when I peel it away.

So... I am not using any stock from last year for this year, we are ordering brand new stuff from a couple pro garlic growers, we are sanitizing all work areas and utensils and moving this years plot 200 ft away.

I googled a bit but didn't see anything super useful so thought id come to the experts.

What is this that has infected my garlic and soil and how do i deal with it effectively? We are hoping to start growing our garlic every year so I have to nip this in the bulb now...

Any help would be great appreciated, we are planting maybe 20 lbs this year and couldn't stomach this continuing.

Thank you in advance


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makalu_gw(z5b NY)

Without pictures it's a bit of a guess but mine would be potentially one of the garlic root rots (such as Fusarium) combined with onion root maggots. Moving to a new growing spot is a good idea along with making sure that any infected alliums are cleaned out of your garden and destroyed to lessen any hosts for overwintering bugs.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:46PM
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If I were in your situation I would try a "short cycle" cover crop of mustard in the new site. Plant it now, and chop it into the soil when it's big and green, a week or so before planting your garlic. It's the closest thing there is to an organic soil fungicide, and might suppress soil-borne diseases.

Also in cold climates you can use a nurse crop or companion crop of oats, which will winterkill and stand through winter as a mulch. The soil likes it, and the garlic doesn't seem to mind.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Thank you so much for you help. I'll get on this right away... Have buckwheat anted ATM but will add the mustard as well.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:44PM
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