Brown spots on garlic cloves

gabwoodSeptember 22, 2013

Im wondering about the spots on the garlic. Im about to plant garlic but not sure if it's ok to plant or not. I don't want to spread disease to my soil. Anyone know what this is? Thanks a lot.

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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it seems to be a fungal issue. When I see spots like that on seed garlic I don't plant it, just in case.

If you really feel like you need to plant it, i'd suggest the fungal soak recommended on "Gourmet garlic gardens" website, which is 1tbs. baking soda/gallon of water, soaked overnight, and 4 min soaked in 100 proof vodka, just before planting.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 12:50PM
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I'm with Mark, it looks like these cloves
if you still wish to plant it, be safest to isolate it from the rest of your stock in an area that you don't intend replanting garlic for a few years if it is diseased.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:38AM
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I pitch these as soon as I see them, and would never use them as planting stock. I also won't plant a clove without its peeling, which helps protect against many soil-borne microbes while the cloves are growing roots.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 9:47AM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Planatus, i'm surprised to hear that about the clove wrappings. I plant tons of cloves without the peeling and never had any problems. The Gourmet garlic website even recommends removing them:
"Garlics clove covers can contain fungal spores, or conidia or the eggs of pests such as mites and are best discarded rather than planted since the first thing the cloves do is to shed them, anyway."

I don't intentionally take the time to remove them but have no problems if they fall off during soaking or planting.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 12:04PM
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The clove sheaths contain enzymes with antimicrobial properties (if youâÂÂre a chemist, the trail starts with alliin lyase). Should the clove get injured, interaction between stored chemicals in clove flesh and sheaths interact to release aromatic allicin, which instantly lets a predator know what they have just bitten into. It is also likely that chemicals that leach out into the soil from the clove sheaths neutralize hostile microbes and attract those more likely to form productive partnerships with plant roots. Removing the clove skins deprives the growing plants of these advantages and defenses. ItâÂÂs a beautiful natural plan.

I can certainly see removing the clove skins from suspicious planting stock, but only to examine the problem before pitching the cloves. Planting naked cloves peppered with fusarium wounds makes me shiver.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 9:17AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Thanks planatus. I have only grown garlics 3 seasons and never remove the cover from the close and never had any sprouting or other problems.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:27PM
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