Garlic Crop Issues In Midwest

Okiedawn OK Zone 7August 20, 2012

Soon it will be time to plant garlic. For some of us, it will be the same old fall planting routine as always. However, in parts of the Midwest, garlic planting may never be the same again. What has happened there is so much more serious than just having drought destroy your harvest.

The attached link from the Vegetable Forum here at GW explains what has occurred in Minnesota and in some other parts of the midwest this year. It is simply awful.

If you haven't ordered your garlic for fall planting already, I'd suggest it might be wise to order early. With many midwestern suppliers wiped out, the supply of garlic for fall planting will be more limited this year. I'd focus on western and southern suppliers this year in light of what has happened.

Jay, Have you seen this or heard about it? When I saw it on the Veggie forum, it was the first I'd heard of it. When I began reading Tom's OP, I thought maybe only Wisconsin was affected, but as I read further, I saw it is happening in some other states as well, including the home of SSE. I hope Martin's garlic is okay, and I fear it may not be.


Here is a link that might be useful: Minnesota Garlic Crop Wiped Out

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Carmen Peterson

WOW. That is all I can say. I was not intending on buying bulbs but was going to try from the store bought garlic. I always over buy and some tend to sprout. Any ideas on this?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 6:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No I hadn't heard about it. I haven't roamed the forums the last few years like I used to. I may send an email to Martin. I know We Grow Garlic in Wisconsin had garlic for sale this year. They are the couple who Martin has helped with their garlic growing. I purchased a few varieties from NM for them that I had been wanting to try. She didn't say anything about these issues so take it they haven't had any problems yet. From reading the thread you linked to it seems MN was hit hard. I really never noticed many unusual problems this year. Had bottom rot on 2 bulbs of one variety but all the rest were ok. I will have several extras this year. I hope to prepare my bed this week and also start sorting bulbs. I have 3 I can think of I'm sending some bulbs too. After I send them and sort out what I'm going to plant I would be glad to share the rest with anyone. Because this year I'm going to take the surplus and make sure they are used and don't end up ruining. Some of the smaller bulbs I may take to the market and sell. I have never had any testing done. So no guarantee other than they came from healthy plants and the bulbs look nice. If I find out there is a chance there could be issues in this area I may test a few then. Jay

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 6:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I assuming you are speaking of the same Martin that is on another forum. He had a good garlic harvest & was able to share with many! Think I saw 52 shares he packaged & mailed out today. Think it is all spoken for. Thankfully I saw the post early & have a share headed my way!
This season my garlic was beaten down by one of the many hail storms so it was tiny when I harvested it.

This yrs weather shows once again why it is important we all learn how to save seed to preserve our favorites.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 7:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Carmen, You generally can plant grocery store garlic and it will sprout and grow just fine. You would want to buy it in advance and let it sit in a cool, dry location for a while in case it has been sprayed with anti-sprouting agents to prevent it from sprouting in the grocery stores. Buying it in advance of planting it and letting it sit would give those anti-sprouting agents a chance to wear off and lose their effectiveness. Or, you could buy garlic that was raised organically.

Jay, I was wondering about the folks at We Grow Great Garlic because of the mention later in the thread that it had been found in Wisconsin and Iowa. Hopefully it is not as widespread in those two states as it seems to be in Wisconsin. I noticed that SSE has a phytoplasma alert on their garlic page, and if you click on it, it takes you to the alert posted by Plum Creek.

I hadn't heard anything about phytoplasma in garlic but had heard that in Minnesota they were seeing a lot of aster yellows in echinaceas. I guess those darn little leafhoppers have been really busy.

Cathy, Yes, that's him and thanks for updating us on his harvest. I remember when Martin used to post a lot on Garden Web and, via Jay, knew of all the garlic he grows and, of course, we all know of his interest in heirlooms. I am relieved for his sake to hear he harvested and his crop is fine. It is a shame to have so many garlic growers hit by aster yellows, but it is so much worse when it happens to the folks who are keeping many heirloom garlic varieties alive and in use.

I don't think there is anything you didn't have happen there in your garden this year. Maybe 2013 will be better. Too bad the hail didn't smash all the grasshoppers that were plaguing your crops earlier this summer. That would have been poetic justice.

I hope your fall garden is growing well.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 8:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I sent Martin an email but haven't heard back yet. Not sure what is happening as he stated else where that there maybe no We Grow Garlic in WI next year. And also he hints he may not be growing his namesake garlic next year. I will attach a link to the thread. I'm interested in what he has to say about the disease issues. He is always very informed and I trust his opinions. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: Martin's Garlic

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is sad for him and bad news for food buyers. I have planted a little garlic in my life, but not like some of you plant. I know Jay plants a lot and Chandra must plant a ton to get the production he gets, so I am curious to know how much you plant and how much space it takes.

I picked up a bag of garlic at Sam's the other day which I am using in the kitchen, but bought it with the idea that I would try planting some of it also.

Now I am wondering if it would be a good idea to plant it under row cover for a little added protection. Do you think we are still safe to plant out in the open here?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Carol garlic is a fairly heavy feeder. When I hear from Martin I will post what he has to say. In my opinion we are still safe. I haven't heard anything from anyone in this area or any of the extension services. The only concern I would have is where the garlic is from. I think I'm about finished buying new garlic. But have purchased from at least 5-6 sources total. I haven't noticed anything and will be all bulbs I plant are healthy. I usually plant two 70' rows. Cloves 6-8 inches apart and rows 12-18 inches apart. This has done well for me. I sometime squeeze some more in around the garden. I didn't count this year but usually between 225-275 cloves. Jay

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 6:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Jay, That is bad news and it is the very news I feared. I just assumed if the garlic crop of the OP of the garlic thread was wiped out in Minnesota, than many others in that part of the country might have had the same problem occur. The specific choice of words Martin used in reference to We Grow Great Garlic stunned me. It is hard to tell if he is just saying they won't be able to sell anything next year or if he is implying that a huge crop loss may have driven them out of the business.

I trust whatever Martin says too, which is one reason why I asked if you had heard anything from him on this topic.

Carol, I plant about a 40' row and I plant them 4 to 6" apart. I am just a casual garlic grower, and generally plant from grocery store garlic. I'd like to get more into it, but I always plant so many things and get overwhelmed with putting up the food from the big harvest, so I am trying to simplify my gardening by growing fewer varieties, not more. Sometimes I daydream of simplifying things by only growing one variety of each vegetable, except tomatoes, but I know I'll never cut back to that extent.

I like to plant a ring of garlic around the base of each fruit tree. It is said to repel borers, and I've only had one fruit tree get hit by borers (the peach tree we took out this year) so maybe the garlic does work to repel them.

With all the garlic Jay grows, he'll never have to worry about being attacked by vampires.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sams club garlic comes from China. You may want to get some from the farmers market to plant, as long as you know it was locally grown.
We have lots of poultry. I had an 8x8 movable pen that I left in place for 2 months. I allowed the birds to scratch & fertilize the ground well. A month after I moved the pen I planted my garlic & never had to worry with weeds! I plan on trying to do the same this yr.

We have had a rough yr with bugs & hail storms. But our tomato harvest has been FABOULOUS. Most other things were not as successful as I hoped for, but the garden has provided us with plenty.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Thanks for the alert. Very sad for MN garlic growers. We gadeners always wish for the early spring, but was not aware early warmup has so many drawbacks.

I not yet ordered some of the varieties Jay recommended. In the past, I am growing garlic from the store bought (walmart, home depot, homeland etc), they seems to be doing great. But all taste same, I come to know about different flavors and choices after Jay. I am excited plant at least 5-6 type this year.

Garlic is most easiest vegetable I ever grown. Just plant cloves in Oct and forget about them until harvest time in April/May. I also tried inter-cropping spring vegetables in garlic beds when garlic are still growing by removing few garlic for making room for the spring plants. This year I planted tomatoes in garlic beds as garlic were not done at the time of early tomato planting.

I plant them in the raised bed at 4" spacing in all directions, last year I planted two beds of 16x4ft, we have enough harvest last of entire year cooking and making garlic pickles and some for gifts. Other than beds as a main crop, I also plant few cloves here and there in flower beds, in rose garden, etc.

Jay, I yet to order my garlic for fall planting. I need to look at your emails and sources to order tonight.

regards -Chandra

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I always think I will plant garlic but I never seem to get it done at the right time. One year I bought garlic from a vendor at one of the Baker Creek festivals, and I still didn't get it planted. I am always 'gung-ho' in Spring, but by Fall I can't seem to do what I need to do. I had hoped to start Fall things in July and August, but it was so hot that I didn't even want to go outside.

I did plant a little bed of leaf lettuce and a tub of pole beans, which may or may not have time to produce. I still have Zuchetta squash, peppers, and a cantaloupe patch that still looks healthy, but I haven't had any melons yet. I had a trellis of pole beans that had just started to bloom when the horrible heat started. I just left them there and gave them water occasionally, and they are leafing out again, so maybe they will finally produce.

My winter squash looks a lot like Larry's melon patch, so most of that is history. One vine seems to be hanging on, but I found squash bug eggs on it a few days ago. I have a few cowpea vines, but they aren't doing much.

Another possum was in my garden last night, so it's time to set the trap again.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 2:33PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
asparagus is up
Went out to plant corn and peas and noticed I had about...
mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma
Any reason not to go ahead and plant now?
I'm seeing nothing even close to below 40 for the next...
ID help
I love spring time. I get to start cleaning out the...
The Twenty 'Best' Tomatoes
The latest issue of Mother Earth News has their list...
Okiedawn OK Zone 7
Tomatoes in Oklahoma: Part I, Varieties/Types
We've been discussing several tomato-related topics...
Okiedawn OK Zone 7
Sponsored Products
Progress Lighting Recessed Lighting 8 in. Remodel Sloped Ceiling Recessed
$79.47 | Home Depot
Waterproof RGB LED Neon, by the Meter
Progress Lighting Recessed Lighting 8 in. New Construction Sloped Ceiling
$67.41 | Home Depot
Coffee Capsule Basket
$11.99 | zulily
Rosle Garlic Press
$45.00 | FRONTGATE
SAPO Stainless Steel Soap by Blomus
$15.29 | Lumens
Madison Park Warner 7-Piece Comforter Set
Palram Cold Frame Double 3' x 3' Mini Greenhouse
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™