Cultivating Garlic: Key Issues and Tips to Be Aware Of
Garlic is a popular crop that can be grown in many gardens. Planting garlic requires careful preparation and attention to detail, as any mistakes or oversights can lead to major losses. Last week, I planted my garlic crop with the last section being Romanian Red. While planting, I noticed one of the bulbs was suspicious and had an unusual purple coloration. Upon further inspection, it looked like sawdust was trying to form on top.
I was particularly alert to inspect for any deformed or suspicious looking bulbs due to issues experienced by other gardeners last year. All bulbs that I saved were hard and fully formed, which is a positive note. However, upon closer examination, I found a depression shaped like a banana with dark colored damage on the corner of the clove. The damaged cloves likely contained pathogens that worsened while curing in my house.
The yellow splotches appeared similar to bloat nematode symptoms and the sclerotia on the clove resembled Botrytis rot. To ensure accuracy and clarity, I considered sending the affected bulb away for testing. Unfortunately, there is no way to remedy this issue now since the garlic has already been planted. Going forward, I will soak my saved stock in booze even if it appears healthy to the eye.
Mites are tiny creatures that feed on garlic crops and can cause significant losses if not properly cured. Warm and wet conditions are ideal for mite populations, so it is important to monitor temperature and humidity levels when storing garlic. Mites tend to leave behind rusty-orange spots or dots on cloves and around roots, so these signs should be monitored closely for early detection. If mite populations become too high before harvest, some may survive the cure and cause losses in stored garlic.
Overall, it is essential to pay close attention when planting garlic and inspect all bulbs carefully for any potential issues or problems. Additionally, proper curing techniques must be followed to prevent losses from mites or other pests. Finally, if unsure about any abnormalities or damage present on garlic bulbs, consider sending them away for testing for accurate results and peace of mind.
What caused the damage to the garlic bulbs?
The damage to the garlic bulbs may have been caused by bulb mites, fusarium, bloat nematode, or Botrytis rot.
How can I prevent similar issues in the future?
To prevent similar issues in the future, it is recommended to soak saved stock in booze even if it appears healthy to the eye and to inspect for any deformed or suspicious looking bulbs. Additionally, consider sending affected bulbs away for testing.
What should I do if I find suspicious looking bulbs?
If you find suspicious looking bulbs, take close up photos of them and consider sending them away for testing. Additionally, it is important to discard any affected bulbs and thoroughly clean the area where they were stored.
How can I tell if the damage is caused by mites?
To determine if the damage is caused by mites, look for small puncture marks on the garlic bulb's skin. Additionally, you may be able to see tiny mites crawling around the garlic bulb or in the soil.
What should I do if I find mites on my garlic bulbs?
If you find mites on your garlic bulbs, it is important to discard any affected bulbs and thoroughly clean the area where they were stored. Additionally, consider using a pesticide or insecticide to treat the area and prevent further infestations.