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greenthumbomaha October 28, 2018 02:34 AM

Is this Mite Damage on Garlic?
2 Attachment(s)
All my purple stripes were in by yesterday. The weather is glorious and will turn cold by weeks end. I wish I had the bed prepared sooner but this nice weather this week was a bonus.

I completed my garlic planting today. The last section was Romanian Red. The other porcelain planted in this section was German Extra Hardy planted yesterday (Miss M yours should be ok, it was from the bought new pile).

I had saved garlic and bought 3 additional bulbs to increase supply. When I got to breaking the last few saved bulbs one was horrible and matches neck rot but the last bulb was suspicious. As shown in the picture the purple color is funky and it looks like sawdust was trying to form on top. I hope I didn't overlook anything while planting, but it could have happened with the last row of bulbs before I stopped.

Too late to remedy now. Going forward I will soak my saved stock in booze even if it is healthy to the eye.

Panic, what malady have I unleashed in my plot?

I am also concerned about a few cloves from bulbs that I planted that I thought were nicked in harvest that may have actually been rot on the bulb (no photos as I threw the damaged clove out and planted the rest of the bulb),

- Lisa

PureHarvest October 30, 2018 07:52 AM

That's tough to tell.
Last fall I had to throw away around 40 pounds of bulbs that were similar to your description.
They looked good until i squeezed them. My fingers sunk into the bulb. When i broke them open, they were all dehydrated and there was some dusty debris like you mention. I assumed bulb mites ruined them. But looking back, I think temps around 65 and humidity under 40 was what dried them out. But the powdery debris was suspicious.

bower October 30, 2018 09:37 AM

That bulb in the top pic is obviously a rot of some kind, not sure what.
Mites are really tiny (really really tiny) so their feeding tends to show up as sort of rusty-orangey spots or dots on the cloves and on the outside, rusty-orange sign of their feeding around the roots, afaik and I believe that's where it starts on the whole. I'm not sure if the orange-brown color is their own calling card or just that fusarium tends to join in on the damaged parts.
They are not considered a major garlic problem in most circumstances and tend to be destroyed by a good curing process.

More damage would happen if not properly cured, and in the ground if conditions are right they can cause some losses - warm and wet iirc is the condition they like. If populations are high in the ground and they have majorly colonized the crop before harvest then some may survive the cure and cause losses in the stored garlic. Afaik, the amount of rusty-orange sign around the roots is a way to assess how bad mites are in any given year, when you pull your crop. Have had lots of garlic with a bit of rust around roots, that cured just fine and had no damage.

To my mind, the pinky-brown color of the rot in the first pic is not at all like the sign of mites I have seen, so I think it's something else.

As for yellow color on purple wrappers, that can be caused by exposure to sun, causing the purple pigment to change to yellow. I have seen it where definitely caused by sun exposure or specific drying conditions - maybe drying faster than normal - (because I had removed outer wrappers) but the affected cloves turned out to be in perfect condition under their yellowed wrapper. So if the cloves are good looking when you peel them and no rot signs, it is probably just a pigment change due to curing conditions.

OTOH, I have read somewhere that yellow spots can be a sign of the dreaded bloat nematode, but again no certainty is offered on that diagnosis, even by the author of the advice. I haven't seen or heard of any bloat nematode in our area, but there's lots about it on the internet.

greenthumbomaha October 30, 2018 11:55 PM

I was particularly alert to inspect for any deformed or suspicious looking bulbs because of the troubles both of you experienced last year. All bulbs that I saved were hard and fully formed, which is a positive note. I think I did have a folded over leaf and scape on one of the bulbs which would explain the damage in first photo but its hard to remember which bulb it was and what I did with it.

The second photo just looks off to me. The bulb is hard, but the skin near the tip looks like it bubbled. All the other bulbs of this variety (not sure which though) had purple coloration to the tip and this one just stopped part way up to the tip where the rough skin is. Underneath it is perfect smooth white.

After writing the above I went to take another look and saw one of the suspicious cloves has a depression shaped like a banana with dark colored damage on the corner of the clove. I'll take a photo and post tomorrow when I can use a better computer.

No rust on the leaves or roots. The first hits on google of garlic bloat nematode were from universities in the northeast area. I didn't see a map of the occurrence of this pest in a quick search but I'd like to find out if they survive here..

I'll be back with a photo tomorrow. Hopefully it will identify the problem.

- Lisa

greenthumbomaha October 31, 2018 09:48 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here are the close ups of the cloves mentioned above. I can't id what is happening in the photo of the clove with the wrinkly tips.

The damaged cloves that I thought were mechanical injuries are likely pathogens, :(

- Lisa

The pathogens got worse while curing in my house . I didn't notice that they were darkened until I took inventory a few weeks ago. Only 4 or 5 bulbs presented this and the bulb is still hard, just ugly.

meganp December 5, 2018 01:53 PM

As Bower mentioned, the yellow splotches do appear similar to bloat nematode symptoms. The last photo with the sclerotia on the clove also resembles Botrytis rot, neither of which are good news sadly. Have you considered sending the affected bulb away for testing? [url][/url]

greenthumbomaha December 12, 2018 03:49 AM

Prepping for garlic is so much work and I'm sad to hear this. Only 5 or so bulbs out of 100 were damaged, but I did replant before I noticed the rots, and in the same spot. The visible damages were on porcelains only.

I don't have any of the badly damaged bulbs, but I can check in with the extension if I come across anything remotely spotted during peeling for culinary use. Ugh!

- Lisa

bower December 12, 2018 02:56 PM

FWIW I think finding a few damaged bulbs is not unusual. Walking the field to rogue out any that don't look good before harvest time is a routine for me. 5% damage doesn't sound bad - I've had up to 20% with at least minor damage from wireworms and/or mites which can usually be cleaned up, but now and then will find the "pink" damage maybe a few percent overall, which is fusarium or another rot and has to be excluded from general harvest. Same at the farm, there's usually something to rogue out on the order of a percent or two.

I think rotation out of alliums is important because those things tend to spread if you repeat in the same spot. I've done it a few times with a lot of amendments and didn't see a huge increase in problems but... it's taking a risk. I try to rotate at least one year out of alliums, two would be better for a long term plan.

greenthumbomaha December 12, 2018 08:43 PM

I'm a little relieved by hearing this, but I'm also balancing this with some paranoia.. a little knowledge goes a long way. In my climate, I have several weeks after harvest to consult with extension and determine what and where to plant going forward. Its sleeping under 4 inches of snow and a big warm up is starting at the end of the week till the Christmas holiday. Freeze and thaw some thing else to worry about.

Garlic growing is nerve wracking.

- Lisa

JRinPA December 17, 2018 06:27 PM

Did you soak that garlic before planting? I did the baking soda and water, then alcohol wash.

I had one bad bulb, and its cloves floated when all the others sank.

I think I am going to plant some more this week. I have plenty left and it is easy enough to do. I want to plant a row along the border of my comm garden patch. I prepped it and then ran out of soaked bulbs a month back...and never got back there until this weekend.

greenthumbomaha December 17, 2018 07:46 PM

JR, if your question was directed at me, no I didn't soak, but it did cross my mind even before I noticed some of the bulbs were damaged while I was finishing planting, and in the same spot no less. I am for sure old enough to purchase a big bottle of vodka! One for me, one for German Extra Hardy, another for me...

If I remember correctly, the damaged bulbs were from 1 year of saved seed, originally from a certified bloat free seller in Wisconsin. I bought additional seed of the same variety, same seller, this year. So maybe one of them nematodes got lost in my soil .... hope not. The area cost quite a bit to prep. It was tilled by a landscaper and I spent a ton of $$ adding worm castings to each clove.

- Lisa

JRinPA December 17, 2018 08:17 PM

Well hopefully they turn out okay. I did the baking soda/alcohol last year and they were beautiful.

I am going to break some bulbs and soak some tonight, and get them out tomorrow. I think they should be fine if I get them out and covered with leaf mulch, even though it is late in the season. The ground is nowhere near frozen. I'll bet they sprout within a week of the bulbs I planted in early November. At this point it will only take an hour to plant, may as well.

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