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Old October 30, 2018   #3
bower's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 6,760

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.
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