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Garlic issues with 6 out of about 60 bulbs

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1 Garlic issues with 6 out of about 60 bulbs on Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:11 am

CynthiaM

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I was choosing some of the garlic bulbs yesterday to ready for breaking apart and planting.  I would say about 8 bulbs out of about 60 had an issue.  These 60 are the largest bulbs, not any of the smaller bulbs were affected, only the large ones.  I have grown garlic for years and have not encountered this before.  I grow Fish Lake #3 variety.

Take a close look at these photos and please tell me if anyone has encountered what you will be seeing.  None of these cloves will be planted.  A good many of the cloves will be fine for consumption, if I cut off the decayed part.  Garlic, funny thing. I rotate the crop each year and where they grew this year was in a new area of the garden.  Won’t be planting in this particular spot again.  I do not know if it is a soil born disease or nutrient or watering issue.  I would appreciate comments.  Also I had encountered when harvesting, about 6 bulbs that had began to develop cloves to a good degree, but then some kind of mildew set in, the bulbs did not form further and the stalks basically rotted.  I do not know what causes this either.

And....I have always thought from studying garlic growing, that the cloves should not have the outer paper skin removed.  Now I question this, as a friend, who is planting garlic for resale, (planted about 2,000 cloves) said that the paper skin should be removed.  I have never done this, and now wonder if it should be?  Does anyone skin their garlic cloves before planting.  She said she put her cloves in hot water for a couple of minutes (not  boiling, just hot) and the skins came off easily. Anyone?  Peel or not to peel?  Have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.

This is distressing because something seriously went wrong.

The bulb appeared to look OK, but seemed a little withered and off-coloured near the stalk.

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The bulbs did not look whiteish as they should, but appeared a golden colour

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The top of the clove had shrunk down and had began to turn dark

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There was brown on the top of the clove and a sticky residue was on my fingers.  Just not nice and this is very disturbing

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Some of the bulbs had cloves that had not turned brown at the top, but I am sure will soon.  They will absolutely not be used for replanting, so this is not issue, but to know what occurred would be a very good thing.

2 Re: Garlic issues with 6 out of about 60 bulbs on Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:10 am

heda gobbler

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Don't know garlic well enough to suggest anything, but how old are these bulbs? Could something have happened in storage? I agree I wouldn't replant in the same location.

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3 Re: Garlic issues with 6 out of about 60 bulbs on Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:08 am

Country Thyme Farm

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From those pictures it looks physical, like somebody stepped or drove on them before you dug them.

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4 Re: Garlic issues with 6 out of about 60 bulbs on Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:26 pm

Magdelan

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I'm with Country Thyme Farm, you know when you bruise garlic it gets a "watery" look (for lack of better description). Maybe it got bruised a while back and the darkening is the oils oxidizing and then decaying? Wish I had a better suggestion. Maybe too much water at the wrong moment or something - you know how tomatoes go brown underneath and rot when too much water??

I am such a garlic fan. I peeled my garlic cloves, good grief, takes forever cause you can't nick the root area at all - guess that is why your friend uses the water. I peeled all my garlic and then freaked out (vulnerable to social pressure Embarassed ) because the neighbors said they never do that (completely dismissing my previous planting success with peeling - what a sheep Shocked ). I worried that mine wouldn't work at all and phoned the nearest garlic farm about it, thinking I had ruined my crop potential. We are new to gardening at this elevation. They said they don't peel theirs but not to worry, would still work fine and make sure to mulch. Whew! Next year I won't peel, lot of fuss and the bulbs grow well that way anyway so why bother.

CynthiaM

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The growers we buy garlic from as we don't grow it ourselves, yet, they had a similar problem, too.  They thought it was from harvesting, then we had an intense heat wave while it was drying in their shed.  It cooked a lot of it, and now they are getting returns and complaints about black/rotten tops, just like yours in the pic.
Not sure what causes it, but it was experienced here too-hopefully just a weather issue...?
This was a comment made elsewhere to my post.  And to me this makes the most sense.  The garlic was not stepped on, nor driven on, smiling.  Only some of the bulbs were affected, like I said about 6 in 60.  The big, big bulbs, the smaller bulbs were unaffected.  I do wonder weather for surely.  I purchased a different variety of garlic a couple of weeks ago, to give a whirl, the name was Continental, evidently a long, long keeper.  I will grow it in a separate area and see if it is as nice as the variety (Fish Lake #3) which I love and grow lots of.  I hang my garlic in the gazebo for the curing process, lots of wind circulation there.  And now actually, wonder if some of the garlic bulbs may have hung where sun reached them, that is possible.  Although I have always hung the garlic there, well for 2 prior seasons.  It is just weird.  The Continental garlic I purchased did not look that great.  It was huge, lovely bulbs, but I did not like the colour of the inside skin that surrounds the cloves.  The outside skin was white, but clove skin was yellow.  The same hue as what my problem garlic was.  So I think that perhaps even this variety may have been going to get this issue too.  I have never seen yellow skin on garlic cloves.  I think it is heat related.  The more I think about it.  It was very, very hot for a couple of weeks and I bet the sun cooked some of them.  I won't dry on that side of the gazebo again, just never thought about it.  Ya, so, probably not disease at all, just too hot.  Have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.

Magdelan

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sounds like the answer CynthiaM. Relief to get to the bottom of it. Amazing we can get so hot up here. I have a variety of garlic in, some from Salt Spring Island and the one I like the best comes from a woman in Penticton but the Czech variety from SSI is also equal.

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