Garlic, not so invincible


Jed

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I've been on a bit of a crusade for the past 15 years spreading the word of a nasty disease that affects the entire onion family.Onion white root rot ,or by it's scientific name, Sclerotium cepivorum. So why am I that interested? Well about 18 years ago I started to notice by small commercial crop of garlic being affected by a nasty smelling black rot at harvest. I put it down to the wet summer we had and left it at that. I threw the sick garlic stems and all into the compost heap. Isn't that where we are told to throw vegetative material and because compost gets hot kills al pests and diseases. Not this one. Oh no. :eek: The spore of this fungal disease is hard enough to withstand the hot compost heap and is viable for 20 years. The following year being a good gardener, I used the compost as manure for my next garlic crop. You guessed it. It got wiped out. 90% of my crop was affected. I got in touch with the university and found a post graduate student who happened to be doing research there, for the onion industry in my state.
To cut the story short, I got the diagnoses, discovered also that I unwittingly a few years earlier, brought the disease home via a super market in a 10kg net bag of onions, where some of the rotting ones made it to the compost.

I still grow garlic to this day and last year only had 5% rot. :rolleyes: I now burn all onion/garlic material, store bought or my own. That is, no skins or stems make into the compost.So take it from my experience. Do not put any rotting vegetable matter back into your compost. You may be infecting your vegetable patch.
 
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Thanks for the heads up! That's very useful information. I'm sorry for what happened to you :(
 

zigs

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I had 5000 Garlic Bulbs wiped out by it, which was a pity, as I was starting to supply most of the local pubs & greengrocers.
 
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Idaho is really hard to get garlic sets, they have to be certified disease free, I never compost onion or garlic parts for that reason. Thanks for the reminder.
 

Jed

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I had 5000 Garlic Bulbs wiped out by it, which was a pity, as I was starting to supply most of the local pubs & greengrocers.

Can you still grow garlic in other areas of your property? How did you deal with the rotting garlic?

Idaho is really hard to get garlic sets, they have to be certified disease free, I never compost onion or garlic parts for that reason. Thanks for the reminder.

I had no idea the disease is well known in the US. In Australia it must be a recent problem as no one really knows much about it in the organic movement. The researcher, Dr. Dean Metcalf who diagnosed my problem, has done some good work here, and know has his own company dealing with it in an organic way. I've only just seen this site myself and found it interesting.
http://www.biocontrol.net.au/biocontrol-onion-white-root-rot.php

And Dean the researcher who diagnosed my garlic problem.
http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2010/s2818196.htm
 
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Wow, what a drag to lose so much of your crop that way. This makes me more determined than ever to grow whatever food plants I can in containers. I was unsure about composting infected plants though, thanks for the heads up!
 
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zigs

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Can you still grow garlic in other areas of your property? How did you deal with the rotting garlic?
[/quote]

That was on a field I was renting from a farmer, as soon as I got the soil in good condition he announced that he wanted the field back as he was building a house there.
 

Jed

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That was on a field I was renting from a farmer, as soon as I got the soil in good condition he announced that he wanted the field back as he was building a house there.
That must have been some consolation.Handing back an infected garden for some other purpose other than for someone else to find out.
 
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Garlic has so many benefits for your health. I use it a lot. My godmother grows it in the country side and I always get some from her for the winter.
 

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That must have been some consolation.Handing back an infected garden for some other purpose other than for someone else to find out.

Bet he never had any luck growing alliums afterwards:D
 
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zigs

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It is common. No idea where it came from, the field had been fallow for years. Before that it was a commercial corgette farm, so no clue there.

Talking of Onions, we had a terrible year due to the wet weather allowing the slugs to run riot, they ate all the summer crop down to the ground. Last year I won a prize for my oinions, this year i'm having to by them from the shop.

Just noticed the eaten onions have come back from the roots as spring onions, at least i'll get something before they bolt in the spring.
 

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Just noticed the eaten onions have come back from the roots as spring onions, at least i'll get something before they bolt in the spring.
Well done for a crop failure. Getting a second chance.:)
Would you be in the UK?
I saw an interesting doco on the TV show Coasts about the French Bretons taking their famous onions to Britain last century riding bicycles laden with strings of onions.I wondered why the British didn't grow onions.:confused:
Pic of Onion Johnnies
images
 

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Well done for a crop failure. Getting a second chance.:)
Would you be in the UK?
I saw an interesting doco on the TV show Coasts about the French Bretons taking their famous onions to Britain last century riding bicycles laden with strings of onions.I wondered why the British didn't grow onions.:confused:
Pic of Onion Johnnies
images

I'm near the South Coast in England. We still get onion sellers coming from France, dressed just like that and with the bike, only now they drive over here & keep the bike & Onions in the back of a van:D

I watch Coast, not only is it a good program, but I like to count the number of times Neil Oliver says "Woruld" think 14 time in one episode is the record so far.

I'm normally self sufficient in onions, this year has just been a disaster though. Usually got spring onions on the go for when the maincrop run out.

Had an onion disaster a year ago last august. Had a Huge Kelsae Onion growing in a large clay pot, the pot was wet when I tried to move it. Dropped it on my foot, breaking both pot & foot. Had to use a walking stick for best part of a year.
 

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I'm near the South Coast in England. We still get onion sellers coming from France, dressed just like that and with the bike, only now they drive over here & keep the bike & Onions in the back of a van:D
I watch Coast, not only is it a good program, but I like to count the number of times Neil Oliver says "Woruld" think 14 time in one episode is the record so far.
I'm normally self sufficient in onions, this year has just been a disaster though. Usually got spring onions on the go for when the maincrop run out.
Had an onion disaster a year ago last august. Had a Huge Kelsae Onion growing in a large clay pot, the pot was wet when I tried to move it. Dropped it on my foot, breaking both pot & foot. Had to use a walking stick for best part of a year.

Blimey, breaking your foot like that. It must have been a real pain in the proverbial.:(
Coast is so fascinating. If any show would get me out of my comfort zone and make me travel to the ends of the earth that one would.
I also saw a show last night with David Attenboroug in the Kew gardens.
Another reason to get to the UK.:)
 

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Would you beleive it, a few weeks later I was in the woods looking up at the trees for Oyster Mushrooms & I hit a stump with the other foot.

David A is great, got a signed copy of The Trials of Life somewhere.
 
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Jed

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Would you beleive it, a few weeks later I was in the woods looking up at the trees for Oyster Mushrooms & I hit a stump with the other foot.

David A is great, got a signed copy of The Trials of Life somewhere.

You have been going through the wars zigs. Have you considered staying in bed and not getting up. :confused:
David A is a legend. He has brought conservation values to the many.
You must be stoked to have a book signed by him.:)
 

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:D It did occur to me. Having a walking stick had its advantages, i'm a National Trust member, when we visited places they would take one look at the stick & then arrange the mini bus or golf cart to get us round the gardens.
 

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:D It did occur to me. Having a walking stick had its advantages, i'm a National Trust member, when we visited places they would take one look at the stick & then arrange the mini bus or golf cart to get us round the gardens.
Nothing like the fringe benefits of getting old, well maybe.Do you still carry a stick for a bit of a walk? I'm unsure what it's like over in the UK but I'm very polite and open doors and ensure people with leg problems have a seat.
 
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zigs

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Nothing like the fringe benefits of getting old, well maybe.Do you still carry a stick for a bit of a walk? I'm unsure what it's like over in the UK but I'm very polite and open doors and ensure people with leg problems have a seat.

Still got it in the back of the car for any strenuous garden visits. Yep, had all the door holding & giving up seats stuff, restores your faith in humanity.

Going back to onions, just read of someone peeling them in a bowl of water to stop the fumes making their eyes water. But they saved the water as it is full of sulphur, added a drop of seaweed extract & used it to spray Roses against black spot fungus.

Thats illegal in the EU, but i'm sure OZ is more sensible when it comes to things like that.
 

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