Common Disease Problems
Blue Mold: Bruising or mechanical injury can cause a blue mold to form on the injured part of the bulb. This is harmless to the bulb. Burpee Recommends: Carefully washed off the bulb prior to planting. Dust with a fungicide recommended by your Cooperative Extension Service.
Botrytis: This fungus causes a grey mold in the necks and bulbs. It thrives in cool wet weather conditions. Burpee Recommends: Remove affected plant parts, avoid watering at night and getting water on the plant when watering. Make sure plants have good air circulation. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations.
Downy Mildew: This fungus causes whitish grey patches on the undersides and eventually both sides of the leaves. Burpee Recommends: Rotate crops with plants in a different family. Avoid overhead watering. Provide adequate air circulation, do not overcrowd plants. Do not work around plants when they are wet.
Pink Root Rot: A fungus that attacks roots causing them to turn a light pink, then red and eventually purple-brown and causing them to shrivel. Infected plants show signs of nutrient deficiencies and drought because the roots cannot take up water and nutrients. Plants are stunted. The disease lives in the soil for several years and thrives in warm temperatures. Burpee Recommends: Plant as early as possible so the bulb of the plant growth will be in cooler temperatures. Rotate crops and plant resistant varieties.
Rust: A number of fungus diseases that rust colored spots on foliage and stalks. Burpee Recommends: Plant resistant varieties. Practice crop rotation. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for recommendations.
Common Pest and Cultural Problems
Bulb Mites: Shiny, creamy white, bulbous-appearing mites. They penetrate the outer layer of the tissue creating openings for rotting organisms. They are most damaging during cool, wet weather when plant growth is slowed down. Burpee Recommends: Crop rotation. Clean cloves before planting.
Bulb Nematodes: Microscopic worm-like pests that live and reproduce inside the garlic bulb, feeding on the stems, leaves and bulbs. It can live for several years in the soil. Burpee Recommends: You can have your soil tested by your local Cooperative Extension Service to see if you have nematodes. Do not plant into infested soil and do not plant related crops into the soil for several years.
Leafminers: These insects bore just under the leaf surface causing irregular serpentine lines. The larvae are yellow cylindrical maggots and the adults are small black and yellow flies. They do not usually kill plants, but disfigure the foliage. Burpee Recommends: Remove affected foliage if damage is particularly severe.
Slugs: These pests leave large holes in the foliage or eat leaves entirely. They leave a slime trail, feed at night and are mostly a problem in damp weather. Burpee Recommends: Hand pick, at night if possible. You can try attracting the slugs to traps either using cornmeal or beer. For a beer trap, dig a hole in the ground and place a large cup or bowl into the hole; use something that has steep sides so that the slugs can’t crawl back out when they’re finished. Fill the bowl about ¾ of the way full with beer, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, the bowl should be full of drowned slugs that can be dumped out for the birds to eat. For a cornmeal trap, put a tablespoon or two of cornmeal in a jar and put it on its side near the plants. Slugs are attracted to the scent but they cannot digest it and it will kill them. You can also try placing a barrier around your plants of diatomaceous earth or even coffee grounds. They cannot crawl over these.
Thrips: Thrips are tiny needle-thin insects that are black or straw colored. They suck the juices of plants and attack leaves and stems. The plant will have a stippling, discolored flecking or silvering of the leaf surface. Thrips can spread many diseases from plant to plant. Burpee Recommends: Many thrips may be repelled by sheets of aluminum foil spread between rows of plants. Remove weeds from the bed and remove debris from the bed after frost. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls.
I cannot plant my garlic now; can I hold it until next season? No, plant your garlic the same season when you receive the bulbs. Plant as soon as possible after receiving your garlic.
Can I plant garlic from the supermarket? No. This garlic is often treated to prevent premature sprouting and to kill pathogens.
Why is my garlic not bulbing? Garlic plants require established roots, a cold period and a change in day length to start bulb growth. Without all three, a garlic plant may be green and healthy, but the bulb will not grow. Garlic forms rather late-if you do not feel a bulb in the ground, wait and do not harvest yet.
Can I directly eat the garlic I received from you without planting/growing it? No. Our garlic is not processed for consumption (regulated by the FDA). Seed to produce food is regulated by the USDA.
Can I grow garlic in containers? Yes, spring planted garlic is perfect for containers. For fall planted garlic you may want to add extra protection to prevent freezing and thawing of the containers which can damage the garlic. It is not recommended for very cold areas in winter.