To minimize the risk of garlic pests and diseases
- Rotate garlic with other non-allium plants in your garden
- Make sure to source good quality seed garlic and always examine it for disease
- Consider soaking cloves before planting in seaweed & baking soda solution (you can use solution of vinegar or alcohol)
- Always clean & sanitize all your equipment used for handling, caring and harvesting.
- Remove suspicious looking plants, and sanitize equipment you used for it
- Make sure that any suspicious looking plants are disposed of away from your plant beds, compost area etc. (burn if possible)
Common garlic plant diseases
Rust is a fungal, airborne garlic plant disease favoured by high humidity and low rain fall. Symptoms include small yellow and white spots turning to small orange blisters. From February Increase the levels of sulphate of potash hoed into the ground around the plants and regularly spray with sulphur compounds or Dithane for prevention.
White Rot is a fungal, soil borne garlic plant disease directly connected to alliums cultivation. Early symptoms include white cottony, fluffy mycelium growth on the underground stem plate followed by the rapid death of all foliage on the infected plants. Removing all the infected plants and soil from the infected area might help, however it is a very difficult disease to fight. Poppy seed looking like fungus can be visible in the soil for decades and the growing of any alliums in the infected area is impossible.
Common garlic plant pests
Stem & Bulb Eel Worm is one of the common, soil born garlic plant pests. “Jeyes Fluid” on the soil pre-planting can effect some control. Good weeding care is essential as weeds support the Eel Stem Worm population. Hot water treatments are used for the plants that are due to be stored. Chemical treatments are only used on a commercial scale.
Onion Fly is a popular garlic plant pest. Maggots that hatched from the eggs laid by the adult Onion Fly at the base of the plant burrow into roots and after about 3 weeks pupate in the soil nearby. Thickening of the plant and a very slow growth followed by the sudden death could indicate the presence of Onion Fly on the garlic plant. Lift and dispose dead plants in a sanitary manner. Sprinkling rows with ginger, chilli powder or cayenne pepper can prevent females from laying eggs.