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Garlic Leaves Dying Too Early?

Adam
6 months ago

Hi all. I've a bunch of Music and Chesnok Red growing in my raised beds. It's late May and I'm in SE Pa. and the lower leaves are already starting to yellow.


Isn't this kind of early for this to happens?


Thanks.

Comments (36)

  • alexcm [z6a]
    6 months ago

    I had a similar experience with Music garlic in a container, unfortunately I wasn't able to recover them. It was one of the first things I ever tried growing though so I know I didn't do things properly. Following this thread, I'd love to know what could have gone wrong there since I'm sure I'll try growing them again.

  • alexcm [z6a]
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Also I can probably guess what questions someone who can actually help you will ask: when did you plant the garlic? Can you post pictures?

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  • tsugajunkie z5 SE WI ♱
    6 months ago

    ...and what has the weather been like?

    tj

  • kevin9408
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    Drum roll please......... Did you fertilize them? They're heavy feeders and need 4 1/2 oz's of Nitrogen, 5 1/2 oz's of phosphorus and potassium each along with 2 oz's of calcium and 1 oz of magnesium ALL PER 100 SQ. FT. All except nitrogen is applied in the fall and the nitrogen split in thirds with 1/3 in the fall, 1/3 in the early spring and the last in the mid spring before jun 1st. If you use cow manure it would take about 100 - 130 lbs over the 100 sq. ft. to equal the chemical fertilizer, and I don't like hauling all that poo.

    To use a general purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer you'd need about 50 to 60 oz's of the stuff plus using dolomite lime for the calcium and magnesium. If you fertilized then the problem is pests or diseases and time to rotate to a new spot and heaven forbid buying new seed bulbs.

  • kevin9408
    6 months ago
    last modified: 6 months ago

    alexcum, in a container you'll need even more fertilizer but scaleed down from the numbers I gave above along with the micro nutrients because the stuff leaches out of the pot. There are products which have the micros added for container growing but I use a a grass starter fertilizer with the micros in it and balance out my application with single fertilizers to get what I want. There is one product they say is the best and many in the container garden forum uses it but I'd go broke buying the stuff, forgot the name.

  • alexcm [z6a]
    6 months ago

    Kevin, thanks for the tips! I think you're on the right track, a nitrogen deficiency is where I ended up with my (naive) research last year. I did try to correct it, iirc I used FoxFarm Grow Big but like I said, no clue what I was doing and I'm sure I was inconsistent or got the dosage wrong. I'm guessing DynaGro Foliage Pro is the one you're referencing? That's what I've been using on my plants this year, working great so far!

  • Adam
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Wow, thanks for the quick replies!


    They're in a raised bed 12" deep in a patch around 35"x84" with around 80 plants (5"-6" spacing).


    First, the weather has been unseasonably warm. Second, they were planted in November.


    Lastly, when planting I used raised bed soil from Home Depot and I mixed in part of a bag of manure and planted with a good sprinkle of 10-10-10. In early spring, I fertilized again with the same. I fertilized them once more about three weeks ago.


    I keep wanting to yank one out and see how the bulbs are doing, but then I tell myself they're fine and to be patient.


    Here's a pic (some are worse than this):




    Thanks all!

  • kevin9408
    6 months ago

    I think it's the one, has all the micro nutrients in it but the N-P-K ratio is wrong for most vegetable crops. It's N-P-K ratio breaks down to 3-1-2 (multiply by 3 to get the 9-3-6.)

    garlic would have a 2-3-3 ratio so if anything you could of had a potassium deficiency.

    Foxfarm and dyangro are in the top 10 for cannabis growers and they do usually only buy the the best for foliage and flowering plants but not right for root crops.

  • kevin9408
    6 months ago

    Adam your plot is 235 sq. feet. I hope the good sprinkle of 10-10-10 was at least 2 1/2 pounds of the stuff each time. Fertilize again, it's not to late and sprinkle a couple pounds over the entire 235 sq. ft.

    But they do look good so far and I'm sure you'll get good garlic, if you pull them at the right time. The last two weeks of bulking is when the garlic bulks the most. I just looked at mine and I have more yellow on them then you do, and haven't given them they're final feeding. I'm going to go out in the rain right now and do it.

  • alexcm [z6a]
    6 months ago

    Heh, you got me, I used the FoxFarm because I had it on hand from growing cannabis. The DynaGro though I'm using for pretty much everything recently, I'll have to do more research on which plants may have different nutrient requirements. Definitely will look for something more appropriate next time I grow garlic. Thanks!

  • kevin9408
    6 months ago

    One more thing adam, many 10-10-10 fertilizers use Urea as there source for the nitrogen.

    It's OK but is unstable and will evaporate over time depending on temperature. Two hot days and its gone, puff and into the air and not the soil. It must be worked in or watered in and when I use the stuff I try and catch a rain storm coming or work it in. With Garlic and the mulch I can't work it in so do it before or in the rain or water it in with a sprinkler.

    Just a heads up for future fertilizing.

    Alexcm, so how did the cannabis do with foxfarm?

  • alexcm [z6a]
    6 months ago

    It did well, though I give the credit more to the Ocean Forest soil I grew it in because I didn't have to feed it anything for nearly a month. This year I'm trying a "water-only" soil and ProMix with DynaGro, so far DynaGro is beating the competition.

    I grew the garlic in FoxFarm Ocean Forest too, it worked great at first but eventually ran out of nutrients. Next time I'll use ProMix and a fertilizer with a better ratio and I think it'll go much better.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    6 months ago

    can we see the whole plants..


    might one speculate that those were the leaves on the plant when you planted them.. and they went thru the most stress ... but the plant out grew the stress and is now thriving on newer leaves??


    or did you plant unsprouted bulbs??


    ken

  • zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin
    6 months ago

    From what I can see in the photo, there doesn't appear to be a problem. Only the oldest leaves are dying back (which is normal) while the leaves above look healthy. The fertilizer you've already used should be sufficient, you want to be cautious about applying more this late in bulb development.


    "I keep wanting to yank one out and see how the bulbs are doing, but then I tell myself they're fine and to be patient."


    Unless the condition worsens, patience is probably the best course of action (or inaction).

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    6 months ago

    is there such a thing as an unripe garlic bulb... if you have many.. why not pull one out and find out whats going on ...


    you know.. most of us didnt have the WWW to rely on ...to learn.. we just dug stuff up and looked ... and if you pull out 2 ... put one back.. and learn how that one responds to it all ..


    you cant learn.. if you just dont play around ... which is a fancy way of saying.. turn of the gizmo ...


    you know .. gardening is just an excuse for adults to play in the dirt out in the yard .. so go play and learn ... and if you can do it with a tonka truck excavator.. all the better.. lol .. [and hopefully the first thing learned is that its soil that plants grow in ... and dirt is what is all over you and the house after you play in it .. but dont tell anyone i called it dirt ...]


    ken


    and if anyone comes along and asks whats this is all about.. you say.. its garden art ..

    https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffcm&q=tonka+truck+excavator&iax=images&ia=images

  • Adam
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Thanks all.


    The leaves above look pretty healthy. I also don't plan on fertilizing again as I thought you weren't supposed to add nitrogen at this late stage.


    Kevin, those measurements were inches not feet. Instead of 235 sq. ft. I have 20 or so sq. ft.


    Ken, they were unsprouted bulbs when planted.


    Thanks again!!!




  • Adam
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Not that it matters much at this point, but I just realized that when planting, I used 10-10-10. Subsequent feedings were using Garden-Tone 3-4-4. I also mixed a bit of Epsom Salt in the soil when planting.

  • Adam
    Original Author
    6 months ago

    Ken, I've got to say that you nailed it about gardening being an excuse to play in the dirt!


    If I only had all of my Tonka trucks from back in the sixties... back when they were metal and lasted. They fetch a pretty penny on ebay too!


    Well, back to my IPA and John Hiatt. Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend everyone and don't forget what it means...

  • kevin9408
    6 months ago

    Adam you are right and it is to late to fertilize but for some reason I had it in my head Late may was the cut off where I live, but the U of M states it's the first week in may, my mistake. About your leaves, when the yellow starts in the middle of the leaf it's a Nitrogen problem. When the yellow starts on the edges of the leaf it's a potassium problem. When the leaf has yellow and green stripes it will be a magnesium problem. Something to take note for future plantings.

    About my garlic, I did fertilize with nitrogen yesterday as I've always did in the past so I'm wondering why mine are always fine and make HUGE MONSTER bulbs which make people's eyes pop out? They say it delays bulb growth but mine is always ready the middle of July. So I'll take in to consideration the recommendations of the scholars but unsure if I'll adopt it. Huge I say huge like Dolly Parton in a bikini HUGE.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    6 months ago

    crikey you got enough of them.. just pull on out and LOOK AT IT ...


    i though about tonka trucks all day also .. lol ... pissed dad threw then all away ...


    ken

  • OldDutch (Zone 4 MN)
    5 months ago

    Nothing wrong with your plants in the raised bed that I can see. There will always be a little lower leaf yellowing, but the rest look robust and a very good green, actually lush. Here in Minneaplis we are in the middle of a heat wave with no end to 90 + degree days in sight. We went all the way up to 99 in the last week plus dry and air inversion. Perhaps not that much for some places, but it was terrible for us.

    My garlics are starting to scape now. But this kind of heat very often brings on extra early maturity in Turbans and Asiatics. (In fact I am hoping this year's adverse weather gets singles out of the Maiskij - last year we had a wind storm at the wrong time and they all went down at once and there were some singles.)

  • kevin9408
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    No sign of my garlic producing scapes yet old dutch and I live 20 miles north of you. Minnesota is in part of a mega drought plaguing 45% of the country and it hasn't been this bad in 1200 years. The drought monitor shows our area as Abnormally Dry but the Dakotas are in a Extreme Drought and parts of North Dakota is even in an Exceptional Drought.

    Using the U.S. drought monitor I've been watching it creep our way and it's not looking good. I get my irrigation water from one of many drainage ditches dug around 1905 to lower the water table which covers three counties and if mine goes dry I'm screwed. This is the continuation of a drought which started in 2000 but seems to get little coverage in the media until it's in crisis mode.. Some are blaming it on man made global warming and wonder what they blamed it on 1200 years ago when the drought was worse then today?

    Lake meade supplies water to 40 million people and is only at 37% of it's capacity. People complain of high beef and chicken prices but they haven't seen anything yet. If California's farmers lose there water your garlic will be as valuable as a sheet of plywood.

    I just checked the garlic old dutch and I do have the scapes growing also. Is it best to cut them off in this heat?

  • OldDutch (Zone 4 MN)
    5 months ago

    I work out in Hopkins and have contacts all over the country. They tend not to believe it when I tell them we are red flagged here too. So much of Minnesota is way under normal for water and above normal for temp. I was going to try to tough it out, but just a half an hour ago I gave in and put in the window unit for downstairs. The relief was immediate.

    My lot is on the near south side of Minneapolis close to Lake and Chicago intersection. I have not watered my garlics yet this year and they seem to be showing it. Not going to be big this year. Even the Music which is generally over waist high even with the scapes removed is some smaller.

    That is one that is showing the first scapes for me this year. I got city water which takes some of the pressure off irrigation. Better however to be downstream in St Paul. They say in Minneapolis flush twice St Paul needs the water.

  • kevin9408
    5 months ago

    So should I cut off the scapes to help the plant conserve in the heat old dutch?

  • Adam
    Original Author
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Original poster here with an update...

    Things are much worse than I thought. More and more leaves are dying. I decided to pull a couple of the worst ones and all I got were slimy, rotten stubs with no bulbs whatsoever.

    Then, I pulled a healthier looking one and the bulb looked okay but about half the normal size (which I assume is normal for being so early). So that gives me some hope. I'm cutting the scapes earlier than normal to maybe help the plants.

    Does this sound like more than a nutrient issue? Maybe fungal? Nematodes or mites? I see nothing that looks like White Rot.

    I'll post updates when I finally harvest.

    Here's a pic.

    Thanks all!




  • alexcm [z6a]
    5 months ago

    Missing bulbs doesn't sound good... any pics of them? Anything here look familiar? https://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/vegetable/garlic/leaveswilt.html

  • Adam
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    No. That's the thing. I went to a bunch of garlic disease sites, but nothing I can really relate to.


    Here's one I pulled out.




  • OldDutch (Zone 4 MN)
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    kevin9408, cut the scapes right above the last leaf on top. And then eat them. Most hardnecks will produce larger bulbs when the scapes are removed. And the scapes are tasty.

  • ekgrows
    5 months ago

    3 years ago I had severe Botrytis Rot - lost my whole crop. I know because I sent it to a lab to be diagnosed. Your garlic looks similar to what I had. :(


  • kevin9408
    5 months ago

    Adam. I've pulled bulbs that were rotted and mush in the past, but just tossed them. I never tried to figure out what it was because it was just a few. Sorry. Some kind of fungus rot I'd say.

  • Adam
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    Eight months of high hopes... I'm just wondering what to do. Some info says to scrap the crop as soon as possible so the pathogen doesn't spread. I just can't do that knowing that some may still come out fine.


    I really thought this would be the biggest and best crop yet. I absolutely LOVE giving it away and seeing the reactions to really good garlic!


    ekgrows, I looked up Botrytis Rot, but my plants don't have any of the black that's described as a symptom.


    Thanks all!

  • Adam
    Original Author
    5 months ago

    Oh, I forget something funny.


    The one plant I pulled that had a small head on it was left on the porch yesterday. When I got home from work, my daughter told me our one dog Dexter was frothing at the mouth today. We thought the ate a centipede or something. Then, I saw that the head of garlic on the front porch was all chewed up.


    I know garlic in large quantities is toxic to dogs, but he's a 35 lb. Pitbull/Shih Tzu mix (Shitbull? Bullshit?) and it takes a lot of garlic to hurt a dog. He's fine!


    He says hi!





  • Adam
    Original Author
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    OP here. I just wanted to touch base and say that my problem has become fairly obvious. It's white rot.

    Some of the bulbs I'm pulling up look exactly like this:



    Fortunately, they're just 4'x8' raised beds. I'll have to replace the soil before planting again.

    I'd love to know if I came by it naturally or from the seed garlic that I bought.

    Thanks again all!

  • Adam
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Another update here.


    I had to harvest the rest of my garlic. I actually got a lot more than I thought I would.


    About 15% of the bulbs either covered in white rot like the photo in the above post or they were rotted and slimy. Some were missing a lot of the wrappers which exposed the cloves (I'll have to eat them quick).


    The rest don't look too bad. They probably won't store very well though. I actually got several really big heads!






  • Adam
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you Kevin. I know it's been a while, but I've compared photos. Nothing that I have has matched any photos I can find of Fusarium Basal rot. The pics of White Rot are exact. Fortunately, I have raised beds and can replace my soil. I couldn't imagine how devastating this would be to someone who plants in-ground without options. This stuff lives in the ground for 20-40 years!


    I just finished emptying my raised bed of all soil (at least down to the lawn) and I'm purchasing new soil soon. I know I'm prolly not getting rid of all the sclerotia, but hopefully, it will give me a couple years before it affects my crop again.


    I have a 2nd raised bed right next to this one and I'm planning on adding garlic powder to the soil to trick the sclerotia into 'hatching' where they will the die for lack of host. It's supposed to be a fairly promising avenue.


    It's all good though! Keep on learning!!!


    Thanks again.