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Garlic

CH

Garlic

by 2 years ago
10

Why did my garlic bulbs go soft and squishy whilst being hung in the greenhouse? 

2 years ago
Tutor
Hello Cathie, really sorry to hear this - how disappointing. It could be a case of onion neck rot, which affects onions and also shallots and (less commonly) garlic: it is a fungal infection that only shows up after the bulbs are dried. Did they start to rot from the neck downwards into the bulb? If so that's what I'd suspect. If not - how did you go about drying them? Garlic is usually quite straightforward to dry in a greenhouse where it's sunny and dry, but if the atmosphere was damp while they were drying (eg if you accidentally watered them at the same time as the tomatoes, or if there was a leak from a cracked pane of glass above where they were) they will have rotted.
CH
2 years ago
Hi Sally, I grew all the garlic in separate pots. I had 3 successful plants. They all seemed ok when I harvested them and tied them in bunches of 3-4 and hung them up. I'll try again this year, but is there any way of spotting or stopping the fungal rot?
2 years ago
Tutor
Hm this is sounding increasingly unlikely to be a case of neck rot, as that is usually carried in garden soil so if you're growing these in containers I would doubt that the compost would be carrying neck rot at all. Are you storing them anywhere near onions or shallots? And what variety are they, do you know?
CH
2 years ago
No I am a real beginner so this was my first year growing them, haven't got onto onions yet. They were stored in my mini greenhouse with nothing else other than daffodil bulbs. I got the garlic from the Garlic Farm and there was a Purple Wight, Elephant Garlic, Province Wight and Solent Wight.
2 years ago
Moderator
Are you able to post a photo?
2 years ago
Tutor
Is the mini greenhouse plastic by any chance?
CH
2 years ago
No it is a glass fronted lean to on the back of a barn. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos and I've disposed of them now. Thanks for trying to help very much appreciated.
2 years ago
Tutor
The mystery deepens! I had thought if it was plastic the condensation is usually too high for drying but if it's glass it should be fine. OK I'll run through the steps of lifting & drying garlic so perhaps you can spot if you're doing anything different. 1) Only dry softneck garlics - hardnecks don't store. Most of your varieties store well, although Purple Wight is an early variety (i.e. matures sooner than other varieties) which in my experience doesn't store well and is better eaten fresh; and elephant garlic is not really a garlic but a type of leek, so also doesn't store. The other two should be fine though. 2) Lift on a dry day, once the foliage has yellowed and started to die back (usually late July/mid August: if you've left it till now and the weather has been very wet that might also explain why they've rotted). 3) lay out flat on a grid or something where air can get all around the garlic 4) put the grid somewhere dry (most important) and sunny for about two weeks - glass greenhouse is ideal - turning the garlic a couple of times a week to make sure the sun gets to all sides. 5) Once the garlic is fully dry, plait into strings and hang up, preferably somewhere dry and cool - the kitchen is usually too humid. Anything you can see there which might explain your soggy garlic?!
CH
2 years ago
The soil was quite damp in some of the pots so maybe I watered them for too long. I also didn't dry them before hanging them up. Next year I will only buy softneck garlic and follow your instructions to see if I can have more success. Thanks for your help.
2 years ago
Tutor
Ah yes you do need to dry them off quite carefully to make sure they store. Glad my instructions helped, better luck next year!

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