All pests that attack onions will affect
crops. The most significant pests are likely
to be nematodes (eelworms)
which attack the roots and bulbs.
Thrips and onion maggot are two other
serious pests although both can be effectively
controlled by the use of insecticides
crop rotation. Use the links below for a
more detailed examination of garlic pests.
can devastate crops and reduce yields.
It is transmitted vegetatively in the
cloves so clean stock should always
be used for
planting. Hot water treatment can be
used to control the problem in planting
tabaci) are a major pest which causes
severe foliage damage in warm weather.
Onion Maggor Fly (Hylemia
cause heavy damage to young crops.
Stem & bulb
can cause severe distortion and distruction
of crops. The pest can be eradicated from
planting stock by presoaking bulbs for
2 hours in a soltion containing 1% formalin
and ).1% detergent.
Bulb Mite damage leads to bacteria and
fungi entering the bulbs and this leads
to typical microbial rots.
Once bulbing has finished and the plant matures,
the top leaves will begin to turn brown and
yellow and die back. Garlic is ready to harvest
when about half the leaves have died back
- always make sure that at least six green
leaves remain to ensure intact bulb wrappers
after harvesting and to give protection during
winter storage. Aim to harvest during dry
weather so that wet soil does not adhere to
the bulb when lifted. Loosen below the roots
with a fork - be very careful at this stage
to avoid damage as fresh bulbs are easy to
bruise - lift the plant, shake off loose soil
and leave to dry on the surface of the soil
for a few hours. Garlic at this stage is termed
`fresh market garlic' and has a superb flavour
quite different from cured (dried) garlic.
Red drying in the field
To prolong storage life garlic bulbs
must be properly cured after harvesting.
Curing can take place in the field if
the weather is warm enough but garlic
in the UK is typically
in sheds, polytunnels and
glasshouses to avoid the problems of
unexpected rainfall. Wherever your garlic
is dried ensure that there is good air
movement and if dried under glass provide
some shade to avoid scorching. Depending
upon the conditions, drying will take
between 14-25 days after which time
the bulbs should be trimmed of their
roots and leaves (unless you intend
to braid then leave top-growth intact).
Trim roots flush with the base plate
and tops to within 5 cm of the shoulder
of the bulb.
will keep for many months if maintained
at a moderately high temperature 25
°C.) and low relative humidity,
but dehydration and spoilage are problems
to look out for. Commercially, garlic
that is required after December is stored
just below freezing point (-1 to -2
°C.) and at a relative humidity
less than 65% - although this method
is not necessarily a viable option for
amateur gardeners. Good air movement
is essential to keep spoilage to a minimum
and garlic will keep for between five
and eight months depending upon variety
and storage conditions.
A Soviet researcher has discovered that soaking
cloves in a solution of magnesium sulphate
(0.01%) or zinc sulphate (0.1%) prior to planting
can boost yields - apparently by causing faster
shoot growth. Horticultural
Abstracts 60(5), 379 * Night hoeing may be an
innovative way to manage weed germination.
Research in Germany indicates that hoeing
in the absence of light does not stimulate
photo-sensitive weed seeds to germinate. Large-seeded
weeds and crops germinate in the light or
dark but small seeds tend to require some
exposure to light before they will germinate.
Thus, night-time hoeing can avoid causing
weed seeds to germinate when they are brought
to the soil surface and then reburied. In
side-by-side strips described in one study,
ground cover by weeds was 80% in plots worked
by day against only 2% in plots worked by
Garlic Press, 1996 * Garlic tea can be used
to spray seed trays to prevent damping-off.
Simply fill a one litre container about three-quarters
full with chopped garlic or garlic bulbils
and top up with warm water. Leave in a warm
place for three days and then drain off the
liquor into a 20 litre bucket. Refill and
repeat the process until the bucket is full.
The liquor should be sprayed at seed planting
time and used every time you water. Once seedlings
are ready to transplant, spray once more and
then discontinue once full growth has begun.
Growers Newsletter, 1987 * Field trials in New Zealand
have confirmed that the size of garlic cloves
planted can significantly affect yields. In
the New Zealand trials yields increased linearly
with clove weight so each year you should
try to eat the small cloves and save the large
ones for planting. Horticultural
Abstracts 59(12), 1133
for Natural Pest Control: Immerse 1
kg of Garlic in 100 ml
kerosene and soak overnight.
Next day, remove the outer skin and make
the garlic into a paste. In another vessel
mix 500g chilli with 50 ml water and make into
a paste. Similarly ½ kg
of ginger should also be made into a
paste and the three components
mixed together with 100 litres of water
50 grams soap solution (to act as an
emulsifier). This mixture should be
filtered before spraying. The above quantity
is sufficient for one acre. The allicin
present in garlic serves as a repellent
in chilli serves as a pesticide. CourtesyNeem Products