I've had garlic rust wipe out a lot of my plants for 2 years now. The 'all about garlic' thread doesn't cover this topic.
My plan for next year:
- move garlic to different part of garden
- plant in multiple locations to limit spread
- space plants more widely; make sure they get lots of sun and air
- aggressively cull any plants that show signs of rust
Any other tips? I've heard that too much nitrogen too early in the season can contribute to rust - is there any truth to that?
I've had rust wreck my garlic before. I think your solutions will really help, along with adding as much organic matter as possible. I tend to have rust/black aphid problems when the soil won't retain moisture, ie: not enough OM.
Do you have seaweed near you? Pratically all plants love it, but garlic seems to be especially fond.
I went away for 4 days and found my beautiful 2-foot-high garlic plants afflicted by rust. Some quite bad, but it hadn't spread to all of them and the centre of all the plants, ie the newest leaves were rust-free on the whole.
I took myself to the interwebs as I remembered reading somewhere that you could spray with vodka. Alas I didn't have any anyway, but I found a post on a UK gardening forum suggesting spreaying with dilute milk, which I've just done. Also I'm going to take off all the worst affected leaves, which I should have done before wasting milk on them, but hindsight is perfect.
Anyone got any thoughts on this?
One suggestion was to soak the cloves in vodka before you plant them. Too late for me this year.
Other suggestions were that this happens more on sandy soil (which my topsoil is) but I've had it on clay too.
One thing to note is that we had a wet, mild winter with no real frost to speak of. We are very variable here, sometimes a mild winter, sometimes down to -10C/14F.
My ORganic Gardening Encyclopedia wants me to remove and burn all affected bits, suggesting it persists in the soil...?
Afaik rust is spread by airborne spores. So treating the gloves won't help.
I've not been successful in preventing it. The better option might be to plant early varieties that are mature before the rust hits.
One of my collaborating farmers has a garlic rust infestation on her farm. We work together to minimize the effects....
I don't have garlic rust in my garden. So a number of years ago, I quarantined my garden against bringing in any new varieties of garlic or onions. Then I grow garlic in a rust-free environment and send it to her. At least she is starting out the growing season with non-infected plants.
Over here people will often use baking soda. This will not eliminate the rust, but slow it down.
About 5 grams of baking soda per litre of water, sprayed over the plants.
I haven't applied it myself, so I'm not speaking from experience.
I planted my garlic this year a month earlier than last year, in the hope that I can harvest earlier as well, and so beat some of the rust.
Good and nutritious soil should lead to healthier plants that can fend off diseases better. My soil was still disastrous last year, as I had only just acquired that bit of allotment.
As has already been said, placing a bit wider should also help. Plants brushing against each other would make it very easy for any infection to spread.
I'm not so hopeful rust will stay away for 100% on busy allotments, I'm thinking a more isolated place is needed for that. I'll settle for rust only occurring when the plants are already going downhill.