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Garlic rust: prevention and treatment?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 310
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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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?
 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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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.
 
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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I would use a broad spectrum innoculant too.

Thinks rusts are food for yeasts and fungi...
 
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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What else are you growing with your garlic?
 
Posts: 70
Location: Kent, South-east England, UK
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Holy Thread Resurrection, Batman!

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...?

 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 310
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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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.
 
Rosalind Riley
Posts: 70
Location: Kent, South-east England, UK
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Hi Patrick, thanks for your reply. Alas it is only the end of May and no garlic I know of matures before July where I am. I shall monitor its progress.
 
Posts: 32
Location: Seattle, WA
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We had a mild winter and wet spring here in Seattle as well, and I've also got beginning rust on my garlic.

I remove affected leaves, since the rust can be transmitted from current infection sites.

It overwinters on volunteer / wild allum plants, so you can try and remove any of those in the vicinity of your next year's planting site.
 
gardener
Posts: 3477
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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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.
 
Rosalind Riley
Posts: 70
Location: Kent, South-east England, UK
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Lordy, I have alliums all over the place - decorative ones as well as eating onions.

Interestingly, a few of the plants seems not to have any rust on them, maybe I should keep the cloves for next year's crop!
 
Posts: 60
Location: Fryslân, Netherlands
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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.  
 
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