Garlic - Watch for White Rot

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The garlic crop in general overwintered well and scapes are emerging these days. As you all know, those needs to be removed before they unwind. This is also a time to monitor for diseases. The most devastating disease of the onion family is White Rot and it was unfortunately found in Nova Scotia in the past growing season.

Leaves of plants infected with the White Rot pathogen show yellowing, leaf dieback, and wilting. Leaf decay begins at the base, with older leaves being the first to collapse. 

Roots also rot, and the plant can be easily pulled from the ground. Associated with the rot is a fluffy white growth which develops around the base of the bulb.

As the disease progresses, the mycelium becomes more compacted with numerous small black bodies. These sclerotia, the resting bodies of White Rot, are approximately the size of poppy seed and may persist in soil for over 20 years.

Healthy Garlic Crop

Garlic with signs of White Rot infection

If you are interested in a CD copy of the talks on Diseases by Rick Delbridge from the Garlic Workshop held in March 2012, please call Gail at (902) 678-7722.  We will ten copies at the office by Monday and then hope to have them available on line shortly thereafter.