Just harvested softneck and most of the hardneck garlic today. It’s early for hardneck, but both types have rust to varying degrees. The harvest has thrown up a couple of questions.
Several of the bulbs had started to form a secondary bulb of very tiny cloves further up the stem, between 1″ and 6″ (2.5cm-12.5cm) above the main bulb. Is this a stress response from the plant and if so, is it a reaction to rust, the weather or something else?
The leaves of hardneck were more badly affected by rust than the softneck – is this something others have noticed, or just coincidental?
Garlic doesn’t seem to get rust grown under cover, but not everyone can grow it in the greenhouse. Would keeping it fleeced until harvest help?
Just a couple of weeks ago all the garlic looked like an air-brushed glossy magazine photo, and because of being healthy before rust hit, luckily most of the bulbs are pretty good. As far as I can see, this year’s rust-afflicted, prematurely-harvested no dig garlic has been largely as big as ever it was with digging.
You did well to have the rust arrive so late, it’s a huge problem in many areas.
I don’t reckon fleece would help but some say Epsom Salts for magnesium is worth watering on in early spring.
The secondary bulbs are quite common and not to do with rust, I often get a few, seems random.