Onions, douze points. Garlic, nul points

Onions drying after harvestProbably my best ever crop of onions. They’re nearly all big and sound; only had to eat two in a hurry (they had a bit of mildew and wouldn’t store).

The garlic, on the other hand, has been my worst ever crop. A total rust disaster.

Tiny garlic bulbsThese are the biggest bulbs I could harvest – only a dozen from two 15ft rows. I’m a bit gutted, but it’s hardly a surprise. The garlic has been getting more and more badly affected by rust every year.

So, albeit with a heavy heart, I’m making a Big Decision: I’m giving up on garlic. I’m a big believer in the WC Fields axiom: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then give up. No point making a damn fool of yourself.”

Posted on 6th August 2009
Under: Alliums | 12 Comments »

Garlic rust: the early symptoms…

Onions and garlic

Onions have done well. This warm weather we’ve been having is making them grow super fast.

Unfortunately, the garlic (very kindly donated by Patrick at Bifurcated Carrots)  is showing early signs of garlic rust. See the yellowing leaf tips of the plants (on the right). Patrick’s a mine of information about rust, but he too says he’s seeing warning signs of the disease.

Can’t say it’s any great surprise – I get rust every year – but I never get used to the disappointment. Just once I’d love to raise a pure, clean crop of fat garlic bulbs untainted (and unstunted) by rust.


Posted on 31st May 2009
Under: Alliums, Peas and beans | 10 Comments »

Emerging garlic shoots

Emerging garlic shoots The first vegetable shoots of the new season. Rather wanky, admittedly, but great oaks from small acorns grow. And big garlic bulbs start with shoots from small cloves.

I know it’s MADNESS writing this, but I’m more and more convinced we’re going to have a great summer. Mark my words: it’ll be a cracker.

And if it isn’t, at least now you’ve got someone to blame.

Posted on 19th January 2009
Under: Alliums, Winter | 11 Comments »