Rotting garlic

I just saw most of my planted garlic had rotted out. Not due to wet soil etc. was it that some of the paper cover was damaged? Or that they had already started shooting green at planting time?

Hi TNG - I don’t know why your garlic rotted, but wanted to respond on the paper question.

Two years ago I separated my seed cloves by cohorts to see whether damaged or torn off paper, or broken base had any impact. Those variables seemed to have no noticeable impact on growth the next year.


Most likely it was already infected. There are several fungus diseases that could affect garlic.Where did you get your seeds? It helps when you inspect every head before planting. If at least one of the cloves shows symptoms - mold appearance, dents on the body - whole head only can be used for food and used fast. After you inspected all the cloves it helps to deep them in 10% bleach solution for an under a minute and plant immediately, while wet. The fact they started to shoot green at panting most likely means they were not stored properly and that can contribute to low immunity. Ideally it has to be somewhat dry storage under 70F, but not refrigerator, it dries the garlic out. I have a split system air conditioner that blow above the cabinet. This year I stored my garlic in brown bags on top of that cabinet. Air conditioner was on almost all the time. It stored OK this way. But if I would have basement, I would probably store it there, unless it is very humid. I plant my own garlic, so every year after harvest I select the best, the biggest, healthy looking bulbs enough to plant and store them until fall. I separate the heads a night before planting so I have enough time to inspect every clove.
One more reason for garlic to rot could be garlic nematode. For nematode deep garlic before planting in 120F water for 20 min. Do not increase temperature, 122F will damage garlic tissues.


In planting commercially for over 15 years, i never noticed any difference in cloves with skin verses cloves without. We didnt care if it had it on or off for planting.

Either the soil was too wet or you had cloves infected with any number of possible issues. Perhaps try another area next year or another variety.


Did you check for onion maggots? Delia antiqua is a widely distributed pest of alliums and its feeding damage causes decay. Serious problems with them here. They got my Japanese bunching onions this year—and they’re supposed to be resistant! Probably the only sure way to beat them is to grow under cover.


That’s probably it then. Most of the bulbs I used had some rot going on, although I was careful to pick healthy cloves from them. I had some harvest and storage issues this year. On reflection if I recall correctly Previous years I didn’t, and I had pretty much 100% germination rate.

Soil should be OK. Good to know about skin.