Garlic Disaster – It’s gone Rusty! But Asparagus Success!

Garlic Disaster – It’s gone Rusty!  But Asparagus Success!

Oh, the trials and tribulations of a Kitchen Gardener.  Generally it all works out well, but just sometimes …… see for yourselves.

4 years in a row I’ve grown perfect Garlic – but now it’s been attacked, by Garlic Rust.  I planted it last Autumn, it survived the Winter and has been shooting up and filling out perfectly, then suddenly the other day I noticed on the long upright leaves pale orange marks and dusty bits coming off on my hand.

Last Year's Garlic "Chesnok Wight"

Well, what does a gardener do in this day and age?  This gardener dashed in, ran up to the top floor office, switched on her Mac and asked both Google and the Isle of White Garlic Farm what to do.  The answer from most folk was, if plants only lightly infected:

  • to strip off the offending leaves
  •  not put leaves in the compost but put in rubbish sack and burn if possible
  • wash any knife or scissors used with disinfectant
  • wash clothes immediately so the Rust spores don’t float on to other plants

There are those who recommend various concoctions to spray on, but none seem to be an absolute cure.  Most advice is that if the Rust has taken a huge hold on the Garlic plants, nothing will help them, but if it is only a light dusting, stripping the offending leaves off will make a difference.  And as some of my Garlic bulbs are almost ready to lift out of the soil to dry off, the bulbs will not be affected.

So fingers crossed for my Garlic Disaster.  Let’s hope the Rust hasn’t gone too far.  Will report back in a few weeks, hopefully with loads of lovely big, fat Garlic bulbs hanging in my shed.  

And Asparagus Success?  To be honest, not the best of years, but not too bad. Our Asparagus was very late in peeping through the soil but on every sunny day we have had (which isn’t many), the juicy spears have grown 3 or 4 inches a day.  We grow green asparagus and the newish purple types (which are big and very tender, but make Asparagus Soup a very odd colour).  I  just had to show you this picture Erik snapped recently (for some reason on a Christmas placemat??) of our own freshly picked Asparagus, turned into a fabulous Italian antipasti platter complete with Parma Ham and Olives, and drizzled with the superb Mothers Garden Olive Oil.  Makes me hungry just looking at it.  

Our own Asparagus platter

So, Disaster strikes the Garlic, but may not be as bad as it appears, and Success for the Asparagus, but it could be better.  Nature, we love you, and never take you for granted.


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