The Q&A Archives: Spinach & Garlic

Question: I have two questions. One, I have in the past had leaf miners in my spinach patch. They eat their way between the layers of the leaf. These miners have destroyed my whole crop. What insecticide can I use to prevent this?

Two, on garlic. Do the bulbs that develop on top of the stalk have to be removed in order to get a fully developed garlic bulb?

Answer: Spinach leaf miner (the larva of a small fly) infects not only spinach but also Swiss chard, beets, and the weed lamb's quarters so any control measures need to address those plants as well. Handpicking and destroying infested leaves along with turning the soil in fall or very early spring can reduce infestations. For the most up-to-date chemical control recommendations, please contact your County Extension (270-4391).

Garlic should be lifted and harvested in summer when the bottom leaves have begun to yellow. The bulb size depends partly on the variety you are growing, partly on the size of the clove you planted (larger cloves will make larger bulbs) and partly on the cultural conditions. Garlic grows best on a very rich soil which is moist yet well-drained and in a location with full sun. Removing any flower stems will help produce larger bulbs.

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