Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Growing Garlic Gets Complicated in Idaho Quarantine Zone

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 6:00 AM

A clove of garlic ready for planting.
  • Guy Hand
  • This clove of garlic may be ready for planting, but the process gets very complicated in southern Idaho's white rot disease quarantine zone.

Let’s say you’re a home gardener, it’s late fall and you haven’t found the time to get down to the nursery and pick up seed garlic for the garden. Instead, you grab a fat head of garlic at the grocery store and break it up into cloves. And rather than plop those cloves in a pot of pasta sauce, you plant them in the ground.

Well, what you’ve just unwittingly done, according to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, is put the state’s $55 million onion industry at risk and potentially cursed your own garden to a half century of white rot disease.

Yikes.

In the Wednesday, Nov. 9, issue of BW, I’ll look at what it means to live in southern Idaho’s little known white rot quarantine zone and how the onion industry’s fear of disease makes growing garlic complicated for local farmers.

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