Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #140669


item Volk, Gayle
item Rotindo, Kate

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Volk G.M., K. Rotindo and W. Lyons. 2004. Low-temperature storage of garlic for spring planting. HortScience (39)3:571-573.

Interpretive Summary: Garlic bulbs can be successfully stored at -3C for 6 months and then subsequently used for spring planting. Most varieties exhibit normal (although smaller) bulb and clove formation.

Technical Abstract: Garlic bulbs (Allium sativum L.) are often stored at room temperature between the time of harvest and either consuming or planting in the fall. The quality of these bulbs usually deteriorates within six months of harvest. We demonstrate that most varietal garlic bulbs stored at -3 ºC for 6 months will successfully form cloves within bulbs when planted in the following spring. After 9 months of -3 ºC storage, bulbs held at room temperature retain the quality characteristics of freshly harvested garlic (firmness, taste) for at least two months. Garlic bulbs stored at warmer temperatures (0 ºC, 5 ºC, 15 ºC, 23 ºC) exhibited a higher rate of shoot elongation within the cloves than bulbs stored at -3 ºC. The bulbs stored at 0 ºC also had more loose wrappers and side clove formation and a shorter shelf life than those stored at -3 ºC. These studies suggest that varietal garlics can be spring planted and consumed year round when bulbs are stored at -3 ºC after the curing process is complete.