Storing Seed Garlic

melodyf(z9 CA)July 3, 2005

For the past 2 years I have stored my cured garlic in my laundry room in netting. For the past 2 years when I have gone to plant in October, most of my seed garlic was moldy or dried out.

This year, I cured it a bit longer than the previous 2 years, and am going to store it in my extra bedroom that is used mainly for storage. I store them in netting with anywhere from 6-12 bulbs per bag, and sorted by variety. I am growing mostly St Helens, Music, Spanish Roja and some Red Toch.

Can anyone offer any better ideas for storing my garlic? I have about 200 heads, and about 35 of those are my seed garlic for October.

Thanks in advance

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gardenlad(6b KY)

Seems to me it would be too damp and humid in a laundry room for good storage. Your extra bedroom, on the other hand, should do fine. Just keep the net bags out of direct sunlight.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 8:23AM
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ellen_(z5 NY)

Definitely it needs to be cool, but especially dry. How cool is your extra bedroom? I keep mine in the garage until it is cured. Once cured, I just put it in paper bags and keep in the kitchen. As the kitchen is on the first floor and bedrooms are upstairs, it is cooler so the garlic has an easier time. I do have air-conditioning throughout the house, but have it on downstairs more of the day so the garlic is able to stay at a more constant temperature. The dryness is crucial, but heat makes a big difference as well. If your laundry room is dry enough and cooler, how about a fan or is it too humid?
Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 2:32PM
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UncleJohn(z4 NH)

I was planning on leaving my seed garlic in the ground longer to store it. My uderstanding is that the wrappers begin to break down if you leave them in too long, and that is not a problem if I am going to use them as seed stock.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2005 at 8:56PM
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mindsmile(z5 ma.)

Great idea John.
Lets hope someone else has some input on this method for seed garlic and how it has worked for them.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 7:46AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Uncle John, the problem with leaving them in the ground and letting the wrapper break down is twofold.

First, if you leave the garlic in the ground it is likely to sprout. This is fine if you're looking for green garlic, not so good for seed stock. We are, as Martin has mentioned on another thread, betwixted and between. It is either too early or too late to plant garlic.

Second, once the wrappers have disappeared there is great danger of the cloves (complete heads, in your case) rotting, being attacked by disease, etc. This is why it's recommended that you not peel cloves when planting them in the fall.

All in all, I would be very leary of leaving the heads in the ground.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 8:16AM
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melodyf(z9 CA)

Thanks for all the great input as usual. My "storage" room seems to be working good, but we shall see. It sure is fragrant in there when I go in there though :-). As for leaving it in the ground, I don't think I would do that either, chance of losing all your seed would be to great a risk.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 11:06AM
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