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Vernalization

If you are a gardener in a warm climate, induced vernalization is a great option.


Garlic requires a period of cold weather. While most of the country will naturally have cold or freezing temperatures, many Southern states won't and you may want to consider vernalization.


Vernalization is the artificial exposure of plants (or seeds) to low temperatures in order to stimulate flowering or to enhance seed production.


Induced vernalization is the process of exposing seed garlic (or fall planted bulbs, such as tulips) to cold temperatures to simulate winter weather that garlic will experience in colder climates.


The process is simple:

  • Place your garlic bulbs in a paper bag in a refrigerator for 6-12 weeks (put holes in the bag for air flow).

  • After the vernalization period, divide garlic into cloves and plant.

  • You will ideally plant prior to your coldest winter temperatures.


If you live in a climate with cold or freezing temperatures the environment will do this process for you. The majority of the United States will plant garlic between late September and mid November, 2-3 weeks before the ground freezes for the winter.


Gardeners that do not experience frozen ground will typically plant in December after induced vernalization. You may notice roots and / or sprouts emerging from the garlic once you remove the garlic from the refrigerator - this is normal, and also the reason you DO NOT store garlic in the fridge. Plant as normal.


**Please note - Vernalization is done in the refrigerator, not the freezer.


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