On farm evaluations of novel methods to increase garlic marketable yield

Progress report for ONC22-115

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2022: $14,788.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2024
Grant Recipient: University of Minnesota
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Cindy Tong
University of Minnesota
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Project Information


Small-acreage, local vegetable farms provide healthful food, taxable income, and ecosystem services to their communities. This project seeks to help sustain these farms by improving the yield of hardneck garlic, an economically important crop grown on many Minnesota vegetable farms. The project has both preharvest and postharvest components. In the preharvest experiment, an adaptation of a vernalization method used by southern USA garlic farmers that has shown promise in increasing garlic bulb size in Minnesota will be tested on three Minnesota farms. In the postharvest experiment, on-farm and laboratory-controlled postharvest storage will be compared to determine how well storage temperature recommendations translate to actual situations and how postharvest storage temperatures affect garlic shelf-life at market.

Project Objectives:

The project has two objectives: 1) determine how to adapt vernalization practices used in the southern USA to grow garlic, and test the practice on three Minnesota farms with different varieties of hardneck garlic, and 2) learn how well postharvest storage recommendations translate to actual farming situations and how on-farm postharvest practices affect shelf-life at market.


Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Carl Rosen (Educator and Researcher)
  • Peter Skold - Technical Advisor (Educator and Researcher)
  • Mhonpaj Lee - Technical Advisor (Educator and Researcher)
  • KaZoua Berry (Educator and Researcher)
  • Tim Kirkman (Researcher)
  • Nick Neaton (Researcher)
  • Allison Rian (Researcher)


Materials and methods:

Preplanting vernalization study

  1. Sourced garlic for planting. A couple of the collaborating farms are certified organic, so could not plant all of the varieties used in this study. ‘Music’ and ‘Inchelium Red’ garlic (both varieties organic) were purchased from Filaree Farms. ‘Chesnok Red’ (not organic) was purchased from Coffman Garlic.
  2. Farms were asked to chill garlic at 4 C (40 F) for 10 and 20 days, all to plant all garlic by October 10.
  3. Garlic was distributed to individual farms on September 18-20, 2022. There were at least 9 bulbs per chilling treatment per variety per farm (so each farm g 3 bags x 9 bulbs of each variety).  Farms were also given stakes to mark where replicates are planted, a plot plan that they could choose to use or disregard, and a Sharpie pen.
  4. Garlic was chilled for planting on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus on September 17 and 27, and planted on October 7. Plot was covered with straw.
  5. Farmers reported that they chilled and planted their garlic. Farmers were paid (half of allocation) for their work.


Participation Summary
6 Farmers participating in research

Educational & Outreach Activities

1 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools

Participation Summary:

Education/outreach description:

Outreach activities are planned for the MN Garlic Festival in 2023. A bulletin, Growing Garlic in Minnesota, was recently updated, printed, and distributed.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.