Garlic (Allium sativum) is a cool season crop that can be planted either in the fall or early spring. If you are looking to harvest garlic seeds, it is important to know the proper techniques for seed preparation and storage.
Garlic Seeds: Brief Information
Garlic is notable for its edible bulb, but it also produces seeds that are harvested to be used as planting stock or propagated in order to continue growing the same variety.
Advantages of growing garlic from arrows:
- planting material is not susceptible to disease;
- up to 150…200 new plants are obtained from one arrow;
- the variety is reborn anew, the quality of inherited properties is high;
- easy to plant garlic seeds in the ground;
- germination is almost one hundred percent.
When to Harvest Garlic Seeds?
Garlic seeds, like bulbs, should be harvested when the plant begins to dry out. The seed heads will turn a light brown color and begin to split open at this stage. This usually occurs 4-5 months after planting; however, it can vary depending on the variety of garlic and the climate.
How to Harvest Garlic Seeds?
Once the seed heads have turned a light brown color and are beginning to split open, cut off the stems of the garlic plant. Place them in a dry and well-ventilated area for 1-2 weeks to allow the seeds to further dry out. Then, remove any remaining husks by rubbing the seed heads with your hands over a sieve.
Seed Preparation for Storage
Once the garlic seeds have been harvested and husked, it is important to prepare them for long-term storage. To do this, spread the seeds out in a single layer on newspaper or paper towels and let them sit until they are completely dry. Then, place the dried seeds in an airtight container and store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Conditions for Seed Storage
When storing garlic seeds, it is important to keep the temperature steady and between 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 10 Celsius). Humidity should also be kept low; ideally below 50%. If humidity is higher, the seeds may start to germinate. It is recommended to store for a long time in a cloth bag at a low positive temperature.
Seeds stored under these conditions should remain viable for up to three years; however, it is recommended that you check them every year and rotate your stock as necessary. This will help ensure that the seeds have not been compromised by pests, fungi, or other sources of damage.
When it comes to light exposure, garlic seeds should be stored in a dark location to protect against UV rays which can cause the seed coat to break down and the seeds to become vulnerable. It is also important that you keep your garlic seed away from heat sources such as radiators or stoves.