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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 555: II International Symposium on Edible Alliaceae

USE OF ELECTRONICS IN COOLING OF SEED GARLIC (Allium sativum L.)

Authors:   R. Schmitke, J. Hill
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2001.555.24
Abstract:
Variable commercial production from seed garlic led to seed cooling and growing trials over nine years. Multi channel temperature recorders were used to monitor storage and product temperatures. An algorithm was derived from the first 6 years of data collected during cooling. The algorithm was built into software and used in a programmable datalogger to trigger an alarm when the desired cooling end point was achieved. Confirmation trials have since shown that seed garlic of any Australian grown variety, stored under ambient conditions, for any time duration before the cooling period would be cooled appropriately using the derived algorithm. The seed garlic is stored at approximately 6°C room air temperature, until the alarm triggers. The garlic is then removed from the coolroom, cracked, graded and planted under ambient conditions. Benefits include earlier and more uniform germination. This enables better growth in the warmer autumn temperatures. The resultant even crop growth also assists in ease of application of herbicides, base fertilisers and foliar nutrients. Improved growth results in larger average clove size, decrease in clove numbers per bulb and bigger bulbs. When planting densities are determined by specific clove numbers, the increase in average clove size has increased the total volume of garlic seed required.
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