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Back in the fall I planted garlic for the first time. Unfortunately, we had a mild winter (or, anyway, it got cold late and didn't stay cold consistently), and the garlic sprouted too early and then died. If I can look forward to more of the same in years to come (global warming, climate catastrophe, etc., etc.), could I overwinter my garlic in my basement (which is pretty cold) and move it outdoors at the appropriate time?

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  • Are you sure that the garlic has actually died? It's quite possible for the leaves to emerge and then die over the winter, yet the bulb will be fine and resprout when the weather is warmer. To confirm, dig up a bulb and see if it's squishy. If it isn't, it's still alive. If the bulbs are indeed alive, you will get a crop but the bulbs will be somewhat smaller than normal.
    – Jurp
    Mar 13 at 23:49
  • I have had garlic braded into a log rope hang in the kitchen all winter . I do not remember any gong bad. Mar 14 at 1:38
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Overwintering in the basement is worth a try, however it would need to be quite cold and there would be very still air which could encourage moulds.

An alternative would be to manage the garlic out in the open field more carefully. The idea would be to bury the cloves fairly deep so that the cloves are not as much aware of what is happening above ground, and not to plant too early going into winter, then heavily mulch and cover with a sheet of white plastic to reflect heat energy back into the atmosphere. The planting date is probably the most critical decision; it needs to be early enough to allow roots to form but not so early as to allow leaves to emerge from the ground. Hence depth of planting and mulch cover, not to keep heat in but to keep the cold in.

Hedge your bets, and run both experiments at the same time, using a range of garlic types to see which performs best in your location.

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