Date of Graduation

Summer 2022


Master of Science in Plant Science (Agriculture)


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Melissa Remley


Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is grown on small and large scales worldwide. After harvesting, garlic undergoes a drying process for long-term preservation, called curing. Some producers cure with leaves intact, while others will remove and discard the leaves, curing only the bulbs. Due to the ability of plants to remobilize nutrients from leaves to underground storage organs, such as bulbs, the curing method of garlic may affect clove nutrient content. This study explores nutrient remobilization responses in garlic when cured with leaves intact compared to leaves separated from bulbs. Four cultivars of garlic, German White, Chesnok Red, Romanian Red, and Inchelium Red, were grown and harvested for three consecutive years. Plants of each cultivar were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: oven-dried (bulbs separated from leaves and placed directly into a forced air oven), intact (leaves remained intact with bulbs and plants cured in a greenhouse), and separated (leaves were cut from the bulbs to cure separately in a greenhouse). Leaf and clove dry weight were recorded, and nutrient content of boron, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulfur, and zinc were determined using an ICP-MS. There was no effect of curing treatment on leaf and clove dry weight. Remobilization of phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, and copper was supported by a significant reduction of leaf content in intact plants compared to separated. Similarly, intact cloves had higher concentrations of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, copper, molybdenum, and zinc. Opposite results in leaf and clove calcium and boron concentrations suggest low or no mobility of these nutrients. However, the differences in nutrient concentrations were not consistent in all cultivars and years in this study. Although curing method did not affect overall yield of garlic, keeping leaves intact during curing may result in some remobilization from the leaves and increased nutrients in the cloves. Further research is needed to clarify these findings to determine the extent of nutrient remobilization in garlic.


garlic, Allium sativum, garlic curing, curing methods, nutrient remobilization, post-harvest, hardneck, softneck

Subject Categories

Agricultural Science | Horticulture | Plant Biology


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