Garlic growth stages

Asked February 17, 2017, 6:49 PM EST

Is there some sort of reference that shows an accurate list of growth stages for garlic, with each stage referenced to a rough time of year? Something like: I am monitoring some garlic, need to be able to use accurate terminology to describe where it is at, but I cannot find any straight forward guide or reference to any V and R stages. If I had to pull something out of the air, I would currently say that the garlic is vegetative, pre-bulb formation, mostly 4 full leaves, with a 5th leaf emerging.

Benton County Oregon garlic

1 Response

My apologies for the lateness of this reply. I actually responded and pushed send, but the moderator of this site just informed me that I did not answer your question. Do not know what happened, but here is another try.
I would recommend using the BBCH (Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessortenamt und CHemische Industrie) staging system, which is similar to the Zadock system and used internationally. It is very simple and has multiple degrees of precision (a 2 or 3 digit system) depending on your needs. It is supposedly also named after the companies that developed it (Bayer, BASF, Ciba Geigy (now Syngenta) and Hoescht).
It is important when staging alliums from seed to note that the first leaf is the cotyledon, and not the first true leaf, thus the designation 09 when the cotyledon emerges, and 11 when the first true leaf is clearly visible.
I have inserted links to two publications that may help you to use the BBCH system in garlic or onions. The one from 1995 has some great pictures to help. Interestingly, there is a recent publication that revises some of the BBCH especially for garlic. It is in the Annals of Botany, and if you would like the entire paper, and cannot find it, I probably can request it through the OSU library system.
Of course you could also go with a 'leaf number" system like the V staging in corn. The cotyledon leaf would be something less than 1, and every leaf after, another number. usually when the ligules are visible on the new leaf.
Let me know if i can be of more assistance.