Vernalizing Biennials in Storage

Learn the proper way to vernalize biennial plants in storage.

By Micaela Colley & Jared Zystro

The Seed Garden

The Seed Garden (Seed Savers Exchange, 2015) by Micaela Colley & Jared Zystro and edited by Lee Buttala & Shanyn Siegel brings together decades of research and hands-on experience to teach both novice gardeners and seasoned horticulturists how to save the seeds of their favorite vegetable varieties.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Seed Garden.

Understanding what conditions are necessary and how they can be met is the first step in consid­ering the possibility of vernalization in storage. Most biennial vegetable crops require a period of 8 to 10 weeks at temperatures below 50°F (10°C) in order to vernalize. They will need to be dug and stored in a manner that simulates these con­ditions in regions that do not get cold enough or in locales where temperatures get too cold. While plants can be stored at temperatures anywhere between 32 and 45°F (0 and 7°C), a temperature range between 34 and 37°F (1 and 3°C) is rec­ommended both to prevent damage from freezing and to help prevent rot and disease that may occur at warmer temperatures.