My garlic glut is planted out now and sprouting strongly on the allotment. I have some preliminary results to share with you from my experiments in February. This is to see if fridge or freezer treated garlic can be used successfully in the event of us having insufficient winter cold to encourage bulb formation.
Garlic in the freezer
Don't bother - as dND predicted, the cloves' structure was damaged. They turned squishy and orange and are now on the compost heap.
Garlic in the fridge
These were placed in the fridge the same nights as frost was predicted, but taken out of the fridge during the day to simulate the same daytime warming as the outside garlic would be getting. They were unharmed by the experience and were beginning to sprout when planted out on the allotment.
Garlic left outside
My experiment's control group - left outside during the whole period and then planted out in a block on the allotment. They experienced 10 nights of frost and like the fridge garlic, they were beginning to sprout on planting.
Preliminary results show that fridge treatment doesn't harm garlic. Unfortunately, there were frosty nights after planting, so I won't be able to see if fridge treatment alone is suitable for encouraging these cloves to form bulbs properly. However, I will still be able to compare the two groups for potential yield differences later on this year.