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Garden Update – Garlic Scapes

Garden Update – Garlic Scapes

Garden Update – Garlic Scapes

This garden update – garlic scapes. What are they?


Container Gardening

I planted this garlic last October. It takes at least 8-9 months before you can harvest garlic bulbs. This year I planted 56 cloves in 3 Earthbox planters, a 10″ pot, and one in with my rosemary. This is the first time I have planted garlic. It is a learning experience. I am making notes as I go.

Hard neck garlic grows scapes before it’s time to harvest the bulbs. Garlic scapes are the seed heads of the garlic. Gardeners do not use these as seeds to plant garlic. Using the garlic seeds it would take 2 years before you have garlic bulbs. Planting garlic by the clove is much easier.

The foodie world considers garlic scapes a delicacy. At least I’m told they are a delicacy. Chefs look for them at farmer’s markets at the start of summer. I understand gourmet chefs will pay a premium price for them. If I knew a chef I would offer them for sale this year.

In June the garlic is forming bulbs under the soil. The bulbs send up shoots called garlic scapes. The scapes need to be cut off when they get to be 8-9” long or after the first loop. The scapes can be chopped up, sauté, and used in many dishes. If the scape straightens out and remains it then becomes woody.

Not much longer I will be able to harvest my purple Russian garlic. Purple Russian garlic is a purple stripe variety. It has a bold flavor with no aftertaste. If I actually get bulbs out of the ground I will be curing some of them to use as gourmet garlic powder. I plan to take 50 or so and replant them for next year’s harvest. Fingers crossed I get disease-free bulbs.

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