Week of May 20, 2021
By now your hardneck garlic is shooting up a funny looking curly stalk. Those curly-Q things are called scapes. They are a false flower stalk that starts out straight, then curls around into one or two loops then straightens again. They are produced on hardneck varieties and most people like to remove them. Removing them will direct the plants’ energy into making a larger bulb. But don’t just throw them into your compost pile–scapes are very delicious to eat and are milder than the garlic cloves. Allow them to grow down into a single loop (the longer they grow the tougher then get), cut them off and take them to the kitchen. You can steam them, saute them in olive oil or butter, pickle them, freeze them for later use, or if you don’t want to eat them, toss them in your compost pile. Softneck garlic does not produce scapes but may produce a flower stalk. You will want to cut those off as well and compost them.