23 June 2008

Scape Time

Our garlic started putting up scapes a few weeks ago, and we've been harvesting them to cook with. We probably let them get too big—the conventional wisdom is that cutting scapes off will let the plant spend more energy on making a big, fat bulb of garlic—but we're lazy and they look cool. Incidentally, Patrick just put up a really interesting post about breeding garlic from seed that's worth checking out if you're interested in that kind of thing.

6 comments:

Christina said...

Cool picture.

It's fun to see how different crops come in at different times between our climates. I began harvesting garlic about a month ago and put in squash and melons where the garlic was. One of the melon varieties is already beginning to bloom.

I bet you STILL get tomatoes before me this year; mine are just so slow to set fruit! ARgh!

ourfriendben said...

I love garlic scapes!!! Use 'em in stir-fries, soups, squash casserole... yum! Thank God my CSA has them, though, 'cause our stupid garlic has never, ever even sent up one...

CeeCee said...

Does the scape imply that the garlic is nearly ready to harvest?

Anonymous said...

My garlic has not scaped. I've never grown it before and am not sure what to do. A local farmer told me I need to harvest it by July 4th (in the D.C. area). I finally harvested one yest. but it seems really smallish.

what am I doing wrong? I was really looking forward to cooking with the scapes.

Help.....

Farmer Jen said...

I found this post very interesting. I have been growing my own garlic for 9 years now and I have never even heard of a scape. My garlics don't make them, I guess. I get good big flavorful bulbs underground, but no scapes. Are they garlic "seeds"? I am intrigued...

Thank you for your nice comments on my blog Meg. Always nice to hear from new visitor. This way I get to check out your blog too.

Meg said...

Christina, I don't know about that ... our tomatoes have little tiny fruits, but they are moving sloooowly.

Ben, I love 'em too! We put them in everything. Weird that you don't get scapes ... maybe pirates are stealing them.

CeeCee, kind of. The scapes showed up about six or eight weeks ago, and our garlic is about ready to be pulled up now.

Anonymous, not all garlic puts up scapes so yours might be doing what it's supposed to do. If it's a hardneck variety, you'll get scapes. You won't with softneck. The difference between the two varieties is just like it sounds--one puts out a pretty tough stem/neck, while the other just puts out leaves.

Garlic really likes lots of sun, even water, and really loose soil. Ours is planted pretty much in full sun, it's mulched with straw and grass (to help keep in water), and the soil has loads of compost so it's nice and fluffy. Maybe your garlic is feeling neglected in one of those areas?

The fourth of July sounds about right for your area. We are a zone north of you and we'll be pulling up our garlic this week. You can tell it's ready to harvest when the leaves start to turn brown and get limp. Good luck!

Hey, Farmer Jen! Not all garlic puts up scapes--but it is a nice, tasty extra if you have a variety that does. It is essentially little garlic seeds. I don't think it's true seed, but if you let a scape go and the seeds plant themselves, you'll have a nice little patch of garlic greens for the following spring. I don't think they'll turn into whole bulbs, just little chive-like things.