Garlic Scapes

Monday, June 30, 2014

Garlic scapes are the immature flower stems of garlic (Allium sativum).  They begin to develop in midsummer.  If your main crop is garlic bulbs, remove the scapes when they begin to curl so that the plant focuses most of its energy into bulb production.  If the scapes are not removed total yield may be reduced by 5-25 percent depending on several factors such as soil fertility.

To harvest garlic scapes, carefully pinch or cut them off just above the top leaf.  Instead of discarding the scapes, market them for use in a wide variety of foods.  Garlic scapes have a mild, gentle garlic flavor and can be added to many dishes or used as a side dish.