Back in October I planted 15 bulbs of garlic, 3 in the ground and 12 in containers. Now it's the end of Spring and I'm harvesting 15 garlic scapes! Nearly 8 months have gone by and these tiny bulbs transformed into fairly large garlic plants. I'm not sure if it was the mild winter or the expert composting and mulching that went on, but success is success! One of the boons of growing your own hardneck garlic is the garlic scape. At the end of spring the garlic plant usually sends up a flower shoot. When it curls, it's time to harvest!
Step One: Locate your scapes. Look for a pointed bulb shoot coming from the middle of the plant. I noticed my scapes about a week ago, and they were almost all curled when the harvesting commenced. You want to cut before the scape blooms into a flower.
Step Two: In the afternoon, with sharp pruning shears, cut the scape from the plant. Cut the scape close to the top set of leaves. The aroma of garlic fills the air!
Step Three: Note your harvest date in a garden journal. Roughly 20 days from now you'll be harvesting heads of garlic...and hoping for some dry weather to cure them outside!
Step Four: Cook the scapes! They're great in a million different ways, I love them grilled with a finish of fruity olive oil and salt. A local blogger-friend, Annie, made a delicious garlic scape pesto last week. The next time I score scapes, pesto I will make!
Scapes can be found at farmers' markets, specialty grocery stores, and my back yard! Have you tried garlic scapes yet? If yes, what did you make? If no, do it already before they're gone for the year!
A special thanks to my garden model/sister, Jenn. Who knew you had a green thumb?!