Do you harvest garlic scapes while they’re still straight or after they’ve curled?
Garlic scapes harvested young are still tender enough to eat raw (although too pungent for some palates!) They can be cooked in stir-fries, pickled, or made into pesto. Harvested a little older, you may need to break off the woody bases, similar to asparagus, and just use the tender tops.
Scapes are the leafless flower stalks of hardneck garlic varieties. Harvesting scapes encourages the plants to put more energy into bulbs, increasing yields and improving quality. It’s usually done a few weeks or up to 2 months before the bulbs are ready for harvest. While scapes may be harvested by snapping or twisting them off at the base, many gardeners prefer to use pruning shears or clippers. A warm, dry afternoon is recommended for harvesting scapes, as this promotes fast healing.
While some folks advise to harvest when the scapes have curled once, others recommend harvesting while they’re still straight. The truth may be that tenderness varies by variety — some varieties stay tender after curling, while other varieties are best harvested earlier.
We’d love to hear from you! Have you found variation by variety? Do you always harvest at the same stage?
Remember, we take pre-orders all year for our fall-shipped heirloom Garlic cloves for planting!
These links offer advice for growing your own garlic:
Garlic and Perennial Onion Growing Guide
Garlic and Perennial (Multiplier) Onions: Harvest and Curing