Garlic scapes are a new crop for us. They are the flower stalk of certain types of garlic. Garlic can be divided into two main groups – hardnecks (produces scapes) and softnecks (no scapes). We usually grow Inchelium Red garlic which is a softneck, but we decided to plant a couple of different varieties last year (garlic is planted the year before it is harvested).
When you buy garlic at the grocery store you will have noticed the hard stem in the middle – that is the base of the scape.
When garlic sends up a flower stalk it transfers its energy into producing those flowers and subsequently seeds. By removing the scapes we encourage the garlic to put its energy back into growing the garlic cloves and we get to eat the scapes!