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Friday, June 21, 2013

UPDATE:I Don't Understand Garlic with pictures


The only advice I get online, friends or articles, is cut off the scapes. What are scapes? "The curly part!" ??? 
There is nothing curly about this plant. So, is it garlic? Allium? Edible? What's happening? What should I do? People who have not seen it assure me it is garlic and has curly scapes. Nooo, nothing curly.

When my 94-yr-old neighbor died, the family gave me the plants after they took their choice. I would like to make this a part of my edibles if it is edible. It is a beautiful plant with several flowers. So, it serves me well as it is.
Everyone mows it down, so it is a sporadic plant, hardy, returning after each mutilation?
The picture above was taken in the middle of the night.

                                       Taken this morning, amongst the elderberry volunteers.

I love the delicate lavender color. So, what's up with my garlic?

Another thing--I bought some Gilroy, CA garlic to plant. When should I plant garlic. I hear conflicting reports. I live in AL.

Garlic lying down above. See, no curly anything! It was growing up through the elderberry tree/bush. The garlic bloomed and then the elderberry surrounded it. See, no curly. Edible garlic?

Your turn
Do you have garlic that has no curl? Hellllppp!


  1. Linda,

    That doesn't look like garlic to me. Garlic leaves look more like the leaves of onions than leaves from a typical plant. I don't see any 'onion looking' leaves (or stems) in your picture.

    In the southeast, the best time to plant garlic is in the fall. It should stay in all winter and harvest the following June. It is too hot in the South to plant and grow it in the spring/summer.

    Hope this helps!

    1. Kate,
      The garlic plant does look like garlic, but the garlic flower is poking up through volunteer elderberries. Sorry for that. So, I can dig these up now?

      I will be planting in the fall. Thank you.

    2. Linda,

      OK - I see it now! It is garlic. Let me also add that garlic that flowers is taking energy away from making the bulb bigger and more flavorful. So, flowers mean less flavor in the garlic bulb. When you see the garlic trying to flower - cut the bud off (unless of course you want it to flower.) Then when you dig up the bulbs, it will have the best flavor possible. Yes, you can dig it up now. I pulled mine about two weeks ago.

      I am awake now and I can also answer the scapes issue:

      Softneck garlic does not have scapes. (That is what I grew this year in your neighboring state). Hardneck varieties do have scapes. So the fact that you don't see scapes means that you have a softneck variety.

      Sorry I posted too early to answer this before! I wasn't completely awake!!

    3. Kate,
      I suppose seeing actual garlic plant helped, too. I will have to find someone to dig. Thanks for identifying the type of garlic for me. I several good neighboring states and have lived in TN and MS.

      I would like to have an area where I valued the flowers for their beauty and another area where I grew garlic for eating. Now, I cannot wait to get these dug up. I will have to visit your blog and read a bit.

  2. Garlic scapes are the curvy, twisting stems of garlic plants. Yes they are edible. I pickle them for salads. Great in stir fry. Can be chopped and frozen for use like garlic flavored scallions. At the end of the scapes is a flower bud, yours appear to be opened/opening. You can also use the flowers to make garlic herbal vinegar (fill a clear glass jar with picked flowers, cover with white vinegar, set in sun and let it infuse for several weeks. Strain, and decant into a bottle.


    1. CTMOM,
      That is what I am saying--there is nothing curly.

      Thanks for the ideas.

  3. Kate sounds like she figured it out for you. I just wanted to say we plant garlic in the fall even way up here, lol. My garlic has no scapes either, just goes from looking like an onion to dead. We have to wait 'til fall to dig ours up, but your warmer weather might let you get away with it earlier there.


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