I planted garlic for the first time this fall. I bought organic garlic from Whole Foods. How do I know if it was soft neck or hard neck? I know, I am a rookie! Here are some pics.
that one part is brown, is that bad?
Most store bought Garlic is soft neck. These varieities store well and make more sense from a marketing point of view. My advice is to wait until harvesting to answer your question. You will harvest, likely in July, when about 1/3 of the leaves turn brown. Just examine the necks to determine hard or soft necked designation. Your browning in the photo is a normal part of the maturing process. There are many great entries on this site which will provide you information on how to dry,clean and store your Garlic. Right now, everything looks fine. Bon Appetit.
The ones that are sending up the scape in the pictures are a hardneck for sure. you should break them off for a bigger bulb.
You are sure they are hard neck? How can you tell?
How do I "break them off?" Can I eat them?
You can tell it is hardneck garlic because soft neck do not produce scapes. And yes, you can eat the scapes. In fact, they are considered a delicacy by some. Just follow the scapes down to where it meets the top leaf and cut it with a knife or you pruners.
I have read that soft necks sometimes also produce scapes. Those scapes don't look like the hardneck scapes I have seen. Unless they are really old scapes that curled once and have now straightened?
The plumpness of that flower bud makes me think Asiatic, because of the big bulblets that form in the flower heads. I pulled up a known Asiatic yesterday and while it will make good eating, the plants are nowhere near ready to dig and cure.
AlliDe Spain is correct. I planted silverskins and artichokes here in zone8 and they produced scapes!
Hmmmmmm, so basically it could be hardneck or soft neck? When it is ready and I pull it up will it be obvious (to you garlic experts) what it is?
I get scapes on my Early Italian Purple, German Red, Sicillian and Italian Late if the conditions are right. so, not scapes are not an indication of whether soft or hard neck.
It should be obvious without pulling one up--the foliage of the different kinds looks quite different in size and color.
You either have an Asiatic or Turban, leaves and scape looks like Asiatic. Asiatics or turbans need to be pulled shortly after notice first leaves turn brown. If your wrappers on garlic you bought were white Asiatic, if had purple stripes or splashes of purple then a turban (probably). Hope that helps.
You could easily tell from the garlics that you bought from Whole Food market whether they were soft or hardneck. Hardnecks are pear shaped with their neck sticking out. And they are usually bigger than softnecks too. That is my understanding.
my vote's for an Asiatic based on the colour & size of the bulbils and the umbel's long sheath
Good descriptions of the different varieties can be found here -