Garlic Scapes

sconticut(6b)June 10, 2013

I dutifully remove my garlic scapes from my hardneck varieties every year. Am I wasting my time? Thery are quite tasty in a stir fry but does anyone know of any definitive study which proves that removing them results in larger Garlic bulbs at harvest?


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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

No, I don't have a study for you. But I do have 18 years of experience growing garlic for market and in the next 2 weeks i'll be harvesting from 800-1000 lbs.

Every year I miss some scapes from plants that are harvested and bundled in the drying shed with the others. They are always small.

Do you really need a study to believe something? Why not leave a scape or two on your own plants and find out for yourself?


    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 9:06AM
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Thank you Mark (madroneb),
Here we have been growing garlic for 30 years but in not nearly the quantity that you do and so I do appreciate your comment. I have followed your suggestion about leaving a few scapes on (sometimess by accident) but there are just too many variables to rely upon this as a test of the effectiveness of scape removal. I am approaching my mid eighties and have seen so many legends and old wives' tales prove to be false that I just look a bit askance at things nowadays. However, I will continue to remove them until science and a well designed research project shows the practice to be ineffective. Thank you again for your response. It is appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 8:21PM
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AiliDeSpain(6a - Utah)

Do you by chance sell seed? I am looking to try some new varieties next year.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Victor, thanks for the smile you just put on my face.
I did find this quote on the U of Minnesota extension website: "Research in Minnesota has shown that yields can be reduced by 20% to 30% if the scape is allowed to mature. Yields are most affected in poorly fertilized soil, and only minimally (Although they don't seem to link to the study itself, i'm sure it can be found.

Incidentally, the scapes have become a good extra source of income for me, increasing the total value of the garlic by about $1/lb. Go figure?

AlliDeSpain, yes I do sell seed garlic and very reasonably. Check my page here for my farms website and you can contact me through it. We start shipping seed garlic around august first.


Here is a link that might be useful: U of M Extension

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 11:58PM
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AiliDeSpain(6a - Utah)

Thanks Mark.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 12:20AM
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Molly Adams

mark, the link has a lot of good info, BUT (and it's a BIG but...) university of minnesota recommends round-up as the first line of defense against weeds???? no mulch or hand weeding mentioned... dislike, big time.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:11PM
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