Softneck garlic reverting to hardneck?

price403(Zone 6b, WV)July 4, 2012

Both of my softneck garlic varieties have grown well with our unusually mild winter and warm spring. On a few bulbs I have noticed a knot in the stalk about 4 or 5 inches above the bulb. I thought it was a possible injury site that had healed and kept growing. After harvesting the garlic and curing it I noticed that the knots have grown so I split one of the stalks. It turns out it is a short scape. There are 4 to 6 bulbils on each of the ones that have done this. It is from softneck varieties that I have grown for a few years and have never had this happen before.

Is this something garlic does when grown in a warmer than usual year or could it be a possible mutation?

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austinnhanasmom(5 CO)

I've read that softneck varieties were bred to "not-scape", but will generate scapes when stressed.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 7:52PM
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still_kris(z17 NoCA)

I have softneck varieties that scape consistently and hardneck that sometimes fail to scape. No hard and fast rule when Mother Nature is involved, it appears. Too many variables.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 9:19AM
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scooter70(6 SW OH)

I too experienced my softneck variety producing scapes this year. I believe i read somewhere that heat can cause this..I can believe that because the last 10-12 days they were in the ground (pulled 10 days ago), it was extremely hot, I live in Dayton, OH. Besides the 'off' winter i think everyone had, i would definitely say they have been stressed this year.
I suppose my predisposition to selective planting for larger bulbs, longer storage, scapes on my softnecks..., will lead me to keep them separated & Not put any of those that set scapes back into the ground.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 10:05AM
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price403(Zone 6b, WV)

Thanks for all the replies. I'll make sure to only replant bulbs that didn't send up a scape this fall. Hopefully we have a normal winter this year. I've been having trouble with more insects than normal this year and I attribute some of it to the unseasonably warm and short winter we had.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:10AM
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