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Softneck garlic reverting to hardneck?

Posted by price403 Zone 6b, WV (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 4, 12 at 15:28

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?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Softneck garlic reverting to hardneck?

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

RE: Softneck garlic reverting to hardneck?

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.

RE: Softneck garlic reverting to hardneck?

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.

RE: Softneck garlic reverting to hardneck?

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.

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