garlic seed heads

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by MELOC, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i grew garlic this year and i am a rookie garlic grower. i noticed that it appears to be forming seed heads. i assume i need to break them off, but i am not sure. :shrug:
     
  2. CSA again

    CSA again Western North Carolina

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    remove the seed heads for larger bulbs the "seeds " look like very small garlic bulbs, save one till it matures to start a new bed. the new bed will take a few years though.
     

  3. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I take off the "seed" heads as the stalk is just starting to uncurl. I read research that said that done earlier, you get bigger bulbs but they don't keep as well; later, when the stalks have totally uncurled and are standing straight up, the bulbs will be smaller but keep better.

    Hardneck garlic doesn't keep as well as softneck anyway and I want to ensure that it will keep as long as possible. By picking at a time inbetween, I seem to get the best of both worlds as we get some really nice, large heads that will keep for almost 6 months.

    I have customers who adore garlic seedheads -- they are a gourmet treat available only this once a year.
     
  4. elkhound

    elkhound Well-Known Member Supporter

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    meloc..i just trimmed of the garlic heads this week.my garlic looks the best it ever has.the stalks are good and sturdy looking and real green and i hope this means that all is well in the soil and they are growing nice big heads.cant wait to see how they do.i plnted then about oct 15 th and with the mostly mild winter they grew several inches tall and then when it got cold they jsut stalled until the warmth came on and they have done real well.
     
  5. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Eat the scapes!

    Tip - Steam or Stir Fry Garlic Flowers
    The garlic tops, called flowers or garlic scapes, are a gourmet delight! Steam them whole and serve with melted butter like asparagus. Cut them into short lengths to add to a stir fry. They have a delicate garlic flavour which gives a subtly different and delicious flavour to the sauce.
     
  6. Suburbanhmstedr

    Suburbanhmstedr Well-Known Member

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    Some of my favorite treats this time of year --

    Chopped garlic scapes tossed on roasted new potatoes in the last few minutes of cooking.

    Sauteed fresh spinach with garlic scapes.

    YUM!
     
  7. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    The "seed" stalks which appear on hardneck garlic are called scapes. Where a blossom would appear on such a stalk on an onion, that's an umbel. Beyond that is a "beak" which is the umbel sheath. The umbel forms bulblets instead of flowers and seed and those are called bulbils. A full cluster of them is called a head. Garlic does not grow with its head underground. What's underground is a bulb!

    The scapes are at their best for eating when they are at full curl and before they begin to straighten out. As they straighten, they also toughen. Although most people use the entire scape, the best part is the stem and umbel portion. The "beak" or sheath usually doesn't have the flavor of the rest of the scape since that is mainly the same as a layer of skin over the bulbs.

    From scape development to harvest should be about 5 weeks. If that holds true, I should be curing Red Estonian shortly after the 4th of July. Of the many varieties that we've grown in 25 years, I can never recall seeing scapes appearing in May. It's not the weather since the other 30-40 varieties are normal for this time.

    Martin
     
  8. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    lol, all of this wonderful terminology. i do appreciate it, but since i see nothing curling, i am lost. i see a stalk growing straight up from the center that is pointed on top and has a bulge below the point.
     
  9. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Wait about 2 more days before cutting them off. As they get a little more growth on them, they'll do a complete 360º curl. Some really tall ones may do a double curl before they uncoil and go straight up. While they are still coiled, they are tender and weak. When they begin to uncoil, they start getting tougher. You'll see since I want you and every other garlic novice to leave at least one scape intact so you learn what it's all about. The tallest that I've actually grown was Music which had a 78" stalk from bulb base to bulbil head.

    Martin
     
  10. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    since i am on a roll with newbieness...i have martin's, carpathian, schumacher and pa dutch. the pa dutch resemble onions, and the others share the same basic appearance with a central stalk and flat leaves. would everything but the pa dutch be hard neck, or is that something totally different?
     
  11. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Pennsylvania Dutch is a porcelain type hardneck. No scapes on mine yet as it's a little later than some others. It has a small but hot and spicey bulb. It's another that I'd like to propagate a large supply via the bulbils but they are real small and would take 3 years to get a full-sized bulb.

    Martin
     
  12. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    Well, we had our very first Scape experince this eveing for supper.
    Sauteed in butter and --- drizzled over boiled carrot chunks!

    'Twas yummy!

    Can't wait to try it with grilled chicken,