The Q&A Archives: Garlic Scapes

Question: This Spring I saw a garden show on TV which metioned a garlic that put out a flower type bulb above ground that was edible, too. Can you tell me what type of garlic this is? Do I plant garlic in the fall here in zone 4 and what type of soil and sun does garlic require? I love garlic and thought this type would be a great additon to my flower/herb garden.

Answer: Hard-neck garlics (Allium ophioscordon) produce these above ground bulbs on "seed stalks", and these should be pinched off (and used in the kitchen - yum!) so that the plant can put energy into building the bulb below ground. Any hard-neck variety will work - contact Ronniger's Seed & Potato company for their garlic selection (ph# 800/846-6178; PO Box 307, Ellensburg WA 98926) or find a local grower. Often garlic that is locally grown will produce better yields in your region. Order yours soon for fall delivery and planting. They require a rich, well-drained soil in full sun and mulch to keep bulbs protected over the winter and to suppress weeds in summer. Enjoy!

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