Is my garlic going to seed?

Jason CookJason Cook Posts: 138
Hi folks,

I noticed these extra stalky bits growing out of the top of my garlic recently. Is this normal? The instructions say it should be ready in ‘early summer’. I planted it late September. 

Thanks in advance


Posts

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,056
    Yes those are the flower spikes. Hard neck garlic is supposed to do this and you can actually eat the flower spikes at this stage as a catch crop. Google garlic scapes for recipes. They taste a bit like a garlicy french bean.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 7,835
    Yes.  The whole plant is edible though and often stronger tasting than the bulbs, so you can cut the flowering stems (spathes?) off and eat them, if you like strong garlic flavours - I like them lightly fried in olive oil. :)  
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Jason CookJason Cook Posts: 138
    Ok.... really interesting. I will try that. Thanks guys. It’s ok to leave the bulbs in then?
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 7,835
    Yes, I find the bulbs continue to swell if the flowers are removed (although not as well as those which don't produce flowers), otherwise they can rapidly shrink as all of the energy goes into sexual rather than vegetative reproduction, which has a bigger pay-off in evolutionary terms, I expect.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 592
    totally normal, cut them off when they have a single curl, a bit older than yours I would say (but it won't harm to pinch them off early) and then use in stirfries or pesto. A nice spring treat that you cannot find in shops!
  • Jason CookJason Cook Posts: 138
    That’s a great idea. Thank you very much. 
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