Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

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guruofgardens
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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#21

Post: # 23808Unread post guruofgardens
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:23 pm

After reading about pulling scapes rather than cutting them off, I tried it this year. Most of them were pulled very slowly, with a 'pop' sound when they left the plant. I could only get about 1/2 to 3/4 of the total this way, with some breaking off. The pulled ones were the best to eat then and there, while I cut the others into inch sized pieces to freeze for soups.
I'm hoping to dig up the garlic this coming week, a bit earlier than 2019. But - they're looking good! I keep digging one up every day for use in cooking dinners.
I have Estonia Red garlic.
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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#22

Post: # 23969Unread post ponyexpress
Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:14 pm

JRinPA wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:16 pm
Sue, I left about 40% of my main bed with the scapes intact, all on the same side. I should be able to gather some insight on health/size/storage time aspects.
I did this experiment last year. My friend thought harvesting scapes to make bulbs bigger was an old wives tale. So I left the scapes on about 90% of my plants (350+). There's definitely a size difference between the ones where I harvested the scapes versus the ones I left alone. I estimated the bulbs will get 25% bigger if you cut the scape.

Regarding pulling versus cutting, I pulled all of my scapes. Towards the end, I was getting pretty good with a 60-70% success rate of it not snapping early. I've had better luck pulling late afternoon on a hot day. I also waited until the scape made a single bend (like an upside down J ). Some varieties were easier to pull than others. I could also feel with some the amount of resistance. I wonder if next time, I might wait a day or two before pulling if I felt more resistance thereby increasing my success rate.

At my community garden, we have a few gardeners who are Chinese. One woman told me that she has a tool that she bought from China to help with scape pulling. I have yet to see this tool so I'll have to remind her about it. Another man told me of watching some youtube video where they use a nail. I just spent a little time searching for garlic scape pulling technique and found this article. This blogger tells the story of being taught by an elderly Chinese woman on the right way to harvest scapes:
I crouched down to watch. Muttering softly in Chinese, she showed me that she had brought a large nail. She counted up four leaf junctures from the soil, then pierced the stalk with the nail. Then she grasped the scape where it emerged from the stalk and pulled, slowly and steadily, with both hands. There was a barely audible snap - and the scape slipped out of the stalk.
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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#23

Post: # 24012Unread post svalli
Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:12 am

I used to pull the scapes to get more of the tender part, but during a bad onion maggot year a lot of the maggots were in the ones where I had pulled the scape so that it snapped off deep. Now I cut them off just above the top leaf. If I do it before the scapes start to straighten, I can do it with my thumb nails ( only fingers where I have longer nails) and then the scapes are still soft enough for eating.

I already picked the earliest ones last week to make pesto. Now I am planning to leave most of the remaining ones to grow a bit longer even those may get too tough to eat, but still cut them. We get too many to eat even I give some to friends and colleagues and I noticed that the plants start to yellow earlier, when the scapes are removed. I wan to try, if cutting scape later gives me better quality and bigger bulbs.

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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#24

Post: # 24015Unread post Bower
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:08 am

Henry told us that you can get bulbs as big as usual when you leave the scapes on, but you must leave them in the ground a few weeks longer.
Let us know about your trial of the later harvest! :)
I know I have sometimes cut scapes earlier than necessary - and the stem then continued to grow quite a bit further above the leaf. I'm pretty sure there was not earlier bulbing when I cut them too soon.
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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#25

Post: # 24036Unread post ponyexpress
Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:07 am

Bower wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:08 am
Henry told us that you can get bulbs as big as usual when you leave the scapes on, but you must leave them in the ground a few weeks longer.
I left my scapes on my garlic last year (90% of them) and noticed a definite size difference. Where scapes were cut, the bulbs were about 25% bigger. It make sense because you don't want the plant to put its energy to producing bulbils at the expense of bulb size.
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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#26

Post: # 24083Unread post Whwoz
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:39 pm

This depends upon the variety/group the Garlic belongs to. The bulbs of some varieties will be reduced in size if scape is left on, others will not be reduced
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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#27

Post: # 24096Unread post ponyexpress
Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:41 pm

Whwoz wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:39 pm
This depends upon the variety/group the Garlic belongs to. The bulbs of some varieties will be reduced in size if scape is left on, others will not be reduced
Interesting. I noticed that some varieties have big bulbils while others have tiny ones. I don’t remember which varieties of mine did which.

I harvested some of my garlic for the first time this year. This variety is Blossom, a variety from the Turban family.
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This one is Italian Easy Peel. Most were not ready but two were. The one on the left is some sort of mutant.
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Lastly, I picked some a few weeks ago that were dying. Never had that before.
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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#28

Post: # 24098Unread post Sue_CT
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:32 pm

I have one that died. Haven't pulled it yet. I expect about what you got from the dead ones. We have been having a very dry season, but the remaining ones seem OK, so I will have to see what I find.
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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#29

Post: # 24100Unread post Whwoz
Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:08 am

Under Australian conditions, Subtropical, Artichoke and Silverskin groups don't produce scapes. Turban and Asiatic garlic produce scapes that do not affect globe size and hence do not need to be removed. The purple stripe groups, Glazed, Standard and Marbled need scapes removed as do Porcelain, Creole and Rocambole group members.

Apply this in principle and with a few exceptions you will know which ones need their scapes removed

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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#30

Post: # 24103Unread post ponyexpress
Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:11 am

Whwoz wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:08 am
Under Australian conditions,
Good to know, thanks. Curious to know when you plant your garlic down under and when is it typically harvested? In Massachusetts, we plant in October/November and harvested in July.
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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#31

Post: # 24105Unread post Bower
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:52 am

Ponyexpress, that Blossom variety is beautiful! :D
I think your 'mutant' might have come from a damaged clove. I was meaning to post about this and didn't get around to it so I started a thread about it this morning.
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Re: Harvesting Scapes - pulling vs cutting

#32

Post: # 24106Unread post Whwoz
Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:15 am

ponyexpress wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:11 am
Whwoz wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:08 am
Under Australian conditions,
Good to know, thanks. Curious to know when you plant your garlic down under and when is it typically harvested? In Massachusetts, we plant in October/November and harvested in July.
@ponyexpress across the groups there is roughly a 2 month planting window, with the early ones, the Turbans here going in around mid to late March ideally, the Subtropical group is mostly grown in northern New South Wales and south East Queensland, I am about 1.5 hrs drive east of Melbourne, Victoria. I will try to get some into the ground around the end of February. No Asiatics available for planting in Oz as of yet.

The Porcelains, Artichokes Creoles and Glazed Purple Stripe groups go in early to mid April.

The Rocamboles, Marbled and Standard Purple Stripe and Silverskin groups go in around mid May to mid June.

Harvest starts around the end of August wit the turbans and goes through into January.

Some groups are only available from one supplier, others are readily available. I am still learning a lot about what will grow well here and what won't. I have about 50 varieties in this year, the turbans went in late, the lates about 3 or 4 weeks early. All have come up reasonably well considering the quality of some of the seed stocks. Will be posting results in my GLOG as I harvest.
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