What are these odd looking, twisty things in my garden?

Oh, they are Garlic Scapes! 

The shoots growing out of the ground from only hard-neck varieties of garlic. When they're young and tender, they look like curly green stalks with tightly closed buds on top. Farmers and gardeners snap them off in June to prevent nutrients depletion from the garlic bulbs, allowing the bulbs get big and ready for harvest. 

Here is how to harvest them:

To cut your scape, wait until the center stalk completely forms and grows above the rest of the plant. As it grows up it will begin to curl or spiral upward. At that point, cut the stalk as far down as you can without cutting any leaves off. Since not all of the scapes will come at once, revisit the patch weekly until all the scapes are gone!

Last updated June 29, 2017