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Garlic Scapes Season – Everything You Need To Know 

Properly grown garlic scapes are only available for a few weeks! So you need to know when they grow so you can turn them into a pickle or make their puree. What is their season?

I’m here to spill the beans for you! Since I grow different vegetables in my garden every season, I’ve learned garlic scapes are available in late spring through early summer, and you can harvest them before the bulb at the end opens to reveal the seed pod.

Below, I’ll discuss the garlic scapes season in detail. I’ll also explain:

  • How long garlic scapes take to grow
  • How do you know when to cut the garlic scapes from the plant?
  • How many garlic scapes one hardneck garlic plant can grow?
  • What part of the garlic scape is best to use in various dishes?
Two hands holding a bunch of picked garlic scapes

What season do garlic scapes grow?

As you may know, garlic is a remarkable plant with not just one but two yearly harvests. You can think of it like getting a double dose of garlicky goodness!

First up, you get the delightful garlic scapes, and then later in the summer, the bulbs take center stage.

Let’s talk about the garlic scapes season you’ve eagerly wanted to know about! These curly green spears appear in late spring or early summer and usually grow in the center of the plant, curled up like a snake. 

The scapes are usually readily available in local farmer’s markets or grocery stores, and when you get past them, you can’t help but feel enticed to bring them home to add to your meal.

The best part about garlic scapes is that they bring a milder yet fresh garlicky flavor to your dishes. Now, you might wonder how to pick the perfect bunch of garlic scapes. So, keep in mind; freshness is the key!

Look for firm, vibrant green, curled stalks with no sign of wilting or yellowing. When you take a sniff, the enticing aroma should tickle your senses.

How do you know when to cut garlic scapes?

Just like a baker waiting for his cake to rise, you have to exercise some patience when it comes to harvesting garlic scares and letting them grow to their full potential.

So, here’s the deal: When the center stalk of the garlic plant completely forms and grows above the rest of the plant during mid-May or Mid-June, depending on the climate of your location, it’s show time! 

You now need to keep a close eye on it, and when the stalk begins to curl or spiral upward, grab your gardening shears to cut the serpent garlic. 

But hold your horses, and don’t rush the process. The key is to cut the scapes as far down as possible without accidentally snipping off any of those precious garlic leaves. 

There you have it – a beautiful garlic scape, ready to be used in your favorite recipe for some culinary magic.

How many garlic scapes are in a clove?

Each garlic clove produces only one scape.

Yup, that’s right!

But don’t let this fool you because each garlic spear grows at least 50 bulbils or seeds. Think of it as nature’s way of saying, “Hey, I have got even more garlic goodness to offer!”

Speaking of garlic goodness, did you know you can use garlic scapes as a substitute for garlic cloves in your recipes?

It’s true! If you find yourself in a pinch and can’t get your hands on garlic cloves, simply use some 4-6 scapes instead to get the same flavor. 

What part of garlic scape is best?

Now that we are knee-deep in discussing the garlic scapes, let me tell you which part of the garlic is best to eat. 

While the whole garlic scape till the flower bulb at the end is indeed edible, it’s best to use the slim stem in the middle to get the most delightful texture and taste in your meals. 

Some people opt to remove the flowering bulb from the scapes as it tends to have a thinner texture compared to the rest of the stalk. 

A cutting board with chopped scapes sitting next to uncapped scapes
Chopping up garlic scapes in my kitchen!

Why doesn’t my garlic have scapes?

If you have planted some garlic cloves in your garden, but the plants do not show any sign of those spears, you might be scratching your head as to why this happened. 

Well, it turns out that there are some pesky reasons causing your garlic plants not to have any scapes. These include:

  • You are trying to get garlic scapes from planting softneck varieties.
  • Unfavorable soil conditions.
  • Weeds around the bulbs are minimizing the chances of the garlic to produce scapes.
  • You have not waited long enough for the garlic scapes to appear after the growing season started.   

How long do garlic scapes take to grow?

So, you’ve got your hands on some garlic scapes and can’t help but wonder about the magic they hold within?

Here’s the thing, when you allow these scapes to grow till the end of the garlic seasons, their tips turn into a wiry, white cluster of tiny blooms. Each of these blooms then starts to swell at the tip, producing seeds that gradually bloat and turn brown.

These protuberances on the scapes are called bulbils or tiny bulbs. Think of them as the garlic scape way of producing offspring. 

Let’s get to the heart of the matter: How long does it take for these bulbils to grow into a new plant? Well, once you sow these tiny bulbils in your garden, it takes about two to five years for them to grow into a full-fledged garlic bulb. 

This means that compared to a garlic clove, the seeds take more than enough time to grow into a new plant. Due to this, farmers prefer to remove the scapes from garlic plants early in the season to channel their energy into growing the bulb from the garlic clove. 


That’s all about it, my chums! I’ve shared with you my insights about the garlic scapes season and when you can cut them to enjoy the milder garlicky flavor in your dishes or make a vinaigrette.

Now that you know its season is a short affair, whenever you encounter those fat branches of scapes in the market or grocery store, seize the opportunity to buy them and savor the unique flavor they offer. 


  • Kaylee Vaughn

    Kaylee is the Founder of She has set up and run two homesteads, a one-acre in Idaho, and her current two-acre dream homestead in the Pacific North West. Her qualifications include a Permaculture Design Certification from Oregon State University, and she is a Gardenary Certified Garden Coach. Kaylee currently produces at least 80% of her own food. She contributes to our site through articles, training and coaching to our clients. You can read more about her at