What are garlic scapes and what should I do with them?

Question: 

What are garlic scapes and what should I do with them?

Answer: 

Hardneck cultivars of garlic will produce a scape or flower stalk from the center of the leaves in mid-to-late May.  Removing the scape is advised as it will help the bulb grow larger because the plant will put energy into bulb production rather than flower and seed production.  Harvest garlic scapes when immature, fully extended above the leaves, and beginning to curl, but before the stalk straightens and the bulbous end opens to reveal flower buds.  Cut the stalk off as low as possible without cutting off any leaves.

Young scapes can be used in cooking to provide mild garlic flavor when chopped and added to eggs, salads, stir-fries, pickles, or to make pesto.  They are also attractive additions to floral arrangements. 

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