Garlic scapes

sandrakassa(4)July 20, 2014

I clipped a bunch of scapes (with 6 inches of stem attached) and put them in my basement to dry for planting in the fall. I did not hang them. Then I read that if not properly stored (temperature & humidity) botulisim is possibel with garlic cloves. Is this true for the bubils? Are they (the bubils) safe to store and save for planting this Fall? I have been growing, curing and storing garlic for about 4 years and have had great success. But I am looking for more info on just how to harvest and store the scapes. I am concerned aboout the botulisim scare. And is there any way to know for sure that the garlic bulbs and/or scapes are free from botulism. Are there any bloggers that know a lot about this subject? I'm glad I found your site. Wish it would have been sooner. I'm not real good with computers. (yet)

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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

You don't have to worry about botulism unless you plan to eat garlic that was stored in oil or if you canned garlic improperly. Cured garlic that you have in storage is a non-issue.

Do you mean you plan to replant the bulbils on top of the scapes? If so then the bulbils are very safe to replant and/or eat if you want. Same goes for the garlic bulbs.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:42AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I'm pretty sure botulism only forms under conditions involving no oxygen (like in a sealed can or heavy oil) so I'm pretty sure you're safe. Especially since you're planning on planting those and then eating what grows out of them.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:26AM
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I am confused. Did you pick scapes with fully formed seeds? I doubt that seeds are formed in July in Zone 4. And if they are formed, are you aware that one seed will form one small clove, no bulb?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:51PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I am concerned aboout the botulisim scare. And is there any way to know for sure that the garlic bulbs and/or scapes are free from botulism. Are there any bloggers that know a lot about this subject?

It is important to keep botulism in perspective rather than to let it scare you. First understand the c. botulinum spores are all around us all the time in the air and especially common in soil. You live with them all the time.

But the spores pose no threat to you. The threat is from the toxins they produce if food contaminated with them is stored in an anaerobic environment and you then ingest that food. So in this case your fears are totally unfounded.

Is there anyway to know if your garlic is free from spores? The odds are high that they are not, that they do have spores on them as well as other soil-borne bacteria since they were grown in the ground. But those spores won't hurt you anyway so there is no need to worry about it. Before you would eat the garlic anyway you would wash and peel it and likely cook it in some way. That eliminates the problem.

Not sure why you would want to read a blog about it. Blogging is just one person's personal opinion, not facts. If you want to learn more about it go to a legit info source on botulism like the CDC website or NCHFP.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:04PM
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Thank you everyone for helping with my question on garlic scapes. I realize now that I harvested the scapes too soon and they are not developed enough to plant this fall. And yes I do know that each seed will give me only one clove and not a bulb. I enjoy experimenting. this is my first time experimenting with scapes to eat. so......I waited too long to harvest the scapes to eat. They were too big. Lesson learned. And I will check out the info sites you mentioned Dave. Thanks again everyone. (note:) Its a good thing I only tried this with a few scapes. I still have enough bubils that are almost ready to cut for seed. So next year's garlic crop I'll remember to cut some of the scapes when the tops are still small so I can try some recipes I've found online.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:59PM
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