We planted kind of a lot of garlic in the fall, mostly hard-neck, but also a couple rows of soft-neck. It’s pretty easy. You just plant individual cloves. We usually save some bulbs from the previous year to plant. The two rows on the left in the photo below are the soft-neck type (don’t know the exact varieties anymore), which are smaller partly because many of the plants got eaten by cutworms in the spring and partly because they do not do as well in cold climates (something I just learned). So perhaps we will just stick with the hard-neck type or decide based on a taste test.
The hard-neck varieties produce a stalk called a scape (so hard not to say snape, like Professor Snape), which would eventually become a flower if left to grow. It’s common to cut them off so that the plant sends more energy to the bulb.
In previous years, we have only eaten a few like you would use a green onion, but this year I made all the scapes into pesto (garlic scapes, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt, lemon juice in food processor) so as not to waste them. Almost all of it went into the freezer since it is super potent. This was quite possibly the most exotic food I have ever made.
Steve dug up the soft-neck garlic today since the leaves had started dying and some had fallen over. Here they are freshly washed and set out to dry. Many of them were decent sized bulbs, so we were quite pleased!