For those that have never grown garlic before, this is the "scape" or flower part of the garlic when it grows (I'm holding a couple in the picture above). It does not produce an actual flower but a little bulb that can be used to grow more garlic (though it usually needs to mature a few years before it's big enough).
These loopy looking scapes will start to grow in the early part of the summer/late part of the spring. If not removed, the plant will mature and you will get small bulbs of garlic (when you pull it out, it looks like a cross between green onion and garlic).
If you remove the scape though, it will redirect that growth to the bulb and you will get a larger garlic bulb. You can also eat the scapes!
For the best flavour, it is best to trim them off when they are just starting to curl. The ones in the picture above are much more mature. As a result, they are a little woodier in texture. Still very tasty though, they just need a little cooking time and some trimming.
I recommend chopping them up and using them in salads if they are young and using them in stirfrys if they are more mature as above. Tastes like chives and mild garlic!
If you haven't grown your own garlic, but would like to this fall, click HERE
How to Remove Scapes
Remove the flowering part about 1-2 inches from the highest leaves by either gently snapping or using gardening shears.
Plant will taste best if trimmed just as it begins to curve.
Removing this portion will allow your garlic to grow longer.
When to Remove Garlic
Once the main plant turns yellow and begins to wilt, it is time to remove. Allow it to dry in the warm sun for a few days before using.